Nashville nightmare no extra.
The Jaguars are proper again within the AFC South dialog.
Trevor Lawrence and a feisty Jaguars protection went into Nashville and did one thing that hadn’t been completed there since 2013. A sterling sport from Lawrence and his receivers and a forceful sport by an oft-maligned protection delivered a 36-22 beatdown of the Titans on Sunday.
That win felt like a press release by the Jaguars (5-8).
Possibly, simply possibly, there’s one thing left of this season but moreover simply enjoying for delight. Beating Tennessee (7-6) in Nashville is one thing that needed to occur for the Jaguars to remain within the AFC South race. Whereas it’s nonetheless a longshot, it’s one other reminder that Doug Pederson’s Jaguars aren’t the identical outdated Jaguars. They’ve now cleared two main clouds that hung over the franchise in current historical past:
They will’t win on the West Coast (Jacksonville blasted the Chargers 38-10 in Week 3), and so they can’t beat the Titans in Nashville. Gus Bradley achieved that feat final in 2013, his first season in Jacksonville, with a 29-27 win.
The Jaguars return dwelling in Week 15 to face the Cowboys.
Sunday, largely the whole lot clicked.
Lawrence, who was questionable with a toe damage getting into the sport, regarded distinctive. He carved up one of many league’s worst cross defenses and the playmakers round him delivered after delivering a clunker final week. Lawrence was 30 of 42 passing for 368 yards and three touchdowns.
Evan Engram had a profession sport (11 catches, 162 yards, 2 TDs), together with a stellar seize on a 21-yard catch within the entrance facet of the top zone that highlighted simply what sort of day it was. That rating put Jacksonville up 33-14. The Jaguars rattled off a 29 unanswered factors earlier than Ryan Tannehill tossed a 2-yard landing to Nick Westbrook-Ikhine with 7 minutes, 15 seconds to play.
With Lawrence and the offense buzzing, the protection placed on a clinic. Whereas Yulee Excessive graduate Derrick Henry nonetheless acquired his huge yards (17 carries, 121 yards, TD), the majority of that got here early because the Jaguars slapped the Titans round after the opening quarter.
Picked aside for a lot of the previous month and hitting a peak low level in a humiliating 26-point blowout to the Lions final week, Jacksonville lastly acquired one thing from its protection. The Jaguars cranked up the cross rush and at last put some warmth on an opposing quarterback.
Travon Walker blew previous a chip block and went proper previous the left sort out to strip sack Tannehill on the Titans’ second drive of the sport. That play arrange a 12-yard landing cross to Engram. Andrew Wingard, enjoying for an injured Andre Cisco, picked off Tannehill and Jacksonville turned that right into a Riley Patterson subject aim.
And Josh Allen recovered a Henry fumble that was compelled on a jarring hit by Shaq Quarterman, an Oakleaf Excessive graduate. Lawrence hit Zay Jones for a beautiful 20-yard landing, made attainable by the smallest of margins as Jones’ proper foot got here down simply contained in the white stripes.
That helped Jacksonville shake off a 14-7 deficit and take a 20-14 lead on the break. The protection recovered three fumbles (Allen, Arden Key and Dawuane Smoot) and stored fixed stress on Tannehill till the very end. Allen’s first sack since Week 4 towards the Eagles pushed Tennessee right into a fourth-and-18 with 1:59 left and Tannehill’s throw got here below heavy stress and went out of the top zone.
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