Jaguars @ Titans
Final Score: Jaguars 36, Titans 22
Writer: HavelockJustin (@HavelockJustin on Twitter)
The Jacksonville Jaguars have created a race for the AFC South division title as they won on the road against the Tennessee Titans for the first time since November 2013, breaking an eight-game losing streak.
Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill entered this game 5-0 against the Jaguars with nine touchdowns and zero interceptions since he landed in Tennessee. Naturally, he was sacked four times and gave up a pair of turnovers as he registered the loss. On the other side of the football, Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence extended his recent stretch of dominance to five games, scoring 26 unanswered points on their division rivals in the second and third quarters to put this game away.
#Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence since Week 9:
125/174 (72.3%), 1,300 yards, 10 TDs, 0 INTs.
— Doug Kyed (@DougKyed) December 11, 2022
The Jaguars and the Titans have a rematch scheduled for Week 18 that could see the winner take the AFC South crown and a playoff berth.
Trevor Lawrence: 30/42, 368 Yards, 3 TD | 3 Carries, 7 Yards, TD
Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence shook off any lingering injury concerns from last week’s matchup as he recorded a career-high in passing yards and a season-high in pass completions. Lawrence found chemistry with his tight end Evan Engram early in the first quarter. The young quarterback scrambled in the pocket on 3rd & 2 before he delivered a strike to Engram for a 12-yard catch-and-run into the endzone. The three-play scoring drive took the Jaguars only 45 seconds to tie the game.
T-Law hits @eazyengram for six! #DUUUVAL
📺: #JAXvsTEN on CBS
📱: Stream on NFL+ https://t.co/xHAnGDC3Lg pic.twitter.com/ZIa4Pqzn99
— NFL (@NFL) December 11, 2022
Lawrence started to run the football in the second half but had an eight-yard scramble negated on an offensive holding penalty. The 23-year-old seemed to channel his frustration with the call on the field as later in the drive he stiff-armed a defender and carried the ball into the endzone himself for a rushing touchdown. Near the end of the third quarter, on 3rd & 10, Lawrence also scrambled for a seven-yard gain and had the presence of mind to slide down in bounds to ensure the clock kept running.
That one’s for @jamalagnew 😉@Trevorlawrencee | #ProBowlVote pic.twitter.com/X6QK5NkAJc
— Jacksonville Jaguars (@Jaguars) December 11, 2022
A couple of plays before he scored his rushing touchdown, the former Clemson Tigers quarterback made one of his best plays of the day. On 3rd & 6, Lawrence scrambled in the pocket, and juked back and forth, before finding Jamal Agnew wide-open just outside of the endzone.
Travis Etienne Jr.: 17 Carries, 32 Yards
JaMycal Hasty: 4 Carries, 13 Yards
This was a rough day for Travis Etienne as the Tennessee Titans completely contained him (as well as the rest of the Jaguars’ backfield). Tennessee has had one of the league’s best-run defenses this season. The Titans ranked third entering Week 14 with an average of 83.1 rushing yards per game. Linebacker Bud Dupree led the way for the Titans as he racked up three tackles for loss against Etienne. The sophomore running back was stuffed a total of eight times, although fortunately one of his six tackles for loss was brought back due to an offensive holding penalty. The 23-year-old lacked his usual explosiveness as he converted only two first downs, his longest carry of the game went for just seven yards, and he posted a dismal 1.9 Yards Per Carry (YPC).
Teammate JaMycal Hasty didn’t fare much better with his 3.2 YPC. Hasty rushed for a pair of two-yard gains, a ten-yard carry, and a tackle for loss. The Titans made certain that their superstar Derrick Henry was the only effective running back on either side of this game.
Rookie Snoop Conner was active this week but did not record any touches, even after Darrell Henderson Jr. was waived by Jacksonville on Friday.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Evan Engram: 15 Targets, 11 Receptions, 162 Yards, 2 TD
Zay Jones: 12 Targets, 8 Receptions, 77 Yards, TD
Christian Kirk: 7 Targets, 5 Receptions, 45 Yards
Jamal Agnew: 1 Carry, 8 Yards | 3 Targets, 3 Receptions, 36 Yards
Marvin Jones Jr.: 1 Target, 1 Reception, 22 Yards
Chris Manhertz: 1 Target, 1 Reception, 21 Yards
Dan Arnold: 3 Targets, 1 Reception, 5 Yards
Tight end Evan Engram and his quarterback Trevor Lawrence helped each other put up some new personal bests against the Tennessee Titans. Engram posted a career-high in targets, receiving yards, and touchdowns, as well as tied his career-high in receptions. The 28-year-old was targeted on Lawrence’s first four pass attempts to start the game and seven out of his first ten pass attempts. Engram also had only one incompletion outside of the first quarter as he found a groove with his starting quarterback that allowed him to gain at least ten yards on all but one of his 11 receptions.
In the second half, Engram beat safety Kevin Byard inside on a tight end screen for a 21-yard catch-and-run that broke Engram’s previous career-high in receiving yards. Just four plays later, the veteran tight end bookended the Jaguars’ drive with another 21-yard reception for his second touchdown of the game. On 2nd & 11, Engram fought off a contested catch along the sidelines to bring in a well-thrown deep pass from Lawrence.
The throw… the catch… @eazyengram | @Trevorlawrencee#ProBowlVote | #JAXvsTEN on CBS/NFL+ pic.twitter.com/8BHtMIVOxH
— Jacksonville Jaguars (@Jaguars) December 11, 2022
Zay Jones bounced back nicely from a rough showing last week. The veteran wide receiver outperformed his Week 13 boxscore quickly with a series of receptions in the short passing game. Jones almost came up with a second-quarter deep pass, catching the ball at the two-yard line, and losing control as it slipped out of his hands. In the final minute of the first half, he caught his first touchdown pass since Week 3. The pass was nearly intercepted by cornerback Roger McCreary but instead deflected off of his hands. Jones managed to both bring in the football and keep his left foot in bounds by just a few blades of grass.
Zay Jones couldn't have gotten ANY CLOSER to the sideline 👀pic.twitter.com/H3USo6XnJf
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) December 11, 2022
Jones almost made a one-handed catch late in the third quarter as well which would’ve been his second touchdown of the day, but the pass was thrown into too tight of a window in double coverage.
While Christian Kirk was not Lawrence’s preferred target in Week 14, he used his athleticism to deliver a solid performance. Kirk caught a couple of second-quarter passes on the first read before he found himself wide open on a Dig route for a 23-yard catch-and-run. Kirk attempted to catch a two-point conversion in the second half but ran short on his route and was unable to complete the pass.
In the first half, it was actually Jamal Agnew that led the Jaguars in rushing yards as the team struggled to establish the run. Agnew has recorded 5.7 YPC this season in a gadget role. The multi-talented wide receiver also opened the second half with a 93-yard touchdown on the kickoff that was unfortunately called back due to an offensive holding penalty.
Veteran wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr. had a big catch in the third quarter as Lawrence threw on the run while under pressure and found the open man. Tight ends Chris Manhertz and Dan Arnold also had one reception apiece but were largely overshadowed by Engram as he was clearly Lawrence’s preferred target.
Ryan Tannehill: 25/38, 254 Yards, 2 TD, INT | 2 Carries, 16 Yards, Fumble (Lost)
On the first snap of the game, after a flea-flicker from Derrick Henry, quarterback Ryan Tannehill attempted a pass to Nick Westbrook-Ikhine in double coverage that was almost intercepted while missing Robert Woods wide-open on the trick play. Later in the first quarter, linebacker Travon Walker snuck past the offensive line to come up behind Tannehill and record a strip-sack. During the very next play, a dangerous pass to Henry was tipped in the air and nearly intercepted. The Jacksonville Jaguars finally registered an interception at the start of the second quarter on a pass intended for Westbrook-Ikhine, but the wide receiver struggled to track the ball. Safety Andrew Wingard was able to step up and easily caught the interception.
The Titans’ woes continued into the second half as the offense posted -8 total yards throughout the third quarter. A pair of sacks in which the pocket collapsed quickly and allowed pressure from both sides backed Tannehill up for consecutive three-and-out drives.
Thankfully, an up-tempo fourth quarter allowed Tennessee to move the sticks better as they ran 13 no-huddle plays on their final two drives. The change of pace made a big difference for Tannehill as he went 11/19-133-1 in the fourth quarter. Tannehill made a big play on the Titans’ final drive, completing a 17-yard pass to Austin Hooper. The veteran quarterback sat back in the pocket and waited patiently for his tight end to get open before passing, despite pressure from the Jaguars’ pass rush.
Derrick Henry: 17 Carries, 121 Yards, TD | 5 Targets, 3 Receptions, 34 Yards | 2 Fumbles (Lost)
Julius Chestnut: 2 Targets, 2 Receptions, 8 Yards
Week 14 was quite the mixed bag for Derrick Henry. On the opening drive of the game, he scored his 11th rushing touchdown and sixth opening drive touchdown of the season. Later in the quarter, Henry showed what he does best as he found a lane down the middle, avoided a tackle, and broke free for this huge 50-yard run.
We hear the train a-comin' 🚂
📺: Watch #JAXvsTEN on @NFLonCBS pic.twitter.com/8r1YJwPiBZ
— Tennessee Titans (@Titans) December 11, 2022
The superstar running back had another vintage Derrick Henry play when he made an incredible second effort that took seven or eight Jacksonville defenders to bring him down. Count ’em. There are at least seven Jaguars involved in this scrum as he pushed the pile across the line to gain. This capped off a dominant first quarter for Henry with 96 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown.
Derrick Henry is a powerful man 🚜
📺: #JAXvsTEN on CBS
📱: Stream on NFL+ https://t.co/xHAnGDC3Lg pic.twitter.com/fjpgBCi8mx
— NFL (@NFL) December 11, 2022
Henry was surprisingly quiet the rest of the day with just five carries for 25 rushing yards, however, most of that came on a 21-yard run late in the first half. That would be his only rush attempt of more than two yards after the above play.
Both of the 28-year-old’s fumbles came at key moments for the Tennessee Titans. The first turnover came with Tennessee leading while inside the two-minute warning of the first half, as a big hit ended a 16-yard catch-and-run, forcing the ball out. The Jaguars took full advantage of the recovery, scoring the go-ahead touchdown, and the Titans would not find themselves with another lead in this matchup. The second fumble came on the Titans’ first play of the fourth quarter as the snap directly to Henry was dropped and he was unable to regain possession of the football.
Prior to this season, Henry had recorded 5.1 YPC in the fourth quarter. In 2022, that figure dropped to 3.4 fourth-quarter YPC coming into the week, and he added just one carry for one yard in the fourth quarter here. Henry also marked his 14th consecutive game without a fourth-quarter rushing touchdown, a streak going all the way back to Week 7 of 2021.
Dontrell Hilliard suffered a neck injury on a second-quarter punt return and was sidelined for the rest of the game. This opened the door for Julius Chestnut and he served as the backup in the Titans’ backfield in the absence of the 27-year-old veteran and Hassan Haskins (inactive with a hip injury). Shortly after Hilliard exited, Chestnut caught a quick pass from Tannehill but was unable to get out of bounds in time to set up a field goal attempt and inadvertently ran out the clock to end the first half. In the third quarter, the 22-year-old rookie came up with another catch on 3rd & 14, as Tannehill threw on the run and completed a pass to the young running back.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Austin Hooper: 5 Targets, 5 Receptions, 68 Yards
Robert Woods: 7 Targets, 5 Receptions, 49 Yards
Chigoziem Okonkwo: 1 Carry | 6 Targets, 6 Receptions, 45 Yards, TD
Chris Conley: 1 Target, 1 Reception, 27 Yards
Nick Westbrook-Ikhine: 8 Targets, 3 Receptions, 23 Yards, TD
Racey McMath: 4 Targets
Rookie Treylon Burks was inactive this week after he sustained a concussion in Week 13. Without his top receiver, quarterback Ryan Tannehill leaned heavily on both of his tight ends versus the Jacksonville Jaguars. Austin Hooper converted a first down on all but one of his receptions, including a 24-yard catch-and-run on 2nd & 20 that saw him rack up the Yards After Catch (YAC).
Robert Woods caught a couple of passes early in this game with nowhere to go as the Jacksonville Jaguars’ secondary covered him well for most of the day. In the second quarter, Woods jumped up to complete a 17-yard contested catch against cornerback Tre Herndon on 3rd & 6. Both of his incompletions came on the Titans’ final drive of the game. One was during an early pass from Tannehill that Woods was unable to get to in time and the other was on a borderline missed penalty by the officials.
If you haven’t already heard of Chigoziem Okonkwo, now is the time for your education. After a first-quarter red zone reception set up a rushing touchdown for Derrick Henry, the rookie tight end managed a score of his own later in the quarter. On 2nd & 7, Okonkwo broke a tackle, leaping over the defender and into the endzone for his second career touchdown.
#Titans rookie TE Chigoziem Okonkwo continues to emerge.
Touchdown here to give his team the lead.pic.twitter.com/qs94HqZ57d
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) December 11, 2022
Okonkwo would score again in the fourth quarter as he picked up a two-point conversion with a one-handed catch on the run that he secured against his helmet. Later on, Okonkwo caught a pass on 2nd & 10 and avoided a tackle to pick up the YAC. The reception gave the young tight end an overall line of 13/16-148-1 over his past three games.
Veteran Chris Conley made his first catch in a Tennessee Titans jersey as they attempted to rally with an up-tempo fourth-quarter drive.
At the start of this game, it appeared that Nick Westbrook-Ikhine might be the one to step up in Burks’ absence as Tannehill threw him the first three passes of the day, the last of which he caught for a 13-yard gain on 3rd & 5. While the 25-year-old wide receiver led the team in targets, this reception would amount to the bulk of his receiving yards on the day with Herndon and Andrew Wingard playing in tight coverage. Although, Westbrook-Ikhine only needed to win one contested catch against Herndon to score a short touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Sophomore wide receiver Racey McMath was unable to complete any of his passes, however, it may be worth noting that all four targets were deep balls and three of them were fourth-quarter shots at the endzone.