The Jacksonville Jaguars scored late and held on for a 19-13 win over AFC South Division rival Tennessee Thursday night at EverBank Field. The Jaguars’ have now surpassed last year’s total of three victories and matched the four wins that coach Gus Bradley got in his first season.
Jacksonville (4-6) QB Blake Bortles was 21-of-30 for 242 yards, with a fumble, and interception and a touchdown to tight end Julius Thomas. Wide receiver Allen Robinson finished with a team high five receptions for 113 yards, including a 38-yarder.
“I thought that Blake, overall, had a good game. He completed 70 percent of his passes. He had that short-yardage fumble, the interception that I’m sure he wish he had back. They did a good job with coverage there,” Bradley said.
Rookie Rashad Greene, coming off a thumb injury, returned a punt 63 yards, setting up the 5-yard scoring pass to Thomas with 3:30 to play.
“It was actually a look I hadn’t seen in a long time. Having a linebacker in man coverage – particularly a rush linebacker – was pretty unique,” said Thomas of his second TD catch of the season. “I just wanted to make sure I gave Blake threw a great pass, on time, in a place that only I could get it.”
Following the Jaguars lone TD of the night, Tennessee receiver Phillip Supernaw fumbled after catching a pass. Jacksonville’s Davon House recovered at the Titans’ 29-yard line. That led to Jason Myers fourth field goal of the game.
Bradley also had praise for the Jaguars’ special teams.
“I do think it was really good. I thought we covered very well. I know in the punt return game, we won that battle. The kickoffs were good. Field goals and extra points, obviously, a big part of the game. It’s great to see that consistency coming week-to-week now,” he said.
Tennessee rookie QB Marcus Mariota was 22 of 35 for 231 yards. He also ran for a 23-yard score that put the Titans ahead 13-9 late in the third quarter. Tight end DeLanie Walker led Titans’ receivers with eight catches for 109 yards.
Mariota moved Tennessee from their 20 to the Jaguars’ 23-yard line with six seconds left. Jaguars’ defensive end Andre Branch sacked Mariota on the game’s final play.
“It’s frustrating to lose a game like this,” Walker said. “We just made too many mistakes and in a game like this, you can’t do that. We still thought we could pull it off on that last drive but again, penalties, including one by me, and some sacks really hurt us.”
TENNESSEE GAME NOTES – Jacksonville has one TD and one field goal in 10 opening drives this season...Jaguars’ Allen Hurns’ streak of a TD catch in seven consecutive games came to an end... The Jaguars won consecutive games for the first time since December 2013... Tennessee running back Dexter McCluster injured his right leg in the second half and did not return... The Jaguars have scored four touchdowns in their last 14 trips inside the 20-yard line... Jaguars’ running back Denard Robinson had seven carries for 27 yards... Tennessee’s Ryan Succop converted field goals of 47 and 49 yards... The game marked the return Tennessee interim head coach Mike Mularkey, Jags’ head coach for one season in 2012 when they went 2-14.
DIVISION UP FOR GRABS – The Jaguars are on the heels of AFC South Division leaders Houston and Indianapolis, both 5-5 after wins on Sunday. Jacksonville (4-6) has the easiest remaining schedule of any club in the league and plays all three division opponents one more time. Playing in the NFL’s worse division helps. They also have three of the next four games at home. The Texans in the midst of a three game wining streak could be without starting QB Brian Hoyer at least one more week and the Colts could be without QB Andrew Luck for several weeks. But that didn’t keep them from winning last weekend. The Jaguars play Tennessee (2-8) again on Dec. 6.
UP NEXT – The Jaguars’ host the AFC West cellar dwelling San Diego Chargers (2-8) Sunday at EverBank Field. The Chargers have lost six in a row. The latest to the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday, 33-3. Kickoff is 1 p.m.