Titans 36, Jaguars 22

Jaguars lose to a former head coach for second straight game; Team fires offensive coordinator Olson, promotes Hackett


The Jaguars came out of Music City singing a sad country song, as Jacksonville lost an uninspired but important AFC South game to Tennessee 36-22.

 The Jaguars now have back-to back losses this season to former coaches: Mike Mularkey of Tennessee and Oakland’s Jack Del Rio.

 The Jaguars’ lackluster performance on national TV Thursday night included a glaring 27-0 halftime deficit as the Titans had 354 yards of offense after two quarters compared to Jacksonville’s 60. It could have been much worse if Tennessee gone to a prevent defense, playing soft in the secondary for the entire second half.

 “Well, I’ve been in a lot of games in my career, and I don’t know if there’s any cushion,” Mularkey said. “When we came out at the half, it was the full game plan. Nothing was going to change because I’ve been around long enough to know: Don’t get comfortable.”

 Tennessee (4-4) scored on its last five possessions of the first half.

 Titans QB Marcus Mariota passed for 270 yards, and DeMarco Murray rushed for 123 yards and a TD. Mariota completed 18 of 22 passes with two touchdowns and no interceptions as the Titans outgained the Jaguars 494 yards to 370.

 “I think today was probably the first time all three phases played a complete game, and you know what, that’s all you can really ask for,” Mariota said. “Those guys deserve a lot of credit, and we’ve just got to continue to roll.”

 Jacksonville (2-5) QB Blake Bortles was 33 of 54 for 337 yards and three TDs.

Bortles admitted to being frustrated by the team’s performance.

 “Confidence isn’t an issue,” Bortles said. “I believe in myself and this team 100 percent.”

 Bortles threw a 10-yard TD pass to tight end Julius Thomas to open the second half. He ran in the two-point conversion, cutting the deficit to 27-8. Bortles threw a 5-yard TD to Allen Hurns and then a 7-yard scoring pass to Bryan Walters in the final minutes.

So how did the Jaguars respond to the loss? They fired offensive coordinator Greg Olson Saturday and promoted QB coach Nathaniel Hackett. The son of former NFL coach Paul Hackett, he previously spent two seasons as offensive coordinator for the Buffalo Bills and two seasons before that was offensive coordinator at Syracuse.

Jacksonville is averaging 72.6 rushing yards and 19.9 points per game, both ranking near the bottom of the NFL.

 Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley fell to 14-41 in his fourth season. He was asked after the Titans’ game if he was worried about his job.

 “No, I worry about this team and why did we perform like that in the first half and figuring out, ‘OK, how can we get it right?'” Bradley said. “There’s always solutions. This period right here, it happened, and we’ve got to take a hard look at it.”

The Jaguars travel to Kansas City to face the Chiefs on Sunday.

 Tennessee game notes: Jaguars rookie cornerback Jalen Ramsey, a former star at nearby Brentwood Academy, played his first NFL game in Nashville. Jaguars defensive tackle Roy Miller III was placed on injured reserve. His roster spot was taken by Richard Ash. Abry Jones replaced Miller in the starting lineup and made three tackles…defensive end Tyson Alualu took Jared Odrick’s starting position and recorded three tackles.