If there’s one constant to this Titans team, we know that Derrick Henry likes seeing the Jaguars come to town. With the season on the line tonight in Nashville, Henry delivered once again for his team. His efforts along with a brilliant gameplan from Arthur Smith kept the Titans afloat in the playoff race.
Here’s how it played out this afternoon.
Staying true to form, this Titans-Jaguars matchup started by trading several punts. Both Leonard Fournette and Derrick Henry were the clear focal points of the offenses, but each guy struggled to move the chains early on.
Henry finally broke that trend in the second quarter, finding some daylight to run. The Titans appeared to take the lead on a Henry screen pass, but the play was called back due to a hold. Ryan Tannehill was sacked shortly after, fumbling the ball back to Jacksonville to kill Tennessee’s chance of scoring.
But Tannehill would come back strong on the next drive, capping off a drive with his legs. It was a 21 yard scramble for Tannehill, which put the Titans up 7-0 midway through the second quarter.
Jacksonville would answer with a field goal. Fournette caught a short pass from Nick Foles, but had a lot of room to operate down the sidelines. That play was enough to get them in striking distance, but not much else.
The Titans took a 7-3 lead into halftime.
Arthur Smith got the offense rolling early in the third quarter, dialing up play-action for Tannehill. A.J. Brown caught a strike from Tannehill over the middle, running down inside of the redzone.
A running back pass attempt from Derrick Henry fell incomplete, but Jonnu Smith was able to draw defensive pass interference. With the ball on the one, Smith dialed up more play-action. Tannehill found a wide open Dennis Kelly — yes you read that right — for six.
Very quickly, the Titans made this a 14-3 game.
After a three and out, Derrick Henry put this game away early in the third quarter. As he’s done before, Henry broke the will of Jacksonville with a homerun. This time it was a 74 yard sprint to the endzone, featuring a couple of stiff arms as he tight-roped the sidelines.
The score made it a 21-3 game — and then the Jaguars fumbled the following kickoff.
On the very next snap, Derrick Henry scored again.
In a matter of minutes, the Tennessee led went from 4 to 25. Henry is the first player to score two touchdowns in under 26 seconds since Ladainian Tomlinson in 2006.
Arthur Smith took that Henry success and turned it into yet another touchdown on the next drive. It was play-action yet again, allowing Tannehill to find a wide open A.J. Brown. The rookie receiver turned on the jets to outrun the entire Jacksonville secondary for six more.
It was the most productive quarter in the history of the Titans.
Foles and Fournette finally responded late in the third quarter, finding the endzone and adding two more points on a two point conversion to bring the game to 35-11. Henry would fumble on the next drive, keeping the door cracked open for Jacksonville.
Fournette scored again, but this time the two point play fell short. The new score was 35-17 with just over 11 minutes to play.
But the Titans ended any doubt on the following drive, answering once again. Ryan Tannehill scored his second rushing touchdown of the day, bringing the score to 42-17.
Now at 6-5, The Titans got the win they needed and are now in the thick of the AFC wildcard picture. With five games remaining, they’ve got a chance to make some noise down the stretch.
Next up will be a trip to Indianapolis to face the Colts.