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Jaguars get feel-good victory

Posted Nov 25, 2012

Henne, late interception help Jaguars beat Tennessee Titans, 24-19, at EverBank Field

The home oh-fer is over. At long last.

Chad Henne, making his first start at quarterback for the Jaguars, threw two touchdown passes, and the defense made a big play late, as the Jaguars held on for a 24-19 victory over the Tennessee Titans in front of an announced 63,232 at EverBank Field Sunday afternoon.

The Jaguars had lost their first five games at EverBank this season.

All five losses had come by at least 17 points.

"It's good to have something good happen for them (the players), really good,” Jaguars Head Coach Mike Mularkey said after the Jaguars’ first home victory since the 2011 regular-season finale.

“They needed that. A lot of people needed that. It was well-earned."

The Jaguars (2-9) won for the first time since beating the Indianapolis Colts, 22-17, in Week 3. The victory snapped the team’s losing streak at seven, which tied the team record.

“It felt good,” said Jaguars wide receiver Cecil Shorts, whose 59-yard touchdown reception midway through the third quarter gave the Jaguars a 14-6 lead they never relinquished.

“It was good just to win for Jacksonville, and the city.”

Safety Dwight Lowery helped seal the victory with an interception with 2:40 remaining off a deflection by linebacker Russell Allen. The Jaguars led 21-19 at the time, then drained 2:16 off the clock before kicker Josh Scobee’s 41-yard field goal made it 24-19 with :24 remaining.

Lowery’s interception was the key play of a wild, back-and-forth fourth quarter, with the Titans (4-7) first cutting into a five-point Jaguars lead with a 33-yard field goal by Rob Bironas, then Henne giving the Jaguars a nine-point lead – their largest of the game – with a 7-yard pass to rookie wide receiver Justin Blackmon.

That came with 6:50 remaining, and appeared to give the Jaguars a comfortable lead, but Titans quarterback Jake Locker capped a six-play, 78-yard drive on the ensuing possession with a 6-yard touchdown to Kenny Britt.

That made it 21-19, Jaguars, with 4:52 remaining.

The Jaguars had lost a two-touchdown lead last week in an overtime loss at Houston, but Allen and Lowery ensured Sunday wouldn’t be a similar story. The Jaguars went three-and-out on the possession after Britt’s touchdown, and after a 50-yard punt by Bryan Anger, Tennessee had 1st-and-10 at the Titans 37.

After a run by Chris Johnson went for no gain, Locker threw down the middle to tight end Jared Cook. Allen leaped and tipped the pass, and Lowery – who started after missing the last five games with an ankle injury – made a diving interception at the Jaguars 43.

He returned it 21 yards, and Scobee’s 41-yarder all-but clinched it six plays later.

 “I feel very happy for our players,” Mularkey said. “I’m happy our players can feel good about all the time and effort they put in, especially at home.”

Henne, who earned the starting job with a four-touchdown, 354-yard performance in relief of injured Blaine Gabbert last week, completed 17 of 26 passes for 261 yards and the two touchdowns, and he was intercepted once. That came on a tipped pass on the first play of the game.

Shorts finished with four receptions for 105 yards and Blackmon led Jaguars receivers with five receptions for 62 yards.

“It’s not just me,” Henne said. “There are a lot of resilient guys in this locker room. I’m really proud of what they’ve done, with what they’ve gone through as a team. I just want to help out as much as I can, and hopefully in these next five games, go on a little roll here.”

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