They thrilled, they rallied – and the Jaguars again looked impressive offensively. _Really _impressive.
What they didn't do is win.
The Jaguars limited Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry – comparatively. They also continued to produce points early this season. But a dramatic Jaguars second-half rally wasn't enough – and the result was a 33-30 Titans victory in an early-season AFC South game at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn., Sunday afternoon.
"Credit to Tennessee," Head Coach Doug Marrone said. "They were able to make some plays, and at the end of the day we weren't able to make a play to get us over the top or stop a play. That's where we are."
Titans kicker Stephen Gostkowski converted a 49-yard field goal with 1:36 remaining to take a three-point lead, setting up the Jaguars' final drive.
Titans defensive end Harold Landry intercepted a batted pass at the line of scrimmage to end the drive. Titans defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons got his hand on the pass.
Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill completed 18 of 24 passes for 239 yards and a career-high four touchdowns with no interceptions. Three of the touchdowns came in the first half as Tennessee took control of the game's momentum before the Jaguars rallied from a double-digit deficit to tie the game midway through the fourth quarter.
Henry had rushed for 397 yards and six touchdowns in the teams' last two meetings in Nashville – two one-sided Titans victories the past two seasons. The Jaguars held him to 84 yards on 25 carries Sunday.
Tannehill's productivity was enough to counter an impressive day for the Jaguars' offense.
Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew II, a week after completing 95 percent of his passes in a Week 1 victory over the Indianapolis Colts, completed 30 of 45 passes for 339 yards and three touchdowns with two interceptions. The first interception came in the first quarter and led to a Titans touchdown.
"We don't need to be getting down 13 in the first place," Minshew said. "I think if we jump out and play every quarter like we played that fourth, we're going to be a really, really good football team."
The Jaguars registered one sack – by rookie defensive end K'Lavon Chaisson. They did not force a turnover after forcing two against Indianapolis in Jacksonville last week.
"I think overall, I think as our team, as we grow, we've got to learn from these things and continue to push to get better and get our side get back on this winning side of things," Marrone said.
Step by step:
*The Titans stunned the Jaguars early in a wild first quarter, using three plays to move 77 yards on a game-opening drive that ended with a 13-yard touchdown pass from Tannehill to tight end Jonnu Smith; Tannehill passed 63 yards to a wide-open Smith on the first play. A turnover on the Jaguars' first series set up a point-blank Titans touchdown, with Tannehill passing seven yards to wide receiver Corey Davis for a 14-0 lead with 5:43 remaining in the first quarter; a pass from Minshew to tight end James O'Shaughnessy had been tipped on the previous drive by rookie wide receiver Collin Johnson into the hands of Titans rookie cornerback Kristian Fulton, who returned it 44 yards to the Jaguars 30. The Jaguars made it 14-7 on the ensuing possession when Minshew passed 19 yards to tight end Tyler Eifert with 3:43 remaining in the quarter, capping a 75-yard drive that was keyed by a 45-yard pass from Minshew to wide receiver DJ Chark Jr.
*The second quarter was calmer, but the Titans took a double-digit lead late when Tannehill passed four yards to Smith 1:47 before halftime. The Jaguars had a chance to tie the game early in the quarter, but after reaching the Titans 49 Minshew took a 20-yard sack by defensive end Jack Crawford that ended the opportunity. The Titans then drove 85 yards on 13 plays, a series aided by a 22-yard pass interference penalty on safety Josh Jones covering Smith on third-and-four from the Titans 27. Henry rushed for 33 yards on eight carries to set up the score. Jaguars kicker Josh Lambo's 35-yard field goal with :12 remaining in the half cut the lead to 21-10, but Gostkowski – after a short squib kick by Lambo off a Titans player – converted a 51-yard field goal on the half's final play to make it 24-10, Tennessee.
*The Jaguars turned in an impressive drive to start the second half, moving 89 yards on 14 plays and cutting the lead to 24-17 with 7:04 remaining in the third quarter with a 17-yard run up the middle by running back James Robinson; Minshew completed six of six passes for 47 yards on the drive. The Titans pushed the lead back to double digits when Tannehill capped the ensuing drive with an 18-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Adam Humphries with 2:04 remaining in the quarter.
*The Jaguars continued to move effectively, cutting the lead to seven points again when Minshew passed two yards to wide receiver Keelan Cole with 14:16 remaining; Lambo's missed extra point kept the deficit at 30-23. The Jaguars then forced a punt with a third-down stop on Henry, setting up a nine-play, 86-yard drive that ended with Minshew's game-tying 14-yard touchdown pass to running back Chris Thompson with 7:25 remaining.
*Injury report: *Jaguars center Brandon Linder sustained a knee injury on the first drive of the third quarter and did not return; he was replaced by sixth-year veteran Tyler Shatley. … Jaguars cornerback DJ Hayden was evaluated for a concussion late in the fourth quarter.
*What's next: *The Jaguars will play host to the Miami Dolphins at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville Thursday at 8:20 p.m.