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Game that was: "Committed to the game plan…"

Jacksonville Jaguars against theTennessee Titans during an NFL football game, Sunday, September 20, 2020 in Nashville, Tn.
Jacksonville Jaguars against theTennessee Titans during an NFL football game, Sunday, September 20, 2020 in Nashville, Tn.

Abry Jones didn't overplay the moment.

Jones, the veteran defensive tackle, late Sunday afternoon was asked what the Jaguars did well to stop Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry. This was after a 33-30 loss at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn., so Jones' answer wasn't celebratory – just straightforward.

"We just committed to the game plan," Jones said.

When it came to stopping – or at least slowing – Henry on Sunday, the plan worked enough to force the Titans to throw.

The Titans did just that, with quarterback Ryan Tannehill throwing a career-high four touchdown passes with a 145.7 passer rating. But Henry, who had rushed for nearly 400 yards and six touchdowns in the last two Jaguars-Titans games played in Nashville, rushed for just 84 yards on 25 carries.

"Coming up here, you know what Tennessee is going to do," Jones said. "You know who their bell cow is, and it really just comes down to a commitment by every player on this team that's going to say we want to stop the run. I feel like we came out here and tried to accomplish that."

Henry, the NFL's leading rusher last season, rushed for 159 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries in a 42-20 Titans victory last season in Nashville. He rushed for 238 yards and four touchdowns on 17 carries in a 30-9 victory in 2018 in Nashville.

Breakout runs keyed those two performances, with Henry rushing for a 99-yard touchdown in the 2018 victory and a 74-yarder last season. Henry's long carry Sunday: 14 yards.


Special teams uncharacteristically hurt the Jaguars Sunday, with kicker Josh Lambo having one of the rougher games of his career. Lambo missed an extra point in the second half, but had one of the game's turning-point plays late in the first half when a "squib" kickoff hit strong safety Joshua Kalu, who fielded the kick 16 yards from the spot of the kick and returned it two yards to the Jaguars 49. With : 12 remaining before halftime, Tannehill passed 16 yards to tight end Anthony Firsker. Titans kicker Stephen Gostkowski's 51-yard field goal on the final play of the half gave the Titans a 24-10 lead. "We have it in every week that we just power kick it through and we knew we were going to power kick it – which way we were going to go," Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone said. "There's distance between those two players, and you've just got to in-between it. He [Lambo] is a guy that works his butt off. We have confidence in him, and it's just one of those things that it just wasn't executed right. It wasn't like trying to make something happen or anything like that. Just didn't get into the right area."


Marrone on an interference call on linebacker Myles Jack on third-and-5 from the Jaguars 44 with 1:57 remaining, a call that came with Jack covering Titans tight end Anthony Firsker and that led to the Titans' game-winning field goal: "They told me that it was a hold, that when the ball went in the air it turned into a defensive pass interference. I couldn't see early on in the route, and I had a bad view of it from where I was. But the back judge should have a great view of it."


Minshew on an interception by Titans linebacker Harold Landry that ended the Jaguars' final drive, an interception that came after defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons tipped the pass at the line of scrimmage: "That last one, it sucks … ball got tipped up in the air, just a bad way to lose."


Key to the Jaguars' second-half comeback: rookie running back James Robinson, who followed a 62-yard performance against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 1 with his first career 100-yard game. Robinson, who took the starting role after the Jaguars waived two-time 1,000-yard rusher Leonard Fournette late in training camp, rushed for 102 yards on 16 carries and his 17-yard touchdown run started the Jaguars' second-half comeback. Robinson rushed for 85 yards on 10 second-half carries. "Even in the first half, a couple of those runs, they almost came out," Marrone said "What you guys are seeing now is probably what I've been seeing all camp: Just a real steady, good football player. If something is there, he's going to find it. He's not going to make mistakes and lose yardage for you. He's a tough runner. He's got a little burst getting through to the second level." 


Jaguars WR DJ Chark Jr. on Robinson: "He's our running back. He's running the ball between the tackles, and you have to respect it. As long as he's doing that, we're going to be on the outside blocking, and he makes blocking fun because you're blocking for two, three seconds, then you see him running by you. It makes you want to go out there and get you a pancake or something."


Minshew on team's mindset when trailing: "I think any time we get in those situations we don't hit panic mode, we don't start pointing fingers. We're just going to try to step up, do our job and support the team as best we can. I feel like we did a lot of that on both sides of the ball today, and it should only get better."


Chark: "I think honestly we feel like we can go toe to toe with anybody."

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