NASHVILLE, Tenn. – This was ugly. Disturbingly so.
The Jaguars lost to the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium Thursday night – and once again, the Jaguars couldn't function nearly well enough offensively against their AFC South rivals.
This time, the Jaguars' defense struggled just as much as the offense – perhaps more.
The result? A fourth consecutive loss for the Jaguars in this series. The last time they had a lead in the series? That was during a 38-17 victory over the Titans in Jacksonville on Christmas Eve 2016. That was Head Coach Doug Marrone's first game as the Jaguars' interim coach.
This was also the Jaguars' second Thursday night loss in three seasons in Nashville. The Titans beat the Jaguars 36-22 there in October 2016.
This one turned in the second quarter, when the Titans held Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette out of the end zone on 4th-and-goal from the 2 – one play before Titans running back Derrick Henry became the second player in NFL history to run for a 99-yard touchdown.
That made it 13-2, Titans, midway through the second quarter.
Henry finished the game with four touchdowns, including a 54-yarder in the second half on which he was barely touched – another tough-to-explain play on a night full of them for the Jaguars.
Let's get to it …
Mark from Orange Park, FL
Is this a team that has given up? This is embarrassing! Don't know that I can continue to waste my money on this crap!
Nah. It's not a team that has quit – at least not in the overall scope of the season. And believe me, I understand the inclination to believe that. But a team that quit wouldn't have shut out the Colts a week ago. The Jaguars were a team that was playing on the road on a Thursday night four days after an emotional victory. They were also a team that essentially was out of the postseason entering that game. Teams in that situations are going to have a clunker or two late in the season. Granted, clunkers on the scale of what happened Thursday are embarrassing, disturbing and infuriating. And it's a result that will linger for a while in a really negative way. But they do happen.
Logan from Wichita, KS
I am so damn sick and tired of losing the Titans!!!! Can we change divisions?!?!?! Screw this matchup!!!!!
This was the much-anticipated, oft-ballyhooed, sometimes-controversial, rarely-pertinent First Email of the Game. I doubt Logan got much happier.
Dave from Los Angeles
I laughed at this. I couldn't quite figure out why, but I did.
Chuck from North Augusta, SC
I feel bad for all things Jaguars. The players, coaches, front office, the fans … we all deserve better than this. Losing is one thing. Being embarrassed by the Titans is tough to take. It's hard to be a Jaguars fan sometimes. I hope things get better for us all soon.
You're not alone.
Mattchetti from the Man Cave
Conrad from Blue River, WI
Taven Bryan showed no burst on the opening drive and was manhandled on the scoring play. Any sign he's a player worthy of such a high pick?
Rookie defensive lineman Taven Bryan, the No. 29 overall selection in the 2019 NFL Draft, had played the last couple of weeks. The first drive Thursday wasn't his best.
Jess from Glen Carbon, IL
Benching Blake Bortles for Cody Kessler should be criminal.
It's not. Benching a player for another in professional sports is legal.
Chris from Orlando, FL
Are you kidding me! A 99-yard touchdown and three Jags can't even push Henry out of bounds!!! They don't even look like they came to play!
Henry's 99-yard touchdown run was bad on a lot of levels. It was bad because it followed the Jaguars not being able to score despite seven plays inside the Titans 10. It was bad mostly because three Jaguars players – Bouye, Jacobs and Jack – had a chance to prevent it. It was only one play, but it was the sort of play the Titans always seem to get against the Jaguars. It was yuck. In a big, embarrassing way. It may not be fair to say it got worse, but it didn't get much better.
Mike from St. Augustine, FL
Why isn't it a face-masking call when a runner goes hands to the face and/or grabs the face mask of a defender?
It's supposed to be.
Josh from Columbus, OH
That run is the perfect metaphor for our entire season. Stunningly sad and pitiful.
I wanted to say that Henry's run wasn't really a metaphor for the season, but I couldn't come up with a good reason for feeling that way. The Jaguars have had a lot of games that they could have won had they made a play or two. Had they scored there and not given up a ridiculous touchdown run … well, maybe they wouldn't have won, but it would have been a different game. So, metaphor? Microcosm? Sure, why not?
Tommy from Cherry Valley, IA
John, Cody Kessler looked pretty mobile out there. He threw nothing but darts as well. I like Bortles, but I haven't seen a wounded duck yet this game. Kessler might actually be a step in the right direction. Is he the answer? Doubt it. But he's looking a bit Drew Breesy to me. What say you, John?