Skip to main content

Jaguars News | Jacksonville Jaguars -

O-Zone Late Night, Week 18: Titans 28, Jaguars 20

O-Zone Late Night - Week 18

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – This was disappointing. Actually, it was worse. A lot worse.

The Jaguars on Sunday lost to the Tennessee Titans, 28-20, in the 2023 regular-season finale at Nissan Stadium. You need nothing more than to understand the stakes to know why this ranks among the most painful – and worst – losses in franchise history.

The Jaguars needed to win to win a second consecutive AFC South title, something they never had accomplished in the division's 22 seasons.

Instead, they lost to a team they dominated in November – a team that entered the game 5-11 with nothing at stake. The Jaguars couldn't run effectively Sunday and couldn't stop the run. They made key mistakes at key times, as they did too often while losing five of their last six games.

We'll have plenty of time to rehash the last two months of the season in the coming days, weeks and months. We'll have plenty of time to do a lot of things. All we have now is time because the Jaguars' season ended Sunday far too soon.

This was a bad loss. No other way to say it. On to the offseason.

Let's get to it …

Michael from Fountain

Did the defense forget that we had a division-deciding game this week? I think this was the most hesitant/indecisive I have seen this unit, and it is the worst time for it.

Titans running back Derrick Henry rushed for 153 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries Sunday. He set the tone in the first quarter. He did it again in the third quarter. As Head Coach Doug Pederson said afterward, that was particularly disappointing because the game plan was to stop Henry. The Jaguars knew it. Everyone who plays the Titans has known it for more than a half decade. The Jaguars once again couldn't do it Sunday and now their season is over because of it. Unreal, to be honest.

Michael from Orange Park, FL

Have you ever seen a collapse like this?

Yes. The Titans last season lost their last seven games to let a four-game lead in the AFC South get away. The Jaguars benefitted in that case. But no … I never have covered a collapse such as this – and unfortunately, there's no other word to describe it. The Jaguars were 8-3 and in control of the AFC South. They looked like a veteran, smart team that forced turnovers, stopped the run and won close games. They collapsed under the weight of self-inflicted mistakes, an inability to run and too often an inability to stop the run. The finish surprised me. I didn't think the Jaguars were the NFL's best team this season. I thought they were a playoff team. They should have been back-to-back division champions. That would have been cool. Sunday was anything but.

Big Jags Fan from Jacksonville

The collapse is final. What a disappointment!

I agree. That seems all there is to say in this O-Zone Late Night. I can dig into a lot of topics, win or lose. But this finish was just damned disappointing. I thought the Jaguars would play inspired Sunday with a chance to win a second consecutive AFC South title. That sort of history should have been motivation. Perhaps it was a motivated team. It didn't look like it Sunday until too late.

Adam from Round Here

I've got nothing.

You and me both, Adam.

Bobby From Section 410 from Summerville, SC

Hi, John. Do the Jags practice tackling? I can't tell by the way they tackled on the Titans first drive of the game.

This was the much-ballyhooed, often-quick-trigger, mega-hyped First Email of the Game. Considering the results of the Titans' first drive – a 75-yarder that ended with a 28-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Ryan Tannehill to running back Tyjae Spears – it was a fair assessment. The Jaguars don't practice tackling much during the regular season. No NFL team really does. League rules and the schedule don't really allow it.

Stan from Jacksonville

I'll just say this. With everything for this season at stake, the "defense" picked the wrong possible day to suck. That's it.


GungaDan from Sand dune

Choke. What a disappointing season. With the Texans ascending we won't see an AFC South title for several years.

This isn't necessarily true. One need look no further than this season and last in the AFC South to see a lot changes from year to year in the NFL. But it's damned disappointing. No doubt.

Mike from Lakeland

How can you have the season in the line and come out so absurdly flat?

When you can't stop the run, you look flat. Sometimes you're not flat as much as you just can't stop the run. But the Jaguars were a good run-stopping team a lot this season. They weren't as good late as they were early. They weren't good Sunday at all.

Alan from Mandarin

Same Jags. Same Titans. Settle for three. Outcoached for seven.

The Jaguars kicked a field goal on the game's first possession Sunday and the Titans scored a touchdown on the next possession. The Jaguars entered the game with three consecutive victories over the Titans, so it didn't feel like things had felt recently. Did it feel like things used to feel by game's end? Yes, that's fair.

JT from Palm Coast

Jaguars season is over. They didn't deserve the playoffs after the last five games.

Fair. Disappointing, but fair.

Battle in Nashville ⚔️ Check out top game photos during the Week 18 showdown against the Tennessee Titans.