JACKSONVILLE – The NFL is offering fans free access to its Game Pass platform, making any game available dating to 2009. In the coming weeks, we at jaguars.com will highlight Jaguars games from that era. In this story, we highlight a 2016 victory over the Tennessee Titans in Doug Marrone's first game as interim head coach
The teams: Jaguars versus Tennessee Titans.
The date: December 24, 2016.
The site: EverBank Field.
The setup: This was an emotional game for the Jaguars – the first game for Doug Marrone as interim head coach and a game played a week after Gus Bradley was fired as head coach. The Jaguars entered on a nine-game losing streak that included a one-sided 36-22 loss to the Titans in Nashville in October. The Jaguars hadn't won at EverBank Field in 2016 and the Titans entered the game needing a victory to set up a game against the Houston Texans the following week for the AFC South title.
The gist: The Jaguars played well from the start, taking a 10-0 first-quarter lead and never allowing the Titans closer than three points after that. The Jaguars outgained the Titans 415-263, with quarterback Blake Bortles passing for more than 300 yards and a touchdown and wide receiver Allen Robinson having his best statistical game of the season. The loss eliminated the Titans from the postseason and clinched the division title for Houston. It also ended Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota's season; he sustained a broken leg in the third quarter.
Quotable I: "We showed that this is who we are." – Jaguars defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks
Big day for Bortles: Bortles, who struggled throughout much of the 2016 season after a promising sophomore season in 2015, had one of the best games of his Jaguars career. He passed for 325 yards and a touchdown, also catching a 20-yard touchdown pass from wide receiver Marqise Lee. Bortles' 21-yard touchdown pass to Lee on the game's opening drive gave the Jaguars a 7-0 lead.
Quotable II: "I've been telling Blake all week, 'This is your team. Act like it. The more you keep saying that, the more people believe it and the more he believed it.' He played lights out today. When he plays like that and we block like we blocked, the sky's the limit for us. It's a shame it's taken this long to close a game out like we did. But it's a great experience." – Jaguars left tackle Kelvin Beachum
The statistics: Jaguars – Bortles (26-38 passing, 325 yards, one touchdowns, zero interceptions), Chris Ivory (14 carries, 45 yards, one touchdown), Corey Grant (nine carries, 27 yards), Robinson (nine receptions, 147 yards); Titans – Mariota (13-24 passing, 124 yards, one touchdown, one interception), DeMarco Murray (14 carries, 42 yards), Harry Douglas (five receptions, 48 yards), Tajae Sharp (three receptions, 48 yards).
Quotable III: "We haven't really gotten in a true rhythm all year. It was about time. Unfortunately, it was late [in the season]. But for us, we've got to get it rolling." – Robinson
The key series: This came midway through the fourth quarter and ended with Bortles on the receiving end of a touchdown pass from Lee. After the Jaguars controlled the game throughout, Tennessee cut the lead to 25-17 with a 14-yard pass from backup quarterback Matt Cassell to tight end Delanie Walker. The Jaguars drove from their 25 to the Titans 20. On second-and-4 from there, Lee took a handoff on an end around from Bortles, then threw back to an open Bortles for the first touchdown pass of Lee's career and the first touchdown reception of Bortles' career. The play gave the Jaguars a 31-17 lead with 5:25 remaining.
Quotable IV: "That was my first game-time throw, game-time play. I'm not a quarterback." – Lee
The clincher: On the ensuing play from scrimmage following Lee's touchdown pass to Bortles, Cassell passed to his right to wide receiver Rishard Matthews. Rookie cornerback Jalen Ramsey stepped in front of the pass and returned the interception 30 yards for a touchdown that gave the Jaguars a 38-17 lead.
Quotable V: "They lined up in a formation that I knew from some previous plays. So, when they lined up in it again, I just broke on it and didn't think twice about it. I was ready to do the primetime dance, but someone was right behind me, so I had to get in the end zone first." -- Ramsey
Quotable VI: "We got after them. Our offense did a great job getting us the lead, so we knew they would have to pass. We have the coverage to make him pat the ball. We need to get used to this feeling." – Jaguars defensive tackle Malik Jackson