JACKSONVILLE – In a weekly feature for the 2022 season, NFL Media and Jaguars Media analyst Bucky Brooks breaks down the Jaguars' performance in a 36-22 victory over the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn., Sunday
- The Jaguars matched the physicality and toughness of the Titans in a hard-hitting affair. After a sluggish opening quarter, the Jaguars beat up the bully while forcing four turnovers and making a series of critical plays that energized the underdogs on the road. With Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence playing at an all-star level against a defense overwhelmed by his skill and arm talent, the Jaguars were the best team on the field and looked like a threat to take the Titans' crown.
KEYS TO VICTORY
- The Jaguars won due to their lopsided advantage in the turnover battle. The Jaguars' plus-four edge provided the team with easy scoring opportunities while disrupting the rhythm and flow of a Titans offense that started strong behind running back Derrick Henry's explosive opening quarter. The miscues tipped the momentum into the Jaguars' favor and helped the visitors to a much-needed win over their division rival.
- The No. 1 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, Lawrence has blossomed into a franchise player in his second season. Lawrence looked like the best player on the field against the Titans, exhibiting the confidence, poise and "take-over-the-game" talent that prompted NFL executives and scouts to rave about his potential throughout the pre-draft process. Against the Titans, the second-year veteran found his groove while completing 30 of 42 passes for 368 yards and three touchdowns. Lawrence dazzled inside and outside of the pocket while dropping "dimes" to receivers all over the field. The combination of pinpoint ball placement and superb timing made it nearly impossible for the Titans to contain the Jaguars' quick-rhythm aerial attack. With Lawrence dealing like a Blackjack dealer at a Las Vegas casino, the Jaguars' offense looked like the high-powered unit that Head Coach Doug Pederson envisioned when putting it together this offseason.
- After shredding the Titans' secondary, tight end Evan Engram is the choice. The veteran totaled 162 receiving yards and two touchdowns on 11 receptions as the Jaguars' designated No. 1 target on the day. Engram worked over the Titans' linebackers and safeties on an assortment of intermediate routes that showcased his superior stop-start quickness and burst. In addition, the Jaguars cleverly deployed the crafty pass catcher at different locations to prevent the Titans from utilizing double coverage or bracket tactics to neutralize him. Considering Engram dominated the passing game against a rival that had the Jaguars' number, the veteran deserves a game ball for his efforts.
- The Jaguars' offense is at its best when the game plan runs through Lawrence. The franchise quarterback is playing at an elite level, and the offense is humming due to his emergence as a superstar. As a quick-rhythm passer with the capacity to throw from the pocket or on the move, the Jaguars utilized various passing game concepts to take advantage of the Titans' second-level defenders. Engram and wide receiver Zay Jones (eight catches, 77 yards, and a score) were the top targets on the day, but wide receivers Christian Kirk and Jamal Agnew also contributed as complementary pass catchers. Although running back Travis Etienne Jr. was a non-factor on the ground (17 carries, 32 yards), the Jaguars could move the ball up and down the field due Lawrence's sensational play.
- The Jaguars' defense stepped up against the Titans. The unit finally delivered enough big hits on Henry to slow down the two-time NFL rushing champion while forcing quarterback Ryan Tannehill out of his comfort zone as a game manager. Although Tannehill's numbers were solid (completed 25 of 38 passes for 254 yards, two touchdowns and an interception), the Titans are not built to play as an aerial circus. With the Titans forced to rely on their punch-less passing game, the Jaguars employed the "bend-but-don't-break" tactics that enabled them to take away the big plays and force opponents to drive the length of the field. The Titans were not up to executing efficiently and effectively for four quarters, and the Jaguars could get enough stops to win.
Top moments captured from the Jaguars Week 14 victory against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee. All images were shot and edited by Kam Nedd, Manager of Photography.