JACKSONVILLE – In a weekly feature for the 2023 season, NFL Media and Jaguars Media analyst Bucky Brooks breaks down the Jaguars' performance in a 34-14 victory over the Tennessee Titans at EverBank Stadium Sunday
- The Jaguars bounced back from an embarrassing Week 10 loss to the San Francisco 49ers with an impressive win over the Titans that showcased dominant performances from the offensive, defensive and special teams units. From the opening kick to the final buzzer, the Jaguars overwhelmed the Titans with their effort, physicality and superb execution. Head Coach Doug Pederson wanted to see the squad play with more urgency and passion, while displaying better and more consistent execution. The Jaguars checked off all the boxes during a stellar performance in a lopsided game that was not as close as the score indicated.
KEYS TO VICTORY
- The Jaguars avoided the self-inflicted mistakes that have overshadowed a strong start of the regular season. Despite holding the AFC South lead, the Jaguars had yet to put it together with the team shining in every phase (offense, defense and special teams). Against the Titans, the Jaguars suffocated running back Derrick Henry and harassed quarterback Will Levis with an active defense that attacked the ball like a pack of wolves. The aggressiveness was seemingly contagious as the coverage units pummeled the Titans' returners into submission, resulting in a key turnover that led to a score. With quarterback Trevor Lawrence finding his rhythm with his veteran pass catchers on the perimeter, the Jaguars' offense finally started to flash some of the explosive potential the football world has been waiting on this season. Given the concerns and anxiety that hovered over the franchise last week following the loss to the 49ers, the Jaguars' bounce-back win should encourage doubters to jump back on the bandwagon this week.
- Credit Lawrence for bouncing back from arguably the worst performance of his career with a solid outing that reminded the football world of his immense talent and potential as a franchise quarterback. Though Lawrence's stat line was impressive (he completed 24 of 32 passes for 262 yards with two touchdown passes and two rushing scores), his toughness and resilience stood out against the Titans. The third-year pro did not flinch when he misfired on a few throws, and his unshakeable confidence was revealed when he unleashed a few jaw-dropping "dimes" to wide receivers Calvin Ridley and Christian Kirk. If this version of Lawrence keeps showing up in 2023, the Jaguars will make the deep postseason run everyone expects.
- Ridley had a breakout game against the Titans that could spark him down the stretch. The veteran snagged seven passes for 103 yards with two touchdowns, exhibiting the slick route-running skills and sticky hands that make him a tough matchup on the perimeter. As he settles into his role as the team's matchup winner on isolation routes opposite Kirk and tight end Evan Engram, the Jaguars' offense will create headaches and problems for defensive coordinators tasked with crafting game plans to neutralize a talented set of skill players.
- The Jaguars finally found a rhythm on offense in Week 11. The unit clicked on all cylinders, with the passing game setting the tone for a solid overall performance. Lawrence connected with seven different receivers as part of a balanced distribution plan that kept everyone involved. With Travis Etienne, D'Ernest Johnson, and Tank Bigsby splitting the load as part of a "back-by-committee" approach, the Jaguars' offense operated like a well-oiled machine against the Titans.
- Defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell's unit played with the urgency and physicality that has become the hallmark of a defense that routinely takes the ball away. The defense was up to its old tricks, scooping up a fumble on an unforced error (Levis' botched snap), while harassing the rookie into an uneven performance from the pocket. The Jaguars clogged up running lanes for Henry, forcing the former NFL rushing champ into a subpar effort (10 carries for 38 yards) that caused the Titans to abandon their ultraconservative game plan. Though the defense needs to clean up the execution errors that enabled wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins to catch a touchdown on a flea flicker from a "Wildcat" formation, the overall performance should earn positive reviews from the coaching staff when they study the tape.