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What We Learned: Jaguars 19, Titans 13

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JACKSONVILLE – Senior writer John Oehser examines what we learned from the Jaguars' 19-13 victory over the Tennessee Titans Thursday night …

1)The Jaguars are in this thing.The Jaguars are 4-6 and they're a half-game out of first place in the AFC South. Time to forget the rough patches early in the season, and it's even time to forget for a while what this team isn't. That's because what it is with six games remaining is a contender. Good stuff.

2)The 'Bank still rocks.Jaguars fans were ready to celebrate with this team. They were ready to believe. They were ready to cheer. All it was going to take was a victory. The Jaguars got it, and as a result, the fans celebrated. They cheered. And now they get to believe past Thanksgiving. That's good stuff, too.

3)Gold is … well, gold. Some people loved it; others not so much. But the Jaguars' all-gold uniforms certainly created a look not previously seen at the 'Bank – and they created a memory. And you know what? They did actually go really well with the helmets, didn't they?

4)The Jaguars are in this thing. Really, really in it.

5)Allen Robinson is big-time.If he's not elite yet, he's getting there in a hurry. It's getting to the point where you're surprised when he doesn't come down with a 50-50 ball. It's also getting to the point where you're surprised when he doesn't do something memorable each game.

6)The pass protection remains an issue.Contrary to popular Twitter opinion, this is not all Luke Joeckel – and it's not all on the offensive line. When teams blitz, backs must pick up blitzers. And in the NFL, the quarterback must move well in the pocket and sense the rush. The second two haven't been happening well enough in recent weeks.

Take a look back at some of the best images from the Jaguars' 19-13 win over the Titans on Thursday Night Football.

7)Paul Posluszny is tough – like strangely tough. Poz 1, Wall 0.

8)Julius Thomas matters.His statistics since signing as an unrestricted free agent this past offseason haven't been what anyone hoped, but his move to get open on the late touchdown Thursday was veteran stuff. Red-zone touchdowns have been rare lately for the Jaguars. The one Thomas got Thursday hardly could have come at a bigger time.

9)Davon House was a good free-agent signing. Maybe the Jaguars' best of the offseason. Who would have thought that?

10)Then again …Defensive end Jared Odrick has been more consistent by the week. There are reasons the Jaguars' run defense has been good this season, and he's a big one.

11)The short-yardage run offense …well, London was no fluke, evidently. The Jaguars' struggles on third-and-short – or just about anything and short – have been real this season. On Thursday, they showed up again.

12)Aaron Colvin can blitz.You can't use him every play; if teams expect the blitz, then the blitz often doesn't work. But Colvin has really good blitzing ability from the nickel/corner position. Look for that to become a staple – and it sort of already has.

The Jaguars defeated the Tennessee Titans in epic fashion. Here are some player thoughts from Thursday night's victory!

13)Roy Miller is good.The Jaguars' veteran defensive tackle is playing at a Pro Bowl level. The interior run defense didn't drop off Thursday with Sen'Derrick Marks out. Miller, Tyson Alualu and Abry Jones were the major reasons for that.

14)And that Telvin Smith guy …he's good, too – and crazy athletic. He's going to be fun to watch in the coming seasons … in Hawaii.

15)The special teams can play.It has been a really difficult season for the Jaguars' special teams, but they were indeed special Thursday. Jason Myers went five for five including four made field goals, and punter Bryan Anger had one of the best games of his four-year career. And, of course …

16)… Rashad Greene is the punt returner.He held this role for the first two games of the season. When he went on the injured reserve/designated to return, Bryan Walters and Nick Marshall played the role for eight games. After Greene's 63-yard punt return set up the game-winning touchdown it will take a lot for Greene to lose the job.

17)Johnathan Cyprien is getting better and better.The stretch since a Week 4 loss in Indianapolis has been the best of Cyprien's career, and the last three games have been really good.

18)Blake Bortles does have a clutch gene …He has been far from perfect, but he has an NFL-high four fourth-quarter game-winning drives this season. Credit Bortles for this Thursday: he avoided interceptions – for the most part – and aside from a play or two had one of his most efficient games of the season.

19)… but he's still struggling with turnovers.Bortles has improved just about everywhere this season: win-loss record, touchdown-interception ratio, yards. But he still has a tendency to throw one or two very intercept-able passes a game. That tendency seems to hurt the Jaguars at really critical times.

20)The Jaguars are in this thing.And isn't that going to make the turkey taste a little better this week?

 
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