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Six Things that Stood Out for Titans in Win Over Jaguars

Posted Jan 1, 2018

TitansOnline.com Senior Writer and Editor Jim Wyatt lists six things that stood out for Titans in win over jaguars.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Here’s a look at six things that stood out for the Titans in Sunday’s playoff-clinching win over the Jaguars:

Mariota’s Swagger

Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota was a gamer down the stretch, with the game on the line. On the critical third-and-five with just over two minutes left, Mariota broke free from the pocket and made something out of nothing. Mariota’s 13-yard run sealed it for the Titans, and he stole the show when he stiff-armed Jaguars safety Barry Church, and then showed a little swagger. If you haven’t seen what Mariota did after he got up, check it out. Mariota gave Church the death stare before heading back to the huddle. It’s no surprise teammates call him the “Silent Assassin.”

Mularkey’s goals

Among the goals Titans coach Mike Mularkey set when he took over last year included making the playoffs, and dominating the AFC South. He wanted to reestablish home-field advantage at Nissan Stadium. Well, the Titans didn’t win the AFC South, which was on the list. But the team finished with a 5-1 record in the division (best since 2002) while also going 6-2 at Nissan Stadium, where the Titans have now win 10 of their last 12 dating back to last season. Today, the team is still in contention for the ultimate goal. Players played like they were on a mission on Sunday, and that’s a good sign.

The Jaguars played their guys

The Titans pummeled the Jaguars 37-16 in September when they were at full strength, and there’s no doubt Jacksonville was in it to win it on Sunday despite having a playoff spot wrapped up. Pro Bowl cornerbacks Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye played every snap on defense, along with linebackers Myles Jack and Telvin Smith. The Jags played all their offensive starters as well, and gave running back Leonard Fournette his regular workload. Sunday’s win was no gimme. The Titans beat the Jaguars straight up -- again.

Locker room mood

There was a mixture of excitement and seriousness in the locker room after the game. Titans defensive lineman Jurrell Casey admitted he was fighting his emotions after the playoff win, and long-time Titans who’d never experienced playoff football were fired up as giddy as well. The rookies were smiling. But there’s a good mix of veterans on the team to keep things grounded. Logan Ryan, Delanie Walker and Wesley Woodyard have all played in Super Bowls, so they’ll make sure the celebrating is kept in check. Their tone was clear after the game: Making it to the playoffs is a proud accomplishment, but it’s just step one.


The Titans made plays on defense and special teams, with safety Kevin Byard leading the way with two interceptions. The Titans forced a season-high four turnovers against the Jaguars, recovering two fumbles and intercepting a pair of passes. The last time the Titans forced at least four turnovers in a game was Dec. 29, 2013 against the Houston Texans. Taywan Taylor made a hustle play to force a muffed punt that tight end Phillip Supernaw recovered in punt coverage, and cornerback Adoree’ Jackson forced a fumble rookie linebacker Jayon Brown jumped on.

Titans can - and need to - play better

The Titans are alive, and in a 12-team race to win the Super Bowl. But there’s no doubt the team is going to have to turn things up a few notches to win. On Sunday, the Titans dropped too many passes. The disastrous collision between Mariota and running back Derrick Henry, who went the wrong way, can’t happen. The Titans have to get better on third-and-one, and they can’t afford games where they go just 3-of-16 (19 percent) on third down, even if it was against the NFL's No.2-ranked defense. Henry managed just 1.8 yards per carry, and had too many negative runs. Across the board, the Titans are going to have to play better to win in the playoffs, or it’s going to be a short stay.