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Game Notes: Titans vs. Jaguars

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TITANS EARN PLAYOFF BERTH:</span>** The win against the Jaguars secured the Titans' first playoff appearance since the 2008 season.  They enter the playoffs as the fifth seed in the AFC, poised for a Saturday afternoon matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium in the Wild Card round. 

<span style="text-decoration: underline;">TITANS GO 5-1 IN AFC SOUTH:</span> The Titans finished the regular season with a 5-1 record in the AFC South, giving them their second-best divisional record since the formation of the AFC South in 2002. In 2002, the Titans won all six divisional games.  Until this year, the most divisional wins they accumulated in a season since then was four.  The Titans swept the 2017 season series with the Jaguars and with the Indianapolis Colts and split with the Houston Texans. 

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TITANS WIN AT NISSAN STADIUM AGAIN:** The win against the Jaguars gave the Titans 10 victories in their 12 most recent home games.

TITANS WINNING UNDER MULARKEY: The victory gave the Titans a 9-7 record and their second consecutive winning record (9-7 in 2016) in two full seasons under Mike Mularkey. The last time the Titans recorded consecutive winning seasons was 2007 (10-6) and 2008 (13-3). 

KICKOFF TEMPERATURE SETS NEW NISSAN STADIUM RECORD: The official kickoff temperature was 23 degrees, making it the coldest game ever played at Nissan Stadium, which opened in 1999.  Previously, the record low was 25 degrees against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Nov. 17, 2014.  With the winds at kickoff against the Jaguars measured at five miles per hour, the wind chill computed to 16 degrees.  That tied for the second-lowest wind chill in Nissan Stadium history and the lowest since the same game against the Steelers (25 degrees, wind chill of 16 degrees).  The lowest wind chill for a Titans game at Nissan Stadium was 14 degrees (actual temperature 29 degrees) against the Dallas Cowboys on Dec. 25, 2000. 

TITANS RUSH 39 TIMES: The Titans rushed for 116 yards on 39 attempts.  They recorded their highest carry total since they had 42 attempts against the Denver Broncos on Dec. 11, 2016.

HENRY CARRIES THE LOAD: With DeMarco Murray inactive due to a knee injury, second-year running back Derrick Henry started and took the bulk of the carries for the Titans against the NFL’s third-ranked defense.  The second-year running back rushed for 51 yards on a career-high 28 carries.  Henry finished the season with a team-high 744 rushing yards on 176 carries and rushed for five touchdowns. 

HENRY SCORES FIRST RECEIVING TOUCHDOWN: Early in the second quarter, Derrick Henry took a screen pass from Marcus Mariota and turned it into a 66-yard touchdown.  It was the longest reception of Henry’s career and his first career touchdown reception. 

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BIG PLAYS BY HENRY IN 2017:** With his 66-yard touchdown reception, Derrick Henry recorded his third touchdown of the season of at least 60 yards.  He had a 72-yard touchdown run against Indianapolis on Oct. 16 and a 75-yard touchdown run against Houston on Dec. 3.  Across the NFL, only Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill recorded more touchdowns of at least 60 yards in 2017 (five).  In the “Titans era” (1999-present), the only other Titans player to produce at least three 60-yard touchdowns in a season was Chris Johnson, who had five such plays in 2009 and three such plays in 2012. 

MARIOTA’S SECOND-LONGEST PASS: Marcus Mariota’s 66-yard touchdown pass to Derrick Henry in the second quarter qualified as the second-longest pass of Mariota’s career.  His only longer pass was a 75-yard touchdown strike at Pittsburgh earlier this season (Nov. 16). 

MARIOTA RUSHES FOR 60: Marcus Mariota led the Titans with 60 rushing yards on 10 attempts, setting a career high in attempts and recording the second-highest yardage total of his career (nine vs. Jacksonville on Dec. 6, 2015).  His rushing total against the Jaguars included a crucial 13-yard scramble on third-and-five just before the two-minute warning in the fourth quarter. 

WALKER REACHES 800 YARDS AGAIN: On a nine-yard catch in the third quarter, tight end Delanie Walker reached the 800-yard receiving mark for the fourth consecutive season and finished the season with 807 yards.  No other tight end in franchise history has a single 800-yard receiving season.   

WALKER LEADS IN RECEIVING IN 2017: Tight end Delanie Walker led the Titans in the regular season with 74 receptions and 807 receiving yards.  Among all NFL tight ends, he tied for third in receptions (83 by Travis Kelce, 80 by Jack Doyle and 74 by Zach Ertz) and ranked fourth in receiving yards (1,084 by Rob Gronkowski, 1,038 by Kelce and 824 by Ertz). 

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MURRAY MISSES GAME FOR FIRST TIME AS A TITAN:** DeMarco Murray had started all 31 games in his two seasons with the Titans prior to being inactive Sunday due to a knee injury.  He finished his seventh NFL regular season with a team-high 184 carries for 659 yards and six touchdowns.  As a receiver, he added 39 catches for 266 yards and a score.   

CONKLIN JOINS KEARSE, WILLIAMS, ROOS & WARMACK: Titans right tackle Jack Conklin recorded his 16th start of the season and the 32nd start of his two-year career at right tackle.  In doing so, he joined four other former Titans and two offensive linemen in a rare feat.  Since the team became the Titans in 1999, only five of its players, including Conklin, have started all 32 games from the time they were drafted through their second seasons: Conklin, defensive end Jevon Kearse (1999–2000), safety Tank Williams (2002–2003), offensive tackle Michael Roos (2005–2006) and guard Chance Warmack (2013–2014).

TITANS FORCE FOUR TURNOVERS: 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. 

DEFENSE LIMITS JAGUARS OFFENSE: The Titans defense allowed the Jaguars offense to score only three of the team’s 10 points (with a touchdown scored by Jaguars defense).  The Jaguars were limited to a season-low 13 first downs and 229 total net yards on offense, which was their second-lowest output of the season (219 at Arizona).  The Jaguars passed for 146 net yards and averaged only 3.5 yards on 24 total carries. 

ROOKIES COMBINE FOR TAKEAWAY: Late in the second quarter, two Titans rookies combined to force a Jaguars turnover.  On a catch by wide receiver Keelan Cole, cornerback Adoree’ Jackson punched the ball out, and linebacker Jayon Brown was there to recover it.   Jackson recorded his third forced fumble of the season, and Brown notched his first fumble recovery.

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SACK BY CASEY:** In the third quarter, defensive tackle Jurrell Casey dropped Blake Bortles for a two-yard loss.  The play gave the three-time Pro Bowl selection six sacks in 2017, marking the third season of his career with at least six sacks.  It also gave Casey 39 career sacks, putting him past Kyle Vanden Bosch (38.5) for 10th on the franchise’s all-time career sack list.

BYARD SNARES SHARE OF NFL INTERCEPTION LEAD: In the third quarter, safety Kevin Byard intercepted a Blake Bortles pass and raced 29 yards into Jacksonville territory on the return.  Then, in the fourth quarter, Byard sealed the victory with his second interception of the game.  Byard finished 2017 with eight interceptions, which tied Detroit cornerback Darius Slay’s total for the most in the NFL.  The eight interceptions were the most by any franchise player since Oilers cornerback Rishard Johnson picked off eight passes in 1990.  Byard’s total tied for the seventh-highest single-season mark in franchise history. 

ORAKPO FIRST SINCE KEARSE: With a 10-yard sack in the fourth quarter, outside linebacker Brian Orakpo became the first Titans player since Jevon Kearse (1999–2001) to record at least seven sacks in three consecutive seasons.  Orakpo ranked second on the Titans in 2017 with seven sacks and now has 64.5 career sacks. 

KERN CAPS SEASON WITH NINE PUNTS: Brett Kern capped his Pro Bowl campaign with nine punts for a 42.6-yard average (41.1 net) with four punts inside the 20.  His day included a 62-yarder from his own end zone in the first quarter and a 70-yarder to pin the Jaguars at their five-yard line in the third quarter. 

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KERN LEADS NFL, SETS TEAM RECORDS IN GROSS AND NET PUNTING:** Brett Kern’s 2017 regular season included 75 punts for a 49.7-yard gross average and a 44.6-yard net average with 28 punts inside the 20.  He led the NFL in gross punting and net punting average, and he established new franchise records for the two categories as well.  He topped the franchise records he previously set with a 47.6-yard gross average in 2012 and a 40.8-yard net average in 2014.  Kern’s 2017 gross and net averages  ranked seventh and second, respectively, in NFL history. The only player with a better net average was Rams punter Johnny Hekker with a 46.0-yard mark in 2016.

SUCCOP TIES FOR SECOND IN SINGLE-SEASON FIELD GOALS: Ryan Succop kicked three field goals against the Jaguars, hitting from 25 and 39 yards in the second quarter and 38 yards in the third quarter.  He finished 2017 with 35 field goals in 42 attempts, and in doing so, he tied Rob Bironas (35-of-39 in 2007) for the second-highest number of field goals in franchise history in a single season.  The only time a player exceeded Succop’s total was 1998, when Al Del Greco made 36 field goals on 39 attempts. 

SUCCOP TIES FRANCHISE SCORING RECORD: Ryan Succop scored nine total points against the Jaguars, giving him a career-high 136 points in 2017.  He made 35 field goals and 31 extra points.  Succop tied Al Del Greco’s 1998 total of 136 points for the most in franchise history.  Succop’s total ranked ninth in the NFL in 2017. 

SUPERNAW RECORDS TAKEAWAY: In the second quarter, Phillip Supernaw recovered a muffed punt return by Jaydon Mickens to record his first career fumble recovery. 

TITANS CALLED FOR TWO PENALTIES: The Titans committed only two penalties for 15 yards, tying their best marks of 2017 in both categories (Nov. 26 at Indianapolis). The Titans’ 85 penalties in 2017 ranked second in the NFL behind only the Carolina Panthers’ 83 penalties.  

TITANS HAVE 10 PLAYERS START EVERY GAME: The Titans had 10 players record starts in all 16 games in 2017: safety Kevin Byard, defensive tackle Jurrell Casey, cornerback Adoree’ Jackson, outside linebacker Brian Orakpo, inside linebacker Avery Williamson, inside linebacker Wesley Woodyard, right tackle Jack Conklin, center Ben Jones, right guard Josh Kline and left tackle Taylor Lewan.  The last time the Titans had as many players start 16 games was when 10 players accomplished the feat in 2010.

INACTIVES: The Titans’ inactive players were quarterback Brandon Weeden, running back DeMarco Murray, defensive back Curtis Riley, outside linebacker Josh Carraway, linebacker Nate Palmer, guard/center Corey Levin and wide receiver Harry Douglas.  Murray (knee) was listed on the injury report leading up to the game.

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