Good to grate: Titans scrape bottom in loss to Jaguars

Good to grate: Titans scrape bottom in loss to Jaguars

The Tennessee Titans were from good to grate – as in grating on the nerves and patience of their fan base with a terrible showing in an embarrassing 20-7 loss in Jacksonville Thursday night.
The Titans were pathetic in every phase of the game, as quarterback Marcus Mariota was sacked nine times by the Jaguars defense. When Mariota wasn’t being tackled or running for his life, he struggled struggled to get into any rhythm, missing open receivers on several throws in the game. Mariota completed 23 of 40 passes for 304 yards, but while the overall numbers look decent, it was an empty stat as the Titans were unable to find any consistency on offense.
The Titans offense, already struggling on third downs, sputtered time and again with sacks and errant throws. Add to that nine penalties for 101 yards, and the fact that the Jaguars were keying on Derrick Henry, who had just 44 yards on 17 carries, and it was a complete disaster for Tennessee.
Special teams got things started in the wrong direction for the Titans, as Adoree’ Jackson tried to field a rolling punt and lost it. The Jaguars, behind rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew, cashed in for a 7-yard touchdown pass to James O’Shaunessy.
After the Titans punted the ball back to the Jaguars, Minshew went to work again, and drove Jacksonville 62 yards in six plays. He capped the drive with a 22-yard TD pass to D.J. Chark and that was all the Jaguars would need as they went up 14-0.
That score stood until halftime, as the Titans time and again struggled to do anything offensively. All five first-half drives ended in punts for Tennessee.
Then, in the second half, Coach Mike Vrabel added a questionable move to the already big mess that was the offense.The Titans had finally pieced together a drive that stalled a the Jacksonville 11. But rather than kick a 29-yard field goal, Vrabel went for it, and Mariota was sacked.
Jacksonville countered by driving downfield and getting a 40-yard field goal from Josh Lambo to put the game out of reach for the Jags.
The Titans did take a brief break from sacks, penalties and questionable decisions in the fourth quarter long enough to score their only points on a 1-yard run from Derrick Henry.
But any thoughts of getting back into the game were quickly dashed as the Jaguars tacked on one more Lambo kick to account for the final margin.
Many questions now loom for the 1-2 Titans, who now also have the added problem of being 0-2 in the AFC South.
Here are some of those questions:
Can they patch up the offensive line long enough to give the quarterback time to throw until Taylor Lewan returns from suspension?
Will the Titans be tempted to replace Mariota with backup Ryan Tannehill in a desperation move to try and keep the season from slipping completely off the rails?
Can the defense, which was thought to be the strength of the team, find a pass rush that has been missing now for two straight games?
How does this team refocus and find any confidence after two dismal performances in a row?
Stay tuned. The Titans have nine days to try and find some answers before heading to Atlanta on Sept. 28.

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  1. Pingback: Titans Scrape Bottom in loss to Jaguars - Rutherford Source

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