The Titans, short-handed as they were, stunned the Jacksonville Jaguars with an ugly 9-6 win that looked like a thing of beauty for Tennessee in the AFC South standings.
In topping the Jaguars on the road as a 9 ½-point underdog, the Titans turned the game into a battle in the trenches, keeping it low scoring and using three Ryan Succop field goals for all their scoring.
Tennessee is now 2-1 on the season, and is 2-0 in the AFC South after dispensing with both Houston and Jacksonville in consecutive weeks.
Oh, and by the way, Marcus Mariota, who didn’t start the game because he still has numbness in his throwing hand, was pressed into action when Blaine Gabbert was knocked out of the game on the second offensive series and delivered a solid performance in leading the Titans to victory.
Mariota completed 12 of 18 passes for exactly 100 yards, as the Titans’ biggest pass play of the day went for just 22 yards. Mariota also added 51 yards rushing on seven carries, including a key 14-yard run on a read option play that helped to run the clock and lead the Titans to the win.
Tennessee broke on top getting Succop’s 39-yard field goal to take a 3-0 lead. It was on that series that Gabbert was injured, taking a shot to the head from Malik Jackson on a sack. Gabbert fumbled the ball, and the Jaguars recovered, but that was negated when Jackson was hit for a 15-yard helmet-to-helmet hit that not only voided the turnover but gave the Titans a first down and kept the drive alive.
The Jaguars answered with a Josh Lambo field goal of their own in the second quarter from 46 yards out to tie the game at 3-3.
Tennessee drove into Jaguars territory late in the first half, but Succop’s 48-yard field goal sailed wide right as the first half expired.
Succop atoned for that on the first series of the second half, as the Titans again drove downfield and got in position to score. Succop connected on a 36-yard kick to give the Titans a 6-3 edge.
Again, Jacksonville came back and tied the game on Lambo’s 38-yard field goal in the fourth quarter. But the Titans answered that with another drive of their own that ended in Succop’s 28-yard kick with 4:06 left to play.
The Titans defense, which had three sacks against Blake Bortles in the game, held on their final two series, allowed Tennessee to escape with its third straight win over the Jaguars and second in a row in Jacksonville.
In addition to Gabbert being placed in the league’s concussion protocol due to the hit he took, the Titans also lost cornerback Adoree’ Jackson in the second quarter to a concussion. The play took place on a punt return, as James O’Shaughnessy delivered a hard hit that caught Jackson in the head, leaving him wobbly as he came off the field.