Titans explode for 4 TDs in 6 plays, rout Jaguars 42-20
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Titans scored touchdowns so fast and furiously quarterback Ryan Tannehill needed a little help recalling the exact order.
Call it a very fun blur of points.
The Titans scored four touchdowns over six offensive plays in the third quarter, routing the Jacksonville Jaguars 42-20 Sunday for their second straight victory to keep themselves firmly in the AFC playoff hunt.
“That was a crazy stretch,” Tannehill said.
Tannehill ran for two TDs and threw two TDs to improve to 4-1 as Tennessee’s starter. Derrick Henry became the first player in the NFL since 2006 to score two TDs within 20 seconds, and rookie receiver A.J. Brown capped the scoring spurt with a 65-yard TD catch that made it 35-3 with 6:57 left in the third quarter.
“I don’t think I’ve been a part of something that quick,” Henry said. “But that’s just credit to everybody on offense just being locked in and hopefully we can keep this momentum going and just build off it.”
The Titans (6-5) are tied with Indianapolis and Oakland just outside the AFC’s final wild-card spot — their next two opponents with both on the road.
Jacksonville (4-7) lost its third straight all inside the AFC South, the past two since Nick Foles returned to the lineup.
The Jaguars had nine sacks in beating the Titans 20-7 in September with Marcus Mariota at quarterback for Tennessee. They sacked Tannehill only once, though they forced a pair of fumbles by Tennessee. Ranked 29th in the NFL against the run, the Jaguars gave up 219 yards as the Titans had a 471-369 edge in total offense.
Jaguars coach Doug Marrone was left furious and dealing with more questions about his job security.
“Am I embarrassed?” Marrone said. “Yes I am that. I’m not speaking for anyone else. You’re going to have to tell them. But I promised them that I am going to do a better job, and I’m going to work my butt off to get this thing right.”
Leonard Fournette had a pair of 1-yard TD runs and finished with 97 yards.
Tannehill ran for a 21-yard TD, jumping over Jaguars cornerback Tre Herndon at the goal line for a 7-3 halftime lead. The Titans seized control scoring three TDs on consecutive offensive plays in the third with the fourth coming at the end of a three-play drive:
— Offensive lineman Dennis Kelly caught a 1-yard TD pass from Tannehill.
— After a three-and-out by Jacksonville, Henry went through the middle to the left sideline stiff-arming Jaguars safety Jarrod Wilson to the ground on his way to a 74-yard TD.
— Tannehill found Brown around the Titans 48, and the rookie ran to the end zone for a 35-3 lead with 6:57 left in the third.
“It was like we played one half of good football,” Jaguars defensive lineman Calais Campbell said.
Tannehill was 14 of 18 for 259 yards passing, Henry finished with 19 carries for 159 yards and Brown had four catches for 135 yards.
The Jaguars recovered an onside kick after Fournette’s second TD but touched the ball before it went 10 yards. Tannehill ran for his second TD four plays later.
With his two TDs 16 seconds apart, Henry was the first to score that quickly since Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson scored two TDs in 15 seconds of Week 10 in 2006. Henry also joined Napoleon Kaufman (1997-99) and Robert Smith (1997-2000) as the only players in NFL history with a rushing TD of at least 70 yards in three consecutive seasons.
Henry had a 99-yarder against the Jaguars last season, and he said his 74-yarder was similar going down the opposite sideline to the other end zone.
“I was trying to keep him away as I kept trying to stay inbounds and keep moving down the field,” Henry said. “You know it worked again.”
Jaguars safety Ronnie Harrison suffered a concussion late in the first quarter and did not return. Herndon was evaluated for a concussion after trying to tackle Tannehill. He was cleared and returned.
Titans left tackle Taylor Lewan went down after taking an apparent shot in the ribs at the end of the first quarter. He missed the next play where Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue beat Lewan’s replacement to sack Tannehill and strip him of the ball to start the second quarter. Titans cornerback LeShaun Sims hurt an ankle.
Jaguars: Host Tampa Bay on Sunday.
Titans: Visit Indianapolis on Sunday.
Follow Teresa M. Walker at www.twitter.com/teresamwalker