The Jaguars make it to the playoffs with a timely defense, which is just enough offense against the Titans

The Jaguars make it to the playoffs with a timely defense, which is just enough offense against the Titans

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Rayshawn Jenkins and Josh Allen put the Jacksonville Jaguars back in the playoffs for the first time since 2017.

The defense that had been battered all night finally came around with the big play: Jenkins’ stripping sack from Tennessee Titans’ Joshua Dobbs and Allen’s 37-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown finally gave the Jaguars the lead with 2:51 to play. That gave the (9-8) Jaguars the AFC South title with a 20-16 win, sending them to the playoffs for the first time since 2017.

The Jaguars defense had two big plays earlier in the second half – Tyson Campbell’s interception to make a field goal and Roy Robertson-Harris’ sack to stop another Titans drive – but could only score three points. Defense finally got big when it mattered most.

Jenkins was untouched in the blitz and hit Dobbs’ arm before releasing the football. Allen fielded it on one soft bounce and it went untouched in the end zone. It was the team’s 27th forced spin of the season. They scored 111 points on those turnovers, which ties with the New England Patriots for the most in the NFL, according to ESPN Stats & Information Research.

It was Jenkins’ second save for the Jaguars this season. The Dallas Cowboys intercepted Dak Prescott and returned it for a touchdown in overtime to defeat the Cowboys on December 18.

It was the fourth time the Jaguars had battled to win the fourth quarter. It also follows the Baltimore Ravens, Las Vegas Raiders, and Cowboys.

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The Jaguars pull within three points after Christian Kirk pulled the ball at one point.

Jacksonville Jaguars

The worrying trend: The Jaguars turned the ball over on a failed trick play—Trevor Lawrence’s pitch to Jamal Agnew was high—and it was the team’s 13th loss of the season, tied with the Indianapolis Colts for the most in the NFL. Lawrence was marked with his ninth NFL shutout loss of the season.

“Obviously we’re going to focus on that,” coach Doug Pederson said this week of the turnovers. “We have to protect football. Just like every week you try to serve junk food, but you have to protect football as well. We all understand how much turnovers can do in games like this.”

QB Breakdown: Lawrence missed two potential touchdowns with his being knocked over and a fall. Lawrence knocked out wide opener Zee Jones in the end zone. Per NFL NextGen Stats Jones had 10.2 yards from the nearest defender. Lawrence was pressured on the play, but the error forced the Jaguars to settle for a field goal to cut the Titans’ lead to 13-10.

On a third-and-out early in the fourth quarter, Lawrence tipped Christian Kirk into the front corner of the end zone. It was pressed again when Roger McCreary caught up to Kirk, who had a stride, and broke up the pass. That forced the Jaguars to settle for another field goal to narrow the Giants’ lead to 16-13. That possession began with Tyson Campbell intercepting a Dobbs pass. A touchdown either way would have given the Jaguars the lead and put pressure on the Titans.

Buy on … Jamal Agnew: The Jaguars had a great day, with 125 yards on four kickoff returns and 33 yards on two punt returns. He started a stagnant Jaguars offense with a 54-yard return that set up the Jaguars at midfield. That turned into the Jaguars’ only offensive touchdown. This makes up for the confusion that occurred earlier in the game. Agnew has been on the verge of breaking several touchdown returns in the past month, and now he’ll have at least another week to try and get one. Michael De Rocco

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Derek Henry pins the Jaguars defender to the ground as he runs near the sidelines.

Tennessee Titans

The Titans’ loss ended the season and cost Tennessee the AFC South Division title. The Titans led for most of the game but two late turnovers ruled them out. The Tennessee defense held the Jaguars to three yards in seven plays in the fourth quarter, not counting the two times Jacksonville dropped the ball to drive the clock down.

Tennessee’s seven-game losing streak paired with the Jaguars’ five-game winning streak was the difference in the season. Jaguar has swept the titans for the first time since 2014.

Describe the game in two words: nail biting Well, maybe that’s one word. But the Titans lost their sixth game by a single score of the year, despite taking a lead late in the fourth quarter.

The worrying trend: Rookie cornerback Roger McCreary gave up another touchdown catch to push his season total to seven. This time Christian Kirk beat McCreary to score. Should have had over the top security help but Joshua Callow was late to the party. McCreary nearly gave up another touchdown when he was caught in traffic, and Zay Jones was open in the back of the end zone. Fortunately for McCreary, Lawrence Jones skipped Trevor, and the Jaguars had to be content with a field goal.

QB Breakdown: Dobbs finished with 20 catches on 29 pass attempts for 179 yards, 1 touchdown and an interception. In only his second start, Dobbs performed well against the blitz, completing seven of nine passes for 73 yards and a TD in the first half. But a Rayshawn Jenkins snap in the fourth quarter led to a Dobbs fumble, which was returned for a touchdown. At one point, Dobbs completed nine consecutive passes including a very well placed layup to Austin Hooper on a break road on third down. Dobbs also made a drop perfect throw in the bucket to Chigoziem Okonkwo for a touchdown. – Toron Davenport

#Jaguars #playoffs #timely #defense #offense #Titans

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