Many among the Duval Devout will enjoy the Jacksonville Jaguars divisional win over the Tennessee Titans in a tune-up game, 34-13. While it was far from perfect, here are some of the recovery points that the Jags tightened up against Tennessee in their second win at their home stadium.
The Return of Ridley
While wide receiver Calvin Ridley didn’t have the hottest stat sheet of the season, it was certainly one of his best outings since his debut against the Colts. Drawing yards in with defensive pass inference calls in addition to his seven catches for 103 yards, the Duval Devout heard his name called for more positive plays at EverBank Stadium than any other.
Not only did he have two touchdowns (with a chance for another at the end of the second quarter where quarterback Trevor Lawrence missed him wide open throwing on the run), he also had an 18-yard run on a reverse play.
With today’s performance, Ridley eclipsed the 500-yard mark on the season. If he and Lawrence can continue finding chemistry moving forward, it would serve their journey toward a back-to-back AFC South Championship and make first-year Jaguar a 1,000-yard receiver.
The Offense Back Up and Running
A component to most successful offenses is balance. The Jaguars managed to pin that up despite a solid Titans defensive front featuring defensive tackle Jeffrey Simmons. While Travis Etienne only turned in 52 yards on 24 carries, as a team Jacksonville churned out 128 yards on 36 attempts.
With Etienne slowed, they still found production from Lawrence’s legs. While the lion’s share of the quarterback’s production was in the air, his two rushing touchdowns helped deliver a far better redzone presence than last week where they scored touchdowns on 3-of-5 attempts.
Combine that with Lawrence’s day completing 24 of his 32 passes for 262 yards and two more touchdowns with no turnovers, and that’s the making of a great showing.
The Defense Returning to Form
As a unit that has led the NFL in turnovers throughout the year, they were empty-handed against the 49ers. That changed in spades this week.
Not only did the special teams force and recover a fumble thanks to long snapper Ross Masticik, linebacker and defensive captain Foyesade Oluokun picked up a ball on the ground by left Titans’ quarterback Will Levis.
The biggest complaint that could be levied on the defense might be dropping opportunities for interceptions from Levis. The only points they truly allowed were a trick play 43-yard bomb to wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins set up by a highly questionable roughing the passer call on a third down play and a garbage time scoring drive capped by a two-yard pass to Simmons who reported eligible for the offense.
This is the sort of effort and opportunity that the Jags will need to win against a much better opponent in Houston to keep themselves in the driver’s seat to win the division.