Jacksonville runs wild, extends Titans' run of consecutive losses

Sunday, December 5, 2010 at 5:50pm

More often than not this season Jason Babin has seized an opportunity during the course of a game to get close to an opposing quarterback. It’s called a sack, and the Tennessee Titans’ leader in that regard had at least half of one in eight of the first 11 contests.

Absent any such meeting Sunday, Babin instead chatted up Jacksonville’s David Garrard before each left the playing surface at LP Field.

“He said, ‘Yeah, you guys were calling out what we were running,’” Babin said. “We had no answer for it apparently.”

A regular aspect of the history the Tennessee-Jacksonville rivalry is that one team – as often as possible – tends to kick the other when it’s down.

This time the Titans were mired in the throes of a four-game losing streak, yet the Jaguars never stopped to kick. Instead, they ran right over the home team – again and again and again.

Tennessee surrendered a season-high 258 rushing yards and allowed Jacksonville to hold the ball for 39:54 as a 17-6 defeat extended the string of losses to five.

The contest played out in the manner of the movie Groundhog Day – it was the same thing time after time only with mildly different results – only the vast majority of the crowd, obviously less than announced sellout of 69,143 to begin with, walked out rather than stay to the finish.

“They ran, basically, the same play – similar formation, same blocking scheme – and we didn’t have an answer for it,” Babin said. “I don’t know what the problem was. … It was tough. It was frustrating.”

Jacksonville wasted no time revealing its intent. It ran the ball on its first six offensive plays and 11 of 12 on its opening drive, which concluded with Rashad Jennings’ 11-yard touchdown run on fourth down.

By halftime, three different Jaguars, including Garrard, had more rushing yards than Tennessee’s entire team. By game’s end, Maurice Jones-Drew had a career-high 186 yards on 31 carries, and the Jaguars had more rushing attempts (53) than the Titans had total offensive plays (47).

“In this series, the team that has won the physical battle on both fronts has won the game a large percentage of the time,” Jacksonville coach Jack Del Rio said. “We knew it was going to take that coming in and we did a solid job on both fronts. Obviously, Maurice Jones-Drew was special and we rode Maurice hard.”

Jacksonville is Tennessee’s longest-standing rival among the teams within the AFC South. The twice-annual battles between the Titans and Jaguars date back to the latter’s inaugural season of 1995 and the former AFC Central.

It includes 1999 when the Jaguars lost just three times, twice to the Titans in the regular season and once more in the AFC championship game.

Coming into this one, the margin of victory in each of the last three meetings was at least 17 points. That included Tennessee’s 30-3 Monday night victory at Jacksonville back on Oct. 18, a game in which Tennessee rushed for 153 yards and held the ball a season-high 32:45.

Jacksonville came into this one as the team to beat, tied with Indianapolis for first in the division and with victories in three of its last four, but instead administered a beating.

“The Jaguars … that’s the type of team they are, they’re going to run the ball,” defensive tackle Jason Jones said. “They have a great running back in Jones-Drew. So why not run the ball?”

That logic was only enhanced by the fact that Jones-Drew had rushed for 100 or more in each of the preceding four games, the first of which came two weeks after the earlier loss to Tennessee.

The Titans’ Chris Johnson, conversely, was limited to 53 yards on 13 carries. His longest gain in the first half was six yards. That came on one of the seven total plays they ran in the second quarter.

“This Jaguar-Titan matchup over the years comes down to who runs it and who doesn’t,” coach Jeff Fisher said. “They ran it and we didn’t. They ran it and we didn’t stop it, and they stopped our run. That was the difference in the ballgame.

“… We split games with them in the division this year in identical ways.”

34 Comments on this post:

By: courier37027 on 12/5/10 at 6:11

I saw TITAN1 on television late in the game. He was one of the dozen fans remaining until the bitter end. Lack of crowd was embarrassing with all those empty blue and red seats. Perhaps Fisher should use another "Code Blue" gimmick to rally crowd.

In defense (pun intended) of other Boclair article regarding today's offensive woes, I think this story is closer to the real problem.

By: richgoose on 12/5/10 at 6:53

Courier37027......I am out of town and only saw a glimpse of the sparse stadium, crowd. What do you think the attendence was at kick-off? At what point in the game did the crowd get below 25,000 people?

By: TITAN1 on 12/5/10 at 8:06

Glad you are thinking of me, courier. But your man crush on me is getting a little embarrassing.

By: jwk6179 on 12/5/10 at 10:59

Based on how the Titans played the last two weeks, it would NOT surprise me in the least bit if the Titans DO NOT WIN A GAME THE REST OF THE SEASON. The team has QUIT on Jeff Fisher. And it's no wonder that no other NFL team put a waiver claim in for Randy Moss. When he is splitting time with Damion Williams at WR, it just shows he has NOTHING LEFT IN HIS CAREER.

By: jwk6179 on 12/5/10 at 11:02

The Titans have introduced a new FIGHT SONG for the rest of the season. Here are the words to it : Let's All Do What the Titans Do, Lose, Lose, Lose, Lose, Lose!!!

By: TITAN1 on 12/6/10 at 5:09

Children! LOL!

By: gdiafante on 12/6/10 at 7:38

I watched a little of the game, I felt bad for Tn fans...until they booed after each incomplete pass or punt and half the stadium was gone by the 4th quarter. Way to support your team. No wonder the players quit.

Mathematically they can still make the playoffs...which goes to show what a weird year it is in the NFL.

By: courier37027 on 12/6/10 at 8:45

richgoose, CBS camera shots showed just over half of LP seats full after kickoff. Weather and a poor product on field likely kept many at home. After Jacksonville went up14-0 cameras showed one or two seats full, five or six empty.

Final two minutes of game, maybe 5,000 people. You could have played the fourth quarter at a local high school stadium with plenty of room for everyone. If you went to any 1997 Oilers games at Memphis Mausoleum (Liberty Bowl FIeld), a comparison to yesterday would lead one to believe Memphis would get an NFL franchise.

By: TITAN1 on 12/6/10 at 8:59

Those of you complaining about empty seats, what section were YOU sitting in?

By: jwk6179 on 12/6/10 at 9:22

The Nashville Sports Media talks about WHAT GREAT FANS the Titans have and how loyal they are, when in fact, they should be saying that the Titans have the BEST FAIR WEATHER FANS in the NFL!! They still have a shot of winning the division (even though it's a snowball's chance in HELL), yet they play before an HALF EMPTY STADIUM yesterday. It reminds me of a late December game against Buffalo in 2003. The Titans were the front runners for the top Wild Card spot and played the Bills at home, yet only about 35,000 were in attendance for that game, even though it was announced that it was a SELL OUT CROWD of 69,000 fans. It gets a little chilly and about HALF of the BEST FANS IN THE NFL stay home. You never see EMPTY SEATS in Green Bay or Chicago, NO MATTER HOW BAD THE WEATHER IS!!!!

By: Loretta Bridge on 12/6/10 at 9:30

"Code Blue"? I hope everybody just holds a "Code No Show" and boycotts the next game. That will good great on national TV. Some will say they don't want to wast the ticket but it is a total wast to even go out to LP field. These guys need to understand that people pay hugh amounts of money on tickets and Titan gear and clothing to support this
team. Roos said on his post game interview that they were not accountable to anyone but themselves...........say what? If you feel that way then pull out your check book Mr. Roos and send us our money back on the tickets we bought for that sorry show you had Sunday.

By: TITAN1 on 12/6/10 at 9:46

So, what section were you sitting in? As for Green Bay, a few years ago the Titans were beating them like a drum before halftime on Monday Night Football and it looked like rats leaving a sinking ship. Even John Madden commented on it. There are going to be days like that for one reason or another. I was there yesterday but it is the choice of the ticket holder if he or she goes. I had two that couldn't go and sold those two seats to Titan fans at our tailgate who did not have tickets. I am proud to be a Titans fan following my HOMETOWN team! It is SO much better than living here and pulling for a team in another part of the country and being so JEALOUS of the HOMETOWN team and fans!

By: richgoose on 12/6/10 at 10:04

The poor attendence has been building all year and even last year. Is it possible that there will be blackouts for some games next year? This will be a blow to the Vince Young supporters who use free television as their vehicle to have input into this team.

By: jwk6179 on 12/6/10 at 10:05


By: jwk6179 on 12/6/10 at 10:09

And as far as your remark about Green Bay game, the empty seats you were refering to was during the SECOND HALF, NOT AT THE BEGINNING OF THE GAME. YESTERDAY, the empty seats were seen at the BEGINNING OF THE GAME, GENIUS!!!!!

By: gdiafante on 12/6/10 at 10:19

Like a child, Titan gets defensive. Sorry, son, the truth hurts.

By: courier37027 on 12/6/10 at 10:27

Behold the power of the PSL. It's a crappy investment and no one can give a logical reason why they bought one. However that same PSL pads attendance figures and makes people like TITAN1 think they are team owners.

By: jwk6179 on 12/6/10 at 10:28

The Titans need to have a decade or so FUTILITY like some other teams have had in the past (Bengals, Cardinals, Bucaneers, Saints, Falcons, etc.) and then we will see that the SO-CALLED "BEST FALS IN THE NFL" really are or if they are actually the "BEST FAIR WEATHER FANS IN THE NFL". I SUSPECT it would be the FAIR WEATHER FANS that this town really is!!

By: courier37027 on 12/6/10 at 10:36

jwk, in the past when Titans were losing the local Nashville media would point to Titans as a "character team". Good ol' Steve McNair was going to retire and become a gentleman farmer in Mississippi. When McNair was killed, Vince Young and the Titans would become father figures to his orphaned children. PacMan would be calm and controlled by Coach California Cool, Former NCP columnist Terry McCormick would re-write each season articles on the tight end and linebackers becoming team leaders. When going got tough, these players tuned out.

Now with this horrendous defense, all mouth Finnegan (how in the world did he ever make all pro after looking at yesterday's game?), surly players, disaster interviews, this team's performance is indefensible.

That's okay because Tuesday with The Zone has Toy FIeld, all will be forgiven. One photo op will make Titans again Nashville's darlings.

By: courier37027 on 12/6/10 at 10:42

13 quarters and we haven't heard the radio homer scream "Touchdowwwwnnnnnnn Titans" on an offense score. So there is an upside to this drought.

By: TITAN1 on 12/6/10 at 10:52

LOL! The joy suckers and whiners sure do have their panties in a wad today! LOL! GO TITANS!

By: TITAN1 on 12/6/10 at 10:55

courier, do you know how foolish you make yourself look? You cut down the Titans and their fans and even the local sports media on 104.5 The Zone, yet it is obvious you listen to the Titans Radio Network and The Zone. LOL!

By: courier37027 on 12/6/10 at 10:58

TITAN1, start dialing now. Although the Dan Patrick Show is on the radio, you want to be first in phone line for Three Hour Lunch at noon. Blaine Bishop isn't going to say anything disparaging about the hometown ball team. This show is custom designed for you.

By: TITAN1 on 12/6/10 at 11:17

jw, many teams have moved. Nashville was not on the radar for a NFL team but thanks to Mr Adams and then Mayor Bredesen we have our own team. I am proud to be one of the original PSL owners. Living here all my 55 years, it is great to have our own team. Win or lose, they are the TENNESSEE Titans! I don't have to follow a team from another state. It is your right to follow another team, but when you cut down the HOMETOWN team it looks like you are jealous and envious. Enjoy following your team and don't be so bitter. I sure as heck enjoy following mine.

By: TITAN1 on 12/6/10 at 11:17

You would know, courier. LOL!

By: gdiafante on 12/6/10 at 12:19

Titan, you need thicker skin...and maybe a little maturity about the situation. It's not like people are making up the fact of (1) fans booing, (2) empty seats and (3) the history of Titans fans not showing up in inclimate weather.

Like I said earlier, if the fans have given up, why shouldn't the players?

By: TITAN1 on 12/6/10 at 12:56

Those who think the players have given up are mistaken. I almost bought into that garbage in the first half but in the second half they showed some life. If they had given up they would have for the whole game and not just part of it. One game out of first, they would not give up. They are just not playing well for whatever reason. As for thicker skin and maturity, you are obviously clueless. I guess you think you have thick skin if you sit back and let people trash you or your team for no reason. It is just so sad that some of you have to be so bitter. As for myself, I am a very happy person with a wonderful family and precious grandchildren. I don't need you or anyone to talk to me about thick skin and maturity. Misery loves company and you try to drag others into your pity pool. I love my life, too bad some of you aren't so lucky.

By: jwk6179 on 12/6/10 at 1:21

How were able to have children, let alone grandchildren, since Bud Adams, Jeff Fisher, Vince Young and the rest of the Titans weren't in Nashville when you got married?

By: jwk6179 on 12/6/10 at 1:26

I heard a Titans fan several years ago stating he did not like the Ravens, Colts, Raiders, Cardinals or Rams because they started in one city and moved to another city and He just could like a team that still not playing in their city of origin. If this was really how he feels about teams like that, HOW CAN HE OR ANYONE ELSE LIKE HIM CLAIM TO BE TITAN FANS?

By: TITAN1 on 12/6/10 at 1:30

Such a child.

By: gdiafante on 12/6/10 at 1:56

Nice diatribe, Titan. (sarcasm)

I'm not sure the need to explain your life when the topic is how the fans acted during the game yesterday. You're reacting like a child who found out Santa doesn't exist. No need for a tantrum, little man.

By: TITAN1 on 12/6/10 at 2:01

No tantrum here, sonny. All is very well with me. You can spin it anyway you want, if it makes you happy.

By: richgoose on 12/6/10 at 3:17

TITAN1......If you agree that it is okay for these people to be happy with their projections about the Titans why are you so defensive?

By: TITAN1 on 12/6/10 at 3:32

LOL! Oh the obvious!