Finally! Titans snap 11-game home skid, beat Jaguars 42-39

Finally! Titans snap 11-game home skid, beat Jaguars 42-39

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Titans are grateful they play the Jacksonville Jaguars at least once a year in Music City.

Marcus Mariota scored the go-ahead touchdown on an 87-yard run midway through a wild fourth quarter, and the Titans edged the Jaguars 42-39 on Sunday to snap the NFL's longest home skid at 11 games.

The Titans (3-9) had not won on their own field since Oct. 12, 2014, when a blocked field goal helped them beat these very same Jaguars, 16-14. That was their lone home victory last season.

The teams combined for many more points Sunday, scoring six touchdowns in the fourth quarter alone, tying for the second-most TDs in a fourth quarter since 1940, according to STATS.

"You got to start somewhere to put your foot down and draw the line and say enough's enough," Titans interim coach Mike Mularkey said. "Was it today? We'll see. I'd like to think it is."

The Jaguars (4-8) failed to sweep Tennessee yet again, something they haven't managed in this AFC South rivalry since 2005. Blake Bortles threw for 322 yards and five touchdowns — three to Allen Robinson, who had 10 catches for 153 yards. Bortles set a franchise record for most TD passes in a season in the loss.

"I'd definitely rather win," Bortles said. "I'd like to set the franchise record for wins, that's for sure."

Even with the high-scoring final quarter, the Jaguars cost themselves when Jason Myers missed two extra points. They also had a pass batted down on a 2-point conversion attempt.

Jacksonville had one last chance. But Da'Norris Searcy and Karl Klug sacked Bortles on fourth-and-4 with 2:02 left at the Tennessee 6.

"I'm just glad we pulled out a close game," Titans wide receiver Kendall Wright said. "We've been in close games all season, and haven't been able to pull it out, but today we did."

Mariota kneeled down to end the game and start a long-awaited celebration as the Titans topped their win total of last season, when going 2-14 earned them the right to draft Mariota out of Oregon.

The rookie quarterback finished with 112 yards rushing, becoming the first Tennessee player to run for at least 100 yards since Chris Johnson on Dec. 29, 2013. The Heisman Trophy winner also threw for three touchdowns and 268 yards, becoming the first player in NFL history to throw for more than 250 yards, run for more than 100 and throw TD passes in a game.

Titans rookie wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham had his best day as a pro with five catches for 119 yards.

Mariota completed the only pass he threw in the third quarter but was sacked three times, including once when he tripped. Yet he opened the fourth period with a 47-yard TD pass to Green-Beckham, who bounced off Jaguars safety Sergio Brown and ran for the score.

That was just the first in a crazy stretch when these teams traded TDs; only Chicago and Detroit combined for more fourth-quarter TDs with seven on Sept. 30, 2007.

Bortles threw for three himself in the quarter. Jacksonville went up 32-28 on his 9-yard pass to Julius Thomas after Jaguars linebacker Telvin Smith sacked Mariota and stripped the rookie of the ball.

The Titans, who had lost three of four games they led in the fourth quarter this season, answered by scoring twice in a 44-second span to take back the lead for good.

Mariota broke loose on third-and-7 with the Titans backed up at their 13. He weaved his way upfield with Wright delivering the final block. Then when a snap sailed over Bortles' head, Titans linebacker Wesley Woodyard recovered and ran 3 yards for a TD.

Jaguars coach Gus Bradley said they brought seven trying to disrupt Mariota, who found a seam.

"Then it was a foot race," Bradley said.

NOTES: Mariota's 87-yard TD run was the third longest by a quarterback dating back to 1940. Terrelle Pryor had a 93-yard run in 2013 for Oakland against Pittsburgh and Colin Kaepernick had a 90-yarder for San Francisco against San Diego in 2014. ... Mariota also matched Peyton Manning as the only NFL rookies to throw three TD passes in four games. ... Robinson became the Jaguars' first 1,000-yard receiver in a season since Jimmy Smith in 2005. ... Jaguars CB Davon House set a career high with his third interception this season.


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Teresa M. Walker


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