"Jag Killer" Titans Swarm on Defense in Dominant Performance


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Outfitted in a bright red shirt that was a cross between Hawaiian and safari themed, Titans linebacker Wesley Woodyard stood at his locker after Sunday's game and repeated these words:

"Jag killer, baby," Woodyard said. "Jag killer."

On Sunday, following the team's 9-6 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Titans were just that on defense.

Woodyard's shirt, by the way, had a pair of Jaguars on the front.

"All week we hear about how good (Jacksonville's) defense is, and how many plays they make," said Woodyard, who led the Titans with 12 stops, along with sack. "Well, we've got a pretty good defense, too, and we know how to play football. We kept these guys out of the end zone."

True dat.

The Titans were swarming on defense on Sunday. The Jaguars managed just 12 first downs and 232 yards of total offense one week after rolling up 31 points and 480 yards in a win against the Patriots.

Quarterback Blake Bortles completed 21-of-34 passes on Sunday, but for just 155 yards. The Titans frustrated him while keeping the Jaguars out of the end zone.

The Jaguars never made it inside of Tennessee's 20-yard line. Their only points came on a pair of field goals.

"We played a physical game," Titans safety Kevin Byard said. "Hell yeah, you hear all about their defense, all the time. We knew we were going to have to play better than their defense, and we did. That was our motto going into this week: Forget all the talk, and let's play better defense than them and that's what we did."

Titans defensive lineman Jurrell Casey, who had one of the team's sacks, said the Titans played with a "refuse to lose" mentality.

Some highlights on defense:

--The six points scored by the Jaguars was the lowest total allowed by the Titans since the Dolphins scored three points against the Titans at Miami on Nov. 11, 2012. The six points tied for the ninth-lowest total by a Titans opponent since the beginning of the 1999 season.

--The Jaguars managed only 12 total first downs (six passing and six rushing), marking the lowest total by a Titans opponent since the Dolphins had 12 first downs on Oct. 8, 2017.

--Not only did the Jaguars never enter the red zone, the Jaguars only crossed midfield three times.

--In their previous game against the New England Patriots, the Jaguars offense put up six plays of at least 20 yards. They did not have a single 20-yard play against the Titans.

--For the 16th time in the "Titans era" (1999-present), the Titans did not allow their opponents to score a touchdown. The last time an opponent did not reach the end zone against them was Dec. 10, 2017 at Arizona.

On a warm day, Titans linebacker Derrick Morgan said the defense benefitted from extended drives from the team's offense.

In a field position game, the Titans had an advantage, players said.

Linebacker Jayon Brown trailed Woodyard with six stops, and safety Kenny Vaccaro added a sack. Defensive lineman Austin Johnson and Woodyard were in on a big stop on third-and-one.

But the motivated Titans rose to the occasion on defense all day.

"If they don't score (a touchdown), we win," Brown said. "We did a good job of playing team defense.

"No doubt, we heard about their defense being swarming to the ball, and being physical. And you didn't really hear about our defense. I feel like we put on a good performance, and we leave here victorious."

On Sunday, the Titans walked out as winners.

And as Woodard wrapped up his interview, in sunglasses, he repeated his line one more time.

"Jag killer, baby," he said with a smile. "That's it."

The Tennessee Titans take on the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 3 of the 2018 season on Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018 at TIAA Bank Field. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)

The Tennessee Titans prepare to take on the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 3 of the 2018 season on Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018 at TIAA Bank Field. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)