Jaguars Turn Table on Titans in Nashville

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Snow flurries fell on players in warm-ups, but the Titans' offense remained in a drought Sunday at LP Field.

Tennessee fell 17-6 to visiting Jacksonville, dropping its fifth consecutive game of the season and second straight at home. The Titans have gone 13 quarters without an offensive touchdown.

Tennessee committed two penalties on its opening drive before punting. The Titans struggled to run the football and had multiple drops and off-target passes the rest of the day.

"Well, we had two penalties the first drive. That creates a problem," Titans coach Jeff Fisher said. "We had the false start, then you have a holding penalty. (It's hard) to convert those things. We have to play perfect right now and we are not doing that. We are going to continue to work on it, but we've gone quarters and quarters without scoring a touchdown, and that's got to change."

After being shut out in the first half, the Titans began to move the ball, but struggled both times they reached the red zone. Tennessee drove to the Jacksonville 14-yard-line, but lost five yards on a run by Chris Johnson on second down and had a dropped pass by Bo Scaife near the goal line on third down. The combination forced the Titans to settle for a 37-yard field goal by Rob Bironas.

"The frustration level is high," Collins said. "We certainly had our opportunities (Sunday) to put points on the board and be in the game. In the first half, we had trouble converting third downs. I thought in the second half we came out with good tempo and we were making plays. We just didn't make the plays we needed to make to get back in the ball game."

Tennessee's defense forced Jacksonville (7-5) to attempt a 49-yard field goal on the Jaguars' next possession, and Titans defensive end Jacob Ford surged through the line to block Josh Scobee's kick.

"I hoped it would be a momentum booster, and it was, but we didn't get the win," Ford said.

The Titans drove to the Jacksonville 11 on their next possession, but guard Jake Scott was flagged for holding on first down. On fourth-and-11 from the Jaguars' 12, Tennessee opted for a 30-yard field goal by Bironas with 12:09 left in the game.

Collins finished 14-for-32 for 169 yards and threw two interceptions. It was the first time the 16-year NFL veteran had played since Nov. 14 at Miami when he injured his calf.

"It's a cold day," Fisher said. "It's hard to be real accurate, but I thought Kerry made some plays, made some throws, just a number of balls that weren't caught."

Tennessee started Vince Young against Washington on Nov. 21, but Young suffered a season-ending thumb injury against the Redskins. Rookie Rusty Smith relieved Young that game and started at Houston on Nov. 28. Collins said there were plays against the Jaguars that the Titans would like to have back.

"You look at (Sunday), there is not one guy who can say that they didn't have something to do with this," Collins said. "Offensively, I could have thrown the ball better. There were more plays out there to be made and for whatever reason, we didn't make them. I know this: I definitely left some things out there. That is extremely frustrating."

Left tackle Michael Roos said the Titans' offensive woes are a "little baffling."

"It's one of those things where it's not one or two things that you can pinpoint and say, 'We'll fix that or we'll cut that guy.' It's just little things that keep adding up, and it's just not going our way," Roos said. "It's not one of those things were you can go into position meetings and say, 'You, don't do that anymore and we'll start winning.' "

Tennessee (5-7) has gone from first in the AFC South to last since scoring 27-fourth-quarter points in a comeback win against Philadelphia on Oct. 24. Tennessee has scored 16 points in its past two home games and is averaging 12.8 points in its past five games. The Titans are in need of a quick fix before they host Indianapolis (6-6) Thursday.

Roos said the remedy lies in "each guy, each position, everybody doing a little bit more but not overdoing it."

"It's just a matter of getting back to the work room and the practice field," Roos said. "We'll have four days until the next game, and I think that'll be a good thing. We'll play again and get our frustrations out."

Fisher: Rushing totals affect outcome in series

Jacksonville established the run early against Tennessee Sunday. The Jaguars rushed 11 times during their 12-play first possession that ended in an 11-yard touchdown run by Rashad Jennings on fourth-and-1. The Jaguars finished with 258 yards on 53 carries and held the Titans to 57 yards on 14 rushes.

Linebacker Stephen Tulloch, who had a team-high 17 tackles, said Jacksonville was able to run the ball the way it wanted.

"They were running the ball, and we needed to stop them," Tulloch said. "We've got to find a way to stop them, and we didn't do that (Sunday). I don't know what it is, or what we've got to do, but we have to find out quick and in a hurry. We represent this organization and we represent ourselves and we owe the fans much better play than what we've been playing."

Maurice Jones-Drew led Jacksonville with 186 yards on 31 attempts (6 yards per carry), Jennings added 44 yards on 10 carries and quarterback David Garrard added 19 yards on 10 carries, including a 4-yard score.  

"This Jaguar-Titan matchup over the years comes down to who runs it and who doesn't," Fisher said. "They ran it, and we didn't. They ran it, and we didn't stop it, and they stopped our run."

It was a reversal of the first meeting between the teams in which Tennessee rushed for 153 yards on 39 attempts and Jacksonville rushed for 76 yards on 25 carries.

"We split games with them in the division this year in identical ways," Fisher said. "We ran the football up there on (Oct. 18). We threw it, made plays, stopped the run, got turnovers. That is exactly what they did (Sunday)."

Jones-Drew had 54 yards on 10 carries in the first quarter, nearly equaling the 57 yards he finished with during the first meeting. Garrard was accurate when the Jaguars did throw the ball Sunday, finishing 14-for-19 for 126 yards, on short routes.

Titans lose time of possession again

A recurring theme that has emerged during the Titans' skid is the defense being on the field sometimes twice as long as the offense. Jacksonville possessed the ball for 39:54 Sunday, compared to 20:06 for Tennessee.

It was the sixth straight game in which opponents have possessed the football significantly longer than Tennessee. The Titans have possessed the football more than opponents just twice this season (both wins), and the defense entered Sunday's game having played more snaps than any other team.

"It's hurting the team overall," Fisher said. "It's been week after week after week now where we've lost a ton of possession, significantly. It's not a minute or two, it's a third of the game, and that's got to change. We've got to change."

Johnson rushes past 1,000 yards

Johnson, who entered the game with 973 rushing yards, pushed past 1,000 yards for the third time in three pro seasons. Johnson has 1,026 yards this season after finishing Sunday's game with 53 yards on 13 carries.

Johnson became the third player in Oilers/Titans franchise history to have three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons, joining Eddie George and Earl Campbell.

Bironas extends streak

Bironas has accurately kicked 16 straight field goals. He is approaching the franchise record of 20 in a row that Al Del Greco set in 1998-99 and Bironas matched in 2007-08.

Bironas is 21-for-22 on field goals this season and has made all 26 point-after-touchdown kicks this season for 89 points.

Multiple division games remain

Tennessee entered Sunday controlling its own destiny. A win would have tied it with Jacksonville, and put the Titans in line for two showdowns with Indianapolis, which lost to Dallas in overtime Sunday, and a rematch with Houston (5-7). The Titans' other game in the final four is a visit to AFC West leader Kanas City (8-4) on Dec. 26.

The loss to the Jaguars, however, put the Titans in the need for some help to win the division and make the playoffs.

"You don't like this spot. It is not a good feeling." linebacker Gerald McRath said.

McRath, who had 10 tackles and one-half sack against Jacksonville, said the Titans need to respond to adversity.

"Football is like life. Adversity can strike anytime," McRath said. "I could drive my car right now and get a flat, unexpectedly. What am I going to do? Am I just going to sit there and just wait until somebody fixes it, or am I going to get out of the car and fix it myself. The ball can bounce either way. It's about what you say you are going to do about it."

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