JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Titans needed a bounce-back game here on Sunday.
And, against the Jaguars, they got one.
A scoring splurge helped pave the way for a 37-19 victory over the Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field on a day when the Titans got a big defensive stand late.
"It was a must-win for us," Titans safety Kevin Byard said. "It was a division game. We understand that all of our division games are going to be tough. We came off an emotional roller coaster, losing to the Jets, but we had to flush it and get ready for the Jaguars. It wasn't pretty. It wasn't perfect at all. But I'm happy we got a win down here in Duval (County)."
Running back Derrick Henry ran for 130 yards and three touchdowns as the Titans improved to 3-2.
The Titans have now beaten the Jaguars 10 of the past 12 meetings, and they've now won five straight games vs AFC South opponents dating back to last season.
"We stuck with it, and (we) trusted and believed in what we do – finishing and try and win and get points," Henry said. "We want to carry this momentum into next week."
Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill completed 14-of-22 passes for 197 yards and a touchdown in the contest. The Titans created two turnovers on defense, and also made plays when they needed to on a day when they allowed Jaguars running back James Robinson to run for 149 yards and a touchdown.
"When we had to have plays, we had them," Titans coach Mike Vrabel said. "But there's too many things we need to clean up, and be better."
"It is a tough league," Tannehill added. "Nothing is going to come easy. We have to battle, and stay together (and we did that."
The Titans got off to a fast start in this one, thanks to the defense.
On a third-down play on Jacksonville's first series, cornerback Elijah Molden hit Jaguars tight end Dan Arnold after he caught a short pass, and the ball popped out. Byard picked it up and raced 30 yards for a touchdown to give the Titans a 7-0 lead just one minute into the contest.
After the Jaguars answered back with a one-yard touchdown run by running back James Robinson, the Titans extended their lead to 14-6 on a one-yard touchdown run by Henry, which capped a long touchdown drive.
The Jaguars answered again, trimming the lead to 14-13 after quarterback Trevor Lawrence connected with tight end Jacob Hollister on a one-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-goal from the one with 9:55 left in the first half.
Then, the Titans began to settle in – and take over.
The Titans put together one of their most impressive scoring drives of the season midway through the second quarter, an eight-play, 75-yard drive that was capped off by a 14-yard touchdown pass from Tannehill to tight end MyCole Pruitt. Six different Titans touched the ball on the drive, aside from center Ben Jones and Tannehill. The Titans got catches from Pruitt and receivers Marcus Johnson and Josh Reynolds on the possession, along with carries from Henry and receivers Cam Batson and Chester Rogers. The toss to Pruitt made it 21-13 with 5:49 left in the second quarter.
The Titans led 24-13 at the half following a 34-yard field goal by kicker Randy Bullock.
On their first possession of the second half, the Titans drove the field, and Henry capped off the scoring drive with a nine-yard touchdown run to make it 31-13 with 9:48 left.
It gave the Titans 17 straight points during a critical stage of the contest.
After the Jaguars cut the lead to 31-19 on a four-yard touchdown run by Lawrence with 13:50 left, the Titans made the biggest play of the game on defense.
With the Jaguars facing a fourth-and-goal at the Tennessee one-yard line, Titans defensive lineman Teair Tart busted through the line to force Jaguars running back Carlos Hyde outside. Once there, Hyde was met by a group of Titans, including defensive back Chris Jackson. The Titans ended up tackling Hyde for a three-yard loss, and it halted Jacksonville's momentum.
"I was just going out there and help the team any way possible," Tart said. "It was a big momentum-swing for the team. I feel like it was a crucial moment in the game, to help the team build some momentum, some positive energy to the sideline."
Henry added a 10-yard run late, his third score of the day, and the Titans closed the game out with a Byard interception in the end zone.
And, the Titans ended up walking off of TIAA Bank Field with a much-needed win.
The Titans return to action against the Buffalo Bills next Monday at Nissan Stadium.
"It is important to win every single week," Titans left tackle Taylor Lewan said. "The (Jaguars) fought the entire game, and I am just really happy for our team to get on track and keep moving forward."
The Tennessee Titans take on the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 5 at TIAA Bank Field.