JACKSONVILLE – A thick fog welcomed the Titans to TIAA Bank Field at the start of the day on Sunday.
By the end of the day, it was sunny skies all around, as the Titans walked away with a clear-cut 31-10 victory over the Jaguars.
"We wanted to start fast, come out there and be physical and run the ball," center Ben Jones said, "and we kept it on track today."
Titans running back Derrick Henry ran for 215 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries in the win. It was Henry's ninth straight 100-yard contest on the road, and the fourth 200-yard game of his career. Two of Henry's 200-yard performances have come against the Jaguars.
Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill completed 19 of 24 passes for 212 yards and two touchdowns and a 131.2 passer rating.
Titans receiver A.J. Brown had seven catches for 112 yards and a touchdown in the game.
The defense also played scrappy, holding Jacksonville to just one touchdown while stiffening up when it mattered.
It was a critical bounce-back win for the Titans, who improved to 9-4 and remained in first place in the AFC South with three games to play. The win gave the Titans their fifth nine-win season in a row, and their eighth win in their last 10 meetings against the Jaguars. The Titans are now 4-1 in their five AFC South contests this season.
"We played the game exactly how we wanted to," Titans Coach Mike Vrabel said. "We had a lot of great individual efforts, and then just to be able to close it out the way that we did. I really like how we came out and tried to execute some of the keys, and I thought we were ready.
"… But we have a long way to go. We are going to have to go back to work and try to get our 10th win, and then keep moving from there."
The Titans started off with a bang on offense, scoring in highlight-reel fashion on a flea-flicker that ended with one-handed catch by Brown. On the play, after Tannehill received a pitch back from Henry after handing him the ball, Brown got behind Jaguars cornerback Sidney Jones and made an incredible grab to cap off a 37-yard touchdown, which gave the Titans a 7-0 lead.
Earlier, Titans defensive lineman DaQuan Jones blocked a 53-yard field goal by Jaguars kicker Aldrick Rosas.
"It didn't really set in until I got to the sideline, that I just caught the ball with one hand," Brown said. "You dream of catches like that – you don't try and do that, at least I don't. But he was holding my left hand and I just had to try and make a play on the ball."
Leading 7-0 early in the second quarter, the Titans appeared to be on the verge of getting more points. But a fourth-and-two run by Titans running back Jeremy McNichols from the Jacksonville nine-yard line was stuffed, and the Titans came away without points.
After a turnover by the Titans on their next possession, Rosas kicked a 53-yard field goal to make it 7-3.
But the Titans exploded at the end of the second quarter, scoring 10 points in the final 44 seconds, and they never looked back.
Henry carried the ball five times for 75 yards on a drive in the closing minutes of the half, and he capped it off with a 36-yard touchdown run to give the Titans a 14-3 lead with 44 seconds left before the half.
After a defensive stop, the Titans quickly got into position for a 53-yard field goal by kicker Stephen Gostkowski, which made it 17-3.
The Titans picked up where they left off at the start of the second half, and the rout was on.
A five-yard touchdown pass from Tannehill to tight end Geoff Swaim gave the Titans a 24-3 lead just 2:36 into the third quarter, as it capped a five-play, 75-yard drive.
Minutes later, the Titans found paydirt again, as the capped off a six-play, 48-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown run by Henry.
The scoring splurge opened up the game.
"We weren't finishing (early)," Tannehill said. "We moved the ball, marched it down the field and then weren't able to convert inside the red zone. ... We were moving the ball, [but] we just weren't playing clean enough in order to finish drives in the end zone. We just kind of stuck with it, kept going."
After Gardner Minshew II replaced Mike Glennon at quarterback for the Jaguars, Jacksonville drove the field and cut the lead to 31-10 on a five-yard touchdown pass from Minshew to Keelan Cole.
The Titans played back-ups on offense to close out the game and got out of town with a win.
"I feel like we played a really good game," Titans linebacker Rashaan Evans said. "The defense started fast, and special teams did what they did. The defense overall, I felt like we played a really good game. We just have to keep this momentum and build on this."
With three games to go, the Titans know they still have plenty of work to do.
"We've been consistent in winning but obviously the theme of this year is that we had a great end of the year last year, but it wasn't enough," Titans tackle Dennis Kelly said. "So, it's just taking the next step and being able to build on it and put ourselves in the best position to play deep into the playoffs."
The Titans return to action next Sunday against the Detroit Lions in a noon game at Nissan Stadium.
The Tennessee Titans take on the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 14 at TIAA Bank Field.