JACKSONVILLE —** The Titans suffered a costly defeat here on Saturday.
In the process, they also lost quarterback Marcus Mariota.
Mariota fractured his right fibula in the third quarter when he was sacked while his foot was planted in the ground. Mariota's lower right leg was put in an air cast, and he was carted off the field. He left the locker room and headed to the team bus on crutches after the contest.
He'll undergo surgery in the coming days.
It was part of a miserable day for the Titans, who trailed from the beginning and lost 38-17.
Titans coach Mike Mularkey said he feels awful for Mariota.
He made no excuses for the Titans.
"I give them credit,'' Mularkey said of the Jaguars. "They beat us. It is the first time I can honestly say this season that we have been beaten like that and it is bad timing for it.
"We didn't play well enough to win against anybody."
Mariota completed 8-of-20 passes for 99 yards in the game before being injured. He was replaced by back-up Matt Cassel, who finished the game, but was unable to lead a comeback on a day when the Titans fell behind, and could never catch up. On this day, the defense couldn't get stops, and the offense couldn't sustain drives.
"We just got beat,'' running back DeMarco Murray said. "From start to finish, they beat us. They literally just outplayed us, out-executed us.
"It is very disappointing, and you just have to look in the mirror. They just outplayed us."
The Titans got off to another slow start in this one, and things got worse throughout the day.
The Titans dropped to 8-7 with the loss.
They'll wrap up the season next Sunday against the Texans at Nissan Stadium. The Texans clinched the AFC South on Saturday night with a win over the Bengals.
After the contest, players stayed in the locker room a lengthy period of time.
"I think we're just trying to digest everything, take it in," linebacker Derrick Morgan said. "This is such a letdown. Given the position we were in, for this game to turn out the way it turned out today, it is a letdown for sure."
The Jaguars got the ball first, and scored on a 21-yard pass from quarterback Blake Bortles to receiver Allen Robinson to make it 7-0. The Jaguars made it 10-0 when Jason Myers kicked a 29-yard field goal with 4:03 left in the first quarter.
The Titans, meanwhile, sputtered on offense on their first two possessions before scoring when Mariota completed a three-yard touchdown pass to receiver Rishard Matthews on third-and-goal. It was the eighth touchdown catch of the season for Matthews.
But the Titans couldn't sustain the brief momentum.
The Jaguars drove the field on their next possession and scored on a one-yard touchdown run by running back Chris Ivory to make it 16-7. The Jaguars tacked on three more points on a 48-yard field goal by Jason Myers to make it 19-7 at the half.
The Titans got on the scoreboard early in the third quarter after linebacker Brian Orakpo forced a fumble and safety Da'Norris Searcy recovered it at the Jacksonville 26-yard line. Moments later, kicker Ryan Succop booted a 42-yard field goal to cut the lead to 19-10.
But the Jaguars answered back, as Myers drilled a 56-yard field goal to make it 22-10 with 8:13 left in the third quarter. Myers added another field goal from 50 yards to make it 25-10 late in the third quarter.
Cassel completed a 14-yard touchdown pass to tight end Delanie Walker to make it 25-17 with 8:42 remaining, but things got ugly late.
Jaguars receiver Marqise Lee completed a 20-yard touchdown to Bortles on a trick play to make it 31-17. Then, Jaguars rookie cornerback Jalen Ramsey intercepted Cassel and returned it 30 yards for a touchdown to make it 38-17.
Cassel finished the game 13-of-24 for 124 yards with a touchdown and an interception for the Titans.
The Jaguars outgained the Titans 415 to 263 in total yards.
"This is a team sport, so the loss falls on the players, the coaches and everyone,'' tackle Taylor Lewan said. "The frustration is real."
The Tennessee Titans take on the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 16 action at EverBank Field. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)