The Jacksonville Jaguars won their second game of the season behind the big arm of new starter Chad Henne. Henne was 17/26 for 261 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. His day was a nice endorsement of Mike Mularkey’s move to make him the starter based on performance before putting previous starter Blaine Gabbert on injured reserve for the remainder of the season.
Even more importantly was the Jaguars’ play at Everbank Field, the home field that had been giving them blowout loss after blowout loss each week they played there. Finally, the Jaguars have put together a performance that can make that home crowd proud.
The Jaguars had better than usual support from the running game behind Jalen Parmele, Rashad Jennings, and a nice 12 yard run from Justin Blackmon. Henne was the main reason any of the runs were even a factor though.
Despite a struggling running game since Maurice Jones-Drew has been sidelined with injury, Henne’s big performance last week forced the Titans to focus more on the pass than on the run. It didn’t matter as Henne connected for big and short plays alike and the coaching staff achieved balance (eight first downs via both pass and run) in their offense for the first time in a long time.
Cecil Shorts III continued his march toward 1,000 yards with a big four reception, 105 yard performance. He and rookie Justin Blackmon had the two receiving touchdowns on the day.
Despite the solid day from the offense, the defense really put together a strong performance. Chris Johnson was held to only 80 yards after having two straight 100+ games and at least 91 yards in every game dating back to week six. Jake Locker was held to 269 yards while completing 23 of 40 passes for one touchdown and two interceptions – the final pick to Mike Harris ended the game. No wide receiver was too much of a factor and only Nate Washington and tight end Jared Cook caught over 50 yards in the game. Kenny Britt had two receptions for 18 yards and the lone touchdown reception for the Titans.
Just having a win, especially at Everbank, is nice for the Jaguars as they build up some momentum and try to save their jobs at the end of the season. The Titans are not a playoff caliber team, but at this point you’ve got to take what you can get and I’m pleased to see the Jaguars have a bit more fight in them.
- Luke N. Sims
You can also find me on Twitter @LukeNSims