Coming off an embarrassing loss to the Detroit Lions, it was hard to picture the Jacksonville Jaguars bouncing back and beating the Tennessee Titans in Week 14 but that’s precisely what they did. Moreover, the Jags won in a decisive manner, which is why they got their highest grade of the 2022 season from CBS Sports.
John Breech of CBS Sports graded every team that played Sunday and gave Jacksonville an A+, the highest possible mark and the best one they’ve earned this year. Breech credits the Jaguars’ defense for forcing four turnovers and neutralizing running back Derrick Henry in the second half after failing to contain him early in the game. Also, Breech describes their dismantling of the Titans as the most complete win they had this season.
"This was the Jaguars’ best all-around performance of the season and a lot of that had to do with the play of Trevor Lawrence (368 yards, four total touchdowns), who is inching closer to living up to the hype that comes with being a No. 1 overall pick. The Jags (5-8) also got a surprise performance from Evan Engram, who caught 11 passes for 162 yards and two touchdowns. This was a huge win for a franchise that hasn’t hit the five-win mark since 2019."
Lawrence’s 92.6 Pro Football Focus overall grade against Tennessee is the highest one he’s posted in his career and his four touchdowns (three passing, one rushing) is also a career-best. But as great as the former Clemson Tiger played, he wasn’t the only Jaguar that showed out in Week 14. As Breech noted, Evan Engram also had a superb outing, posting a career-high for receiving yards with 162 and setting a franchise record for the most receiving yards on a day by a tight end.
Similarly, the defense rebounded after allowing 40 points to the Lions. Outside linebacker Travon Walker had his best game as a pro, setting a tone on defense with a forced fumble. Cornerback Tyson Campbell also deserves recognition. He wasn’t particularly great against Detroit but he shined in Week 14, batting three passes on three targets.
The Jaguars took advantage of their favorable matchup vs. the Titans
You could make the case that Jacksonville beat a wounded Titans team that was without several starters but it’s important to note that this is the kind of game they have frequently lost in the past. In previous years, things went sideways as soon as the Jags started trailing but not against Tennessee.
Although the Titans struck first and were 14-7 at one point, the Jaguars didn’t falter and instead fought back. Once they built a lead, they didn’t look back and kept putting points on the scoreboard. Head coach Doug Pederson also deserves credit for keeping the team level-headed after the Jaguars’ worst loss of the season and focusing on the task at hand.
Next on the Jags’ schedule are the Dallas Cowboys. Given how inconsistent they were early in the season, it was hard to picture them winning this one but based on how they’ve played in recent weeks, they might have a shot. Of course, Lawrence needs to keep playing and the defense must execute but it’s possible, which wouldn’t have been the case last year or the one before.