Titans Keep Playoff Chances Alive With 30-9 Thursday Night Win Over Jaguars [VIDEO]
Week 14 is always a special time in the NFL because it’s the time in the season where teams really start to find themselves and the playoffs start to take shape. As a few teams sit firmly in or out of the playoff race, some remain in the trenches fighting for a wild-card spot and a chance to win it all.
The Tennessee Titans are one such team, and their Thursday night victory over Jacksonville puts them a half a game behind the Baltimore Ravens (7-5, No. 6 seed), who currently have the last wild-card slot in the AFC.
Tennessee’s defense flew around the field all night, holding the Jags to just 3.8 yards per play. Rashaan Evans, Logan Ryan, Wesley Woodyard, Jayon Brown, Jurrell Casey, Derrick Morgan and Brian Orakpo all flashed at one point or another.
Titans running back Derrick Henry had a career game highlighted by a record-tying 99-yard touchdown run. He’s now the second player in NFL history to run for 99 yards and a score, matching Tony Dorsett’s long rush from 1982.
Henry’s production meant Tennessee didn’t need much from quarterback Marcus Mariota, who had 162 yards on 18 completions.
DERRICK HENRY WENT BEASTMODE!!! 😱😱😱
99 YARDS. #TitanUp
— NFL (@NFL) December 7, 2018
In this game, Henry carried the load and ran for 238 of the team’s 264 yards on the ground. He tied Lorenzo White and Hall of Famer Earl Campbell for the most running touchdowns (4) in a single game in Titans/Oilers franchise history.
Henry is the first player with four scores in a game since Patriots running back Jonas Gray in Week 11 of the 2014 season.
In just 13 carries, Henry became the first player in the Super Bowl era to rush for 200-plus yards and four or more touchdowns on 20 or fewer carries. He also set a franchise record for the most rushing yards in a single game, beating Chris Johnson‘s previous mark (228) set in 2009, which was also against the Jaguars.
— Tennessee Titans (@Titans) December 7, 2018
Cody Kessler finished the loss completing 25 of his 43 passes for 240 yards and one touchdown. He was sacked four times and only managed to convert two of the team’s 12 third-down tries.
The Jaguars’ defense was full of holes as they surrendered 426 total yards to the Titans.
“I mean, I had limited opportunities; they ran the ball,” said Jaguar cornerback Jalen Ramsey. “They ran the ball down our throat 100 percent of the game. Personally, I didn’t have a lot of opportunities to make a game-changing play. I do what I can do and that’s all I can do, to be honest.”
For the Jaguars, their best play of the game likely came when Calais Campbell actually managed to take Henry down behind the line of scrimmage on the first play of the fourth quarter.
With this win, the Titans’ playoff hopes are within reach as the Ravens will have the formidable task of facing the AFC’s top-ranked Kansas City Chiefs (10-2) in Week 14. The Miami Dolphins, Denver Broncos (6-6) and Indianapolis Colts (6-6) are also close behind the Ravens and will need a win this week to remain in the wild-card race.
Here’s a picture of wild-card hunt as we enter Week 14 of the 2018 NFL season:
Tennesse Titans (7-6-0) Proj: 7th Seed
Miami Dolphins (6-6-0) Proj: 8th Seed
Indianapolis Colts (6-6-0) Proj: 9th Seed
Denver Broncos (6-6-0) Proj: 10th Seed
Cincinnati Bengals (5-7-0) Proj: 11th Seed
Cleveland Browns (4-7-1) Proj: 12th Seed
Buffalo Bills (4-8-0) Proj: 13th Seed
Jacksonville Jaguars (4-9-0) Proj: 14th Seed
New York Jets (3-9-0) Proj: 15th Seed
Carolina Panthers (6-6-0) Proj: 7th Seed
Philadelphia Eagles (6-6-0) Proj: 8th Seed
Washington Redskins (6-6-0) Proj: 9th Seed
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-7-0) Proj: 10th Seed
Green Bay Packers (4-7-1) Proj: 11th Seed
Atlanta Falcons (4-8-0) Proj: 12th Seed
New York Giants (4-8-0) Proj: 13th Seed
Detriot Lions (4-8-0) Proj: 14th Seed
Arizona Cardinals (3-9-0) Proj: 15th Seed
Jacksonville moves to 4-9 with this loss and will have to put up better performances to get through the rest of its season. The Jaguars will face the Redskins and Dolphins in the coming weeks before closing out with the AFC South-leading Houston Texans (9-3).