EverBank Field was packed with Jacksonville Jaguars fans, as the team looked like they were ready to come out and face the hated Tennessee Titans. It was easily the biggest crowd of the season and the fans were able to show on national television they can fill the stadium and be loud.
It's too bad the football team didn't show up.
"Not the night we were looking for tonight. Turned it over four times, lose our quarterback and I think we're 0‐for the first half converting third downs which limits your ability to run the ball, and just not the kind of night we wanted to have. I thought we were ready to play much better football but coming out here and being minus four in turnover battle and not being able to make plays on third down, really cost us," Jack Del Rio said to start his press conference.
The offense sputtered until two minutes before the half. On their first drive the Jaguars had just 4 plays before punting after a Garrard pass that sailed wide to Tiquan Underwood. The next drive started on the Jaguars own 6-yard line and moved all the way to the 41 before the Jaguars were forced to punt again. The drive ultimately was killed by a costly Underwood pass interference call on a pass David Garrardheaved down the deep center of the football field. Underwood was flagged while fighting for position with cornerback Cortland Finnegan.
After the defense forced a quick three and out to Titans quarterback Kerry Collins after Vince Young sprained his knee and ankle. The Jaguars ensuing drive wound up ending on a very bad looking interception by Garrard to safety Michael Griffin. Jack Del Rio agreed that there was mis-communication on that interception, which was a pass intended for receiver Tiquan Underwood and wound up nowhere close to him. I assume Underwood ran the wrong route, but there were also three defenders in the area where the pass was thrown.
After the interception, the Titans wound up marching right down the field with Kerry Collins and scoring another touchdown.
The Jaguars come out for another 3 and out with David Garrard suffering an injury on his 3rd down pass that was dropped by tight end Marcedes Lewis. On the Jaguars next drive, Trent Edwards trotted out on the field leaving most fans in the stadium assuming Garrard was benched, not injured. It was a safe assumption given Garrard wasn't playing well and the offense couldn't move, but Garrard wound up suffering a concussion. Given the concussion happened on a Monday night on a short week, I'd be surprised if he played on Sunday against Kansas City.
On the Jaguars next possession, Edwards took the field. To everyone's surprise Edwards marched the offense right down the field. Edwards converted their first 3rd down of the night after the two minute warning. On his first drive, Edwards looked efficient, got the football out quick, and moved the offense. Ultimately the drive was ended on a critical mistake by Marcedes Lewis. Lewis fumbled the ball on the 15-yard line while trying to change ball position in his hands to prepare for a hit. Lewis simply just dropped the football and the Titans recovered with 37 seconds left before the half.
Had the Jaguars been able to muster at least a field goal on that drive, it'd have been 17-3 with the Jaguars getting the football back after half time.
The second half started about as well as the first for the Jaguars offense, as Trent Edwards was intercepted on a pass intended for Tiquan Underwood. Edwards dropped back to throw, double clutched the throw as a Titans defensive lineman jumped in the passing lane, and the pass was intercepted by Alterraun Verner. Bad decision by Edwards, as he gave Verner time to jump the route with the double clutch.
Trent Edwards second interception came on what should have been a touchdown pass to Tiquan Underwood on 4th and 1, but instead Underwood couldn't hang on to the football and it wound up intercepted by safety Vincent Fuller. It was like Fuller was the big bad elementary school bully, the football was Underwood's lunch money, and Underwood was the scrawny nerdy pipsqueak. Fuller just took the football away from him. It was disappointing again because Edwards looked decent driving the team down the football field, but the drive stalled as the Jaguars ran the ball seven straight times from the 18 yard line ending up on the 4.
We all know how it went for there, or maybe you don't since this was about the time everyone left the stadium.
The coup de gras for the football game was Marcedes Lewis fumble as Edwards was driving the team down the field with a chance to score before the half.
"It seemed to be one thing after another, it kind of snowballed on us but we have to go out there and execute. That was a sloppy job by us executing and when we got inside the red zone we just couldn't get a touchdown. You have to make Touchdowns to win in this league," said Uche Nwaneri after the game.
Defensively the passing defense was atrocious again. The Titans didn't put up the gaudy numbers, but they pass with ease and with no pressure on the quarterback. The rush defense was about the only positive thing to come out of the football game, as the Jaguars held Chris Johnson in check until his final 35-yard touchdown carry to put the Titans up 30-3. Aside from that run, the Jaguars held Johnson to 25 carries for 76 yards (3 YPC).
All in all, it was an awful showing. This is the third loss by the Jaguars this season of 25 points or more. To put that in perspective, the 2009 St. Louis Rams had 5 losses by the same margin and the winless 2008 Detroit Lions had the same number, three, by 25 or more all season.