It was a tale of two halves for the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday Night Football after a rough start to the game afforded the Tennessee Titans a 10-0 lead. That lead evaporated entirely early in the second half and the Jaguars ran away with a 21-10 victory.
While the defense looked very shaky on the first drive, allowing the Charlie Whitehurst-led Titans to drive the length of the field for a touchdown on the opening drive, it was the offense that struggled most in the early going. After one first down on the opening drive, the Jaguars had three consecutive three-and-out drives, and just 16 yards of offense through the first four drives.
An 11-play, 80-yard drive to finish the first half turned things around for Blake Bortles and the Jaguars, and the team carried that momentum into the second half with two more touchdowns, making Thursday the fourth time the Jaguars eclipsed 20 points.
Three things we learned
1. Momentum matters to this team: It's generally thought that young teams are more prone to giant momentum swings and that has seemed to be the case with the Jaguars in 2014. It was especially true on Thursday after the Titans earned a 10-0 lead and subsequently allowed the Jaguars to score 21 unanswered.
Blake Bortles finished a game without an interception for just the second time this season and that was especially helpful in allowing the Jaguars to continue to hold the momentum in the second half and not return the swing of the game to the Titans.
2. Marqise Lee keeps emerging: Marqise Lee didn't have any highlight catches this time around, but he did have a 34-yard reception where he showed his speed and elusiveness in space. He also showed off his speed during Jordan Todman's 62-yard touchdown rush, racing past defenders to catch up to Todman on the way to the endzone.
Most impressive about Lee though, has been his emergence as a reliable pass catcher with strong hands in traffic. That wasn't always his game at USC where he sometimes showed poor catching technique. Jerry Sullivan might deserve a lot of credit for the quick development of Lee this year.
3. Bye No. 1 pick: The win on Thursday means that it would take a miracle scenario for the Jaguars to earn the No. 1 pick (I'm still trying to figure out if it's mathematically possible). While that might be disappointing to some Jaguars fans, I guarantee you there's one group of people who do not care: The Jaguars.
This is a young team that needs wins to carry into next year and I guarantee there's not a single player on the team that cares that the team will not have the No. 1 pick. They're concerned about getting better, getting wins and keeping their jobs, which is never a sure thing on an NFL team, especially on 3-12 rosters.