clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Jaguars vs. Titans: Breaking down the most important drive of the game

Down 10-7 to start the third quarter, the Jaguars drove the length of the field to score a touchdown and take a lead they would never relinquish.

Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Quick question: Coming into last Thursday night's game against the Tennessee Titans, how many times have the Jacksonville Jaguars scored a touchdown on their opening drive of the second half?

Only once, against the Cincinnati Bengals.

But in last week's game, the Jaguars did it for the second time this season, and it provided the team with a lead they'd never give up as they cruised to a 21-13 victory. Let's revisit the drive and break it down play by play.

1st-and-10: Incomplete to Lee

Great route by Marqise Lee (single receiver on left of formation) but it's a high throw by Blake Bortles, although I think Lee should have still come down with it. Throughout his rookie season, and as you'll see later on this drive, out routes to the left sideline will be a throw Bortles will undoubtedly work on in the offseason. He's gotten better as the year has gone on, but it's a route that gives Bortles trouble. As he improves his footwork and throwing motion, that trouble will start to diminish next season.

2nd-and-10: Gerhart up the middle


A good misdirection play design where they stack Marcedes Lewis and Clay Harbor on the left, allowing Toby Gerhart to try and sell the run left and counter right. But the Titans have eight guys in the box, no one gets to the second level to block linebacker Avery Williamson (No. 54), and center Luke Bowanko can't hold his block long enough on lineman Sammie Hill (No. 94) to prevent him from making an impact on the play.

3rd-and-7: Lee breaks it

The offensive line (and running back Jordan Todman) do a tremendous job picking up the blitz and creating a picturesque pocket for Bortles to step into his throw and deliver a beautiful strike to Lee on the run, who does the rest with his speed and agility. A complete play on offense. Whew.

1st-and-10: Cecil's offensive pass interference

This was a bad call, in my opinion, as the television broadcast does a good job of showing how little contact Cecil Shorts makes on the cornerback.

1st-and-20: Hurns gets some back

Dat route doe... Such a quick cut back to the middle of the field and a great catch with outstretched arms.

2nd-and-12: Hurns with a first down

Bortles extends the play by rolling out to his left and Hurns comes back to the quarterback after his route. Smart play, easy target, another first down.

1st-and-10: Another short run

Brandon Linder gets to the second level quickly, but can't hold the block on linebacker Avery Williamson (No. 54). Marcedes Lewis looks to miss his assignment on linebacker Quentin Groves (No. 53) and both combine to stop Gerhart before he can get significant yards.

2nd-and-6: Cecil throws to Todman

Again, love the play design. Put two offensive linemen and Hurns in trips left for blocking, motion Lewis pre-snap for an extra blocker, drag Lee across the middle of the field to draw coverage left, and then throw to the under-used Todman who slips into a soft spot underneath. First down, and almost a touchdown too.

2nd-and-14: Cecil drops it

After a delay of game and an overthrow in the end zone, Bortles targets Shorts and again Bortles is a little off-target towards the left sideline. But like the Lee throw to start the drive, this is on the receiver. It's a catchable ball, and Shorts should have brought it in.

3rd-and-14: Bortles scrambles, penalty earns first down

Bortles only scrambles for 12, but a holding penalty by linebacker Avery Williamson (No. 54) on the tight end Lewis in the middle of the field gifts the Jaguars a first down.

1st-and-10: Gerhart scores!

Everyone is blocking just right of the center, the Titans defense overcommits to that gap, and (somehow) Gerhart spins into the end zone. Watch left tackle Luke Joeckel (No. 76) not quit and lead the way for Gerhart to find a seam to slip into.