JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Jaguars enjoyed a near-perfect opener.
Rookie Leonard Fournette ran the ball with authority behind a surprisingly stout offensive line. Blake Bortles played sack- and turnover-free football for just the second time in 45 career starts. The defense allowed 203 yards, forced four turnovers and had 10 sacks.
It was the team's ideal identity, the smash-mouth style new coach Doug Marrone and decision maker Tom Coughlin spent the last eight months trying to build.
It also looked a lot like what the Tennessee Titans (0-1) have constructed under second-year coach Mike Mularkey.
When the AFC South rivals meet Sunday in Jacksonville, the Jaguars (1-0) will try to prove Week 1 was no fluke and the start of a season-long trend.
"It means a lot," Fournette said. "At the end of the day, physical play is what our head coach wants from us. I believe we have the team, we have the players to do it each and every week. It's a mindset to come out there and play physical."
It's exactly what the Jaguars did in a dominating 29-7 victory at Houston.
"I think we're grasping the idea of not shooting ourselves in the foot and losing games before we learn how to win games," veteran tight end Marcedes Lewis said. "So if we go out there and just handle our business, we're going to be in every game."
This might be Jacksonville's most significant home game since 2010. It's the first time since Dec. 26, 2010 that the Jaguars will play a home game with a record above .500. They haven't been 2-0 since 2006.
"Four quarters on their feet that's what we're going to need to beat these guys," said Jaguars linebacker Telvin Smith when asked what he expected the atmosphere to be like at EverBank Field. "We know that this team they travel well. So we're going to need all the fans we can get to come out, be behind us and we're going to give you a show."