Derrick Henry, Titans run over reeling Jaguars

Yulee High School graduate Derrick Henry of the Tennessee Titans stiff arms Tre Herndon of the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field on December 13, 2020 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) (JULIO AGUILAR, 2020 Getty Images)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Make that a Duval Dozen.

The Titans and a very familiar running back came to town and pulverized the Jaguars 31-10 on Sunday in a one-sided romp that saw Jacksonville change quarterbacks again.

But no magic from Gardner Minshew could bail the Jaguars out of a season-worst 28-point hole that Yulee High graduate Derrick Henry and the Titans put them in as the march towards an all-time worst season continues.

Jacksonville’s 12th straight loss is one away from tying the longest in franchise history, set over the parts of two seasons (2012-13). The 12 straight is already the most in a single season for Jacksonville.

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Laviska Shenault Jr. of the Jacksonville Jaguars runs the ball past Rashaan Evans of the Tennessee Titans at TIAA Bank Field on December 13, 2020 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

The Jaguars (1-12) travel to Baltimore next week before hosting Chicago and then traveling to Indianapolis to close out the regular season.

Even by Jaguars standards, this one was bad.

Henry was unstoppable again, rushing for 215 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 26 carries. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill picked the Jaguars apart (19 of 24, 212 yards, two TDs) through the air. The inability to slow that duo down was compounded by the fact that Jacksonville’s offense was awful.

Quarterback Mike Glennon turned in his worst performance since taking over for Jake Luton three weeks ago and was finally pulled for Minshew with Jacksonville in a 31-3 hole early in the third quarter. Minshew, who last played in a Week 7 loss to the Texans, provided minimal help. He did lead one touchdown drive, capped by a 5-yard pass to Keelan Cole Sr., but Minshew’s rust showed.

Coach Doug Marrone said that he would announce who would start going forward after talking to both players.

“Mike [Glennon] took a pick, and we were behind, and I really wanted to try to get a spark. Thinking that Gardner [Minshew II] could extend plays and make some plays with his feet and then he did that,” he said. “As far as moving forward, again, I haven’t spoken with both guys, so just out of respect for them —obviously, I have in my mind what I want to do, but I’m actually going to make sure I speak to them first, before I do something through the media. I don’t want them to find out from what I said, because after the game, everything happens so quickly for me.”

Of course, it didn’t matter anyway. The Jaguars were so far back by the time Minshew took the field that any type of production was likely just prep work for the rest of the season.

“It’s been different for sure. I was just trying to help Mike [Glennon] any way I could,” Minshew said of his time on the bench. “Just help the team in any way I could, through preparation and practice. But there’s always that itch and there’s really nothing to scratch that except getting out there and playing.”

Henry was a big reason why that deficit was so substantial.

Henry was dominant in steamrolling a team that he grew up watching, cracking the 200-yard mark and pacing the Titans (9-4) much of the game.

While the first meeting against the Titans in Week 2 was a tight game all the way to the finish (Tennessee won 33-30 to ignite Jacksonville’s losing streak) this one was decided by halftime.

Henry ripped off a 36-yard touchdown run with 52 seconds before the break and the Jaguars proceeded to go three and out in just 35 seconds. The Titans pieced together 28 quick yards and got a 53-yard field goal from Stephen Gostkowski for a 10-point swing and 17-3 lead right before the break.

“It’s always good to come back home and play a division opponent. They know us, we know them, so it’s always going to be a game against them,” Henry said. “Their record, it is what it is, but I feel like they always play hard. I had a good game, but those guys always play to the whistle. It’s always fun coming back home and being able to play in front of my family.”

Ryan Tannehill threw a 5-yard touchdown to ex-Jaguars player Geoff Swaim and Henry bulldozed in from the 1 for his second touchdown of the day for a 31-3 Titans lead with just under nine minutes to play in the third quarter. The 28-point hole was the largest Jacksonville has been in this season.

That was enough for Marrone to yank Glennon, who was woeful against Tennessee. He finished 13 of 23 for 85 yards and an interception. Glennon was decent in his two previous starts, although regressed last week with three turnovers in a 27-24 overtime loss to the Vikings.

Running back James Robinson was largely held in check, save for a 47-yard carry on the opening play of the fourth quarter that put him over 1,000 rushing yards on the season.

About the Author:

Justin Barney joined News4Jax in February 2019, but he’s been covering sports on the First Coast for more than 20 years.