Jacksonville may have had home field advantage but they couldn't come out on top in Sunday's divisional matchup against the Tennessee Titans. It was a defensive battle to the final score of 9-6 at TIAA Bank Field.
Marcus Mariota came off the bench and directed three scoring drives, including one in the fourth quarter, and Tennessee beat Jacksonville 9-6 Sunday for their third straight victory in the series.
Mariota replaced Blaine Gabbert in the first quarter after Gabbert was knocked out of the game with a concussion.
Mariota sat out last week's victory against Houston because of an elbow injury sustained in the season opener. He had been experiencing arm weakness along with numbness and tingling in two fingers. The injury affects the velocity and spin he gets on the football.
Mariota wore a glove on his injured right hand and was able to do just enough to beat the Jaguars (2-1) for the third straight time and fifth time in the past six meetings.
Mariota completed 12 of 18 passes for 100 yards and ran for 51 more, including a 15-yard gain on a third-and-1 play late.
The Titans (2-1) milked the clock from there and ended up celebrating an early lead in the AFC South.
Blake Bortles had one final chance to rally Jacksonville, but did little to get into field-goal range with 19 seconds remaining.
The Titans talked openly about feeling as if they should have been division champs after sweeping Jacksonville last year. The Jags won the division and ended up advancing to the AFC title game.
Jacksonville welcomed a chance to make a statement about the division, but flopped on the field.
Bortles was mediocre at best, and the Jaguars mounted little on the ground.
Bortles completed 21 of 34 passes for 155 yards.
Josh Lambo's 38-yard field goal tied the game with 10:48 remaining. It was Lambo's 16th consecutive made field goal, the third-best streak in franchise history.
But Jacksonville's vaunted defense couldn't hold down the stretch, allowing a 65-yard drive with the game on the line.
Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette missed his second straight game because of a strained right hamstring. Jacksonville ran for 87 yards without him. It didn't help that the team was down two offensive line starters - left tackle Cam Robinson and right guard A.J. Cann.
Titans punt returner Adoree Jackson joined Gabbert in the locker room in the second quarter and was later ruled out with a concussion. Titans LB Jayon Brown got hurt late in the game but jogged off the field.
Jaguars defensive end Calais Campbell left the game in the fourth quarter with a right ankle injury. Defensive tackle Marcell Dareus left briefly in the second half with a shoulder injury.
Jaguars are back at home again next week to play the New York Jets.
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