Defensive Battle in the AFC South as Titans Beat Jags 17-10

Garrard knocked down

In a clash of defenses, both teams struggled to win their season opener. With the exception of Tennessee rookie RB Chris Johnson, neither team was able to do much offensively; Tennessee had a total of 309 yards while Jacksonville could only manage a total of 189.

Tennessee scored first with a 47-yard field goal early in the first quarter. Titans’ QB Vince Young (12/22, 110 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT) threw his only touchdown on a 7-yard pass to RB Chris Johnson, capping a seven play, 75-yard drive late in the first half to put the Titans up 10 to 7. Tennessee scored again in the fourth quarter on a 1-yard touchdown run by LenDale White with less than four minutes to go in the game.

Chris Johnson had a total of 127 yards, 95 in the first half alone. He rushed for 93 yards on 15 attempts and racked up 34 yards on three catches. His rushing yards were the most by a rookie on the opening day of the season since Earl Campbell rushed 137 yards for the Houston Oilers against the Atlanta Falcons in 1978.

Titan TE Bo Scaife led all receivers with 105 yards.

Vince Young sprained his left knee with a little over four minutes to go in the game and was replaced by backup Kerry Collins (2/2, 65 yards). The Titans do not expect the injury to be serious.

The injuries to the Jaguars’ offensive line proved to be too much for Jacksonville to survive against an overwhelming Tennessee defense. Jacksonville QB David Garrard (23/35, 215 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT) was sacked seven times in the game and was intercepted twice after only throwing three interceptions all of last season. Jacksonville was missing backup Richard Collier who was shot earlier this week and offensive linemen Maurice Williams and Vince Manuwai who left the game with injuries.

Also missing from Jacksonville’s playbook was their running game. Jacksonville was the second-best rushing team in 2007 but could only manage 33 yards rushing in the game. Fred Taylor led with the team with 18 yards on 9 carries.

WR Matt Jones led Jacksonville’s receivers with 80 yards.

Jacksonville scored their only touchdown on a one-yard pass to WR Greg Jones with about 10 minutes left to play in the second quarter. K Josh Scobee kicked a 27-yard field goal with a little over two minutes to play in the game but the Jaguars illegally touched the following onside kick and could not do much when they got the ball back with 14 seconds left. The game ended when Garrard was sacked for the final time by Titans’ DT Albert Haynesworth.

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