Game one is in the books, and I am glad to say I was wrong. At first I had the Jaguars losing to the Titans, but they proved me wrong. With a stout run game and some good defense the Jags were able to pull off a 16-14 win in what is the start of the Luke McCown era.
The Jags outgained the Titans 323-292, with Jacksonville crushing the Titans in rush yards, 163-43, which is a bit of a surprise considering Chris Johnson played in the game for the Titans, but was limited to 24 yards rushing. The Titans did have the advantage in passing yards, 249-160, 80 yards of which for the Titans came on one pass from Matt Hasselbeck to Kenny Britt from over the middle for a touchdown.
The Jaguars did dominate time of possession 39:38 to 20:22, which is a huge key to winning games, can’t win if the offense can’t make plays. Both teams had 1 turnover each, Tennessee had an interception thrown and Jacksonville lost a fumble.
Luke McCown’s debut as the starting QB for the Jaguars was a success, and he played well and was smart with the ball, even though he fumbled twice losing one. Luke was 17 of 24 for 175 with no touchdowns and no interceptions and a 91.5 QB rating to end the game.
Luke’s counterpart Matt Hasselbeck had a good game in his debut for the Titans as he went 21/34 for263 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Hesselbeck finished the game with a 93.1 QB rating.
Maurice Jones-Drew carried the ball for most of the day for the Jags, carrying the ball 24 times for 97 yards; including a 21 yard touchdown run whish was the only touchdown of the game for the Jaguars. Deji Karim also carried the rock for the Jags, as he had 14 carries for 33 yards.
The Titans never got a run game established even though they had there multi-million dollar man Chris Johnson back for this game. Johnson had 9 carries for only 24 yards in the game; he also had 6 catches for 25 yards.
The Titans definitely had the advantage in this one as Kenny Britt led the way with 5 catches for 136 yards and two touchdowns. Mike Thomas was the leading receiver for the Jaguars with 8 catches for 55 yards, and Jason Hill had 4 catches for 53 yards. Nate Washington had 6 catches for 67 yards for the Titans.
Both defenses managed 2 sacks a piece, which is nice for two teams who had worries about their respective pass rushes. Dawan Landry was the leading tackler for the Jaguars with 8 total tackles and 6 solo tackles. Barrett Ruud led the way for the Titans with 8 solo and 14 total tackles.
The Jags still have work to do as they need to turn the 3 field goals they had today into touchdowns. While the debut was a success for McCown he needs to do a better job completing passes down field, because 175 pass yards won’t cut it in what has become a passing league. On the plus side the offense did get 20 first downs, and they made lots of holes for the running backs to move through and for the most part gave Luke good protection.
The defense looked good, could still get more pressure on the QB and needs to become sounder because you can’t allow an 80 yard touchdown when you only have a 9 point lead. Even though there are things to work on it was a good day for the Jaguars because you can’t ask for much more than walking away with a win against a division rival. Now that the Jaguars have this win under their belt let’s see if they can keep the momentum rolling as they roll into the meadowlands next week to play the New York Jets.