FINALLY!
Titans give fans a win for the holidays in a game for the ages

Marcus Mariota (photo credit: titansonline.com)

Marcus Mariota (photo credit: titansonline.com)

After a year of futility, the Titans finally won a home game, their first home victory since October 2014 in LP Field. They beat the Jacksonville Jaguars then and last Sunday, for their first win in Nissan Stadium. The 42-39 final score hints at the wild and wooly beast that the game was, definitely a “Shoot Out at the Nissan Corral.”

There are two ways to view the game, either the Titans (3-9) manned up and won at home through their own devices, or the Jaguars (4-8) blundered their way into losing on the road. There’s compelling evidence supporting either view.

Consider that Titans rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota electrified the stadium and the sports world when he took off for an 87-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter. Titan receivers Dorial Green-Beckham and Kendall Wright threw the key blocks on the record-setting play. Mariota led all rushers with 112 yards, and added 268 yards through the air on 20-of-29 passes including three touchdowns.

The Titans had blown a nine point lead, 28-19, to begin the fourth quarter, and allowed Jacksonville to take their first lead, 32-28, on two quick touchdowns in two minutes. But, unlike previous outings, Tennessee refused to fold, the Titans ‘Titaned Up” and Mariota took off from his own 13 yard line and scored the 87-yard touchdown to retake the lead for good, 35-32, with eight and a half minutes left.

An inspired and reinvigorated Tennessee defense recovered a Jacksonville fumble when the Jaguars were threatening to mount a scoring drive from their own 26 yard line midway through the final stanza. Titan linebacker Wesley Woodyard fell onto the ball and rolled into the end zone, putting the Titans up by ten points, 42-32. A late Jaguar touchdown pulled them within three points, 42 -39. The Titans held on to secure the victory for the mostly intact announced paid attendance of 57, 355 which was about 10,000 under the stadium capacity of 67,132.

The final quarter of the game was one of the most entertaining periods of sports in recent Nashville history. While 40 points were scored through the first three, 41 more were added during the first ten minutes of the fourth.

This all supports the theory that the Titans won, rather than the Jaguars lost.

But consider that the Jaguars scored six offensive touchdowns to the Titans’ five, and that the Jaguars missed their first point-after kick attempt, a subsequent two-point conversion effort, and the PAT following their fourth TD. Three points were the difference in the final score, and the Jaguars left four points on the field. No field goals were attempted during the game by either team, and the Jags scored all six times they entered the red zone, while the titans scored on 3 of 4 series in the red zone.

So, was it a Titans win or a Jaguars loss? You be the judge!