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Other Week 11 Game Recaps

Week 11 Game Recap: Jacksonville Jaguars 31, Tennessee Titans 28

What you need to know

Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars overcame an abysmal first quarter in which they did not gain any yards to outplay the Titans in the second half and win the game. Byron Leftwich’s play was a mirror image of how the Jaguars played. Leftwich missed his first ten passing attempts (he was credited with a completion after a pass was tipped and recovered by an offensive lineman) but then came on strong as he brought the Jaguars back. Leftwich was hit many times during this game, but only came out for one series, displaying his toughness by hanging in the pocket to give his receivers a chance to get open. Leftwich finished with 22 completions in 38 pass attempts for 258 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. This performance was impressive considering he was sacked twice, knocked down five times and hurried nine times. He stood strong on the pocket and made all the throws asked of him, showing good arm strength on deep passes, and good touch on the shorter, timing routes. Leftwich also scored on a quarterback sneak up the middle from the two yard line.

Receiver Jimmy Smith had a very good game. Although he was double teamed constantly, he was productive, converting nine targets into five receptions for 89 yards. On one of his receptions, he was pushed out of bounds at the three yard line. Matt Jones and Ernest Wilford also had solid complimentary games, both catching touchdown passes, and finishing with 46 and 47 yards receiving respectively. Both players were featured in the end zone during this game. Wilford had two passes thrown to him in the end zone, while Jones had five passes thrown his way in the end zone. In addition to his touchdown catch, Jones caught two of these end zone passes, but landed out of bounds.

Fred Taylor was ruled able to play just before the game began. He started but was not a factor. He was held to minus eight yards rushing, and did not play much in the second half. Greg Jones assumed the bulk of the rushing duties, but was held to just 33 yards on 16 carries. Jones ran hard, but the Titans’ run defense was able to stop him for minimal gains on most of his rushing attempts.

In spite of their poor start, and inability to jump start their running game, Jacksonville was able to do enough in the passing game to win the game. Leftwich and his receivers accomplished this by using their strengths, which is their size. Most of the passes thrown by Leftwich were intentionally high, and his receivers used their size to out jump or shield defenders for the ball on the lower thrown passes. Although they were not able to generate much of a running game, Jacksonville attempted to run Greg Jones three different times in goal line situations. He was unable to score, and apart from Leftwich’s quarterback sneak, Jacksonville’s touchdowns came via the pass.

Tennessee Titans

The Titans played well at the beginning, but were outplayed in the second half by Jacksonville. When given time, Steve McNair displayed an accurate arm. Most of his passes were of the intermediate variety, and he showed nice touch on passes he made on the run when flushed from the pocket by the Jaguars’ pass rushers. McNair finished with 208 passing yards on 20 completions in 30 attempts, with two touchdowns and one interception, which was a result of him throwing into double coverage. He was able to rally his team late in the fourth quarter to bring Tennessee within three points, and showed great command of the offense on that drive. He did not have many opportunities in the second half, as Jacksonville dominated the time of possession.

Drew Bennett was the most productive wide receiver, turning seven targets into five receptions for 55 yards. He was used mostly on intermediate or short routes, as was the other leading receiver, tight end Erron Kinney. Kinney also caught five passes, and turned them into 37 yards. Kinney was targeted twice in the red zone, and was stopped at the one yard line on his one red zone reception. Bennett was targeted once in the end zone, but the pass fell incomplete.

Chris Brown played very well. He had 119 combined yards, with a rushing and receiving touchdown. Though held to just over three yards per carry, Brown carried the ball 20 times, and showed a willingness to run up the middle and fight for extra yards against a Jaguars’ defense that was determined to contain him. His rushing touchdown came on a run up the middle from the one yard line that was as a result of him absorbing an initial hit, and then scoring with a tremendous second effort. Brown displayed good awareness in the passing game, converting five targets into four receptions for 58 yards. His receiving touchdown came on a middle screen, where he showed good burst to run away from would be tacklers. Brown showed a nice package of power on his runs, and speed in the passing game.

The Titans tried to have a balanced offensive attack until their last drive, when because of the time remaining, had to rely exclusively on the pass. When in the red zone, Tennessee tried to mix up their play calling, running Brown initially, and then going to the pass on the times other than his rushing touchdown. There was a fairly distribution among the receivers in the passing game, with Bennett and Kinney getting the most targets.

What you ought to know

QB Byron Leftwich, Pass: 22 - 38 - 258 - 3 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 6 - 9 - 1

While Leftwich was hurried and under pressure for a good portion of the game, he still displayed his trademark toughness and showed great leadership in bringing his team back from a terrible start offensively, to win the game. After missing his first ten passing attempts, he made the right decisions most of the day in terms of who his open receivers were. He and his receivers seemed to be on the same page after the first quarter, and especially so in the second half. He tended to look for Jimmy Smith most of the time in the first half, but distributed the ball more evenly in the second half. He was knocked out of the game for one play, but returned to direct the offense. On another series, he was hobbling on the sideline trying to walk off the effects of taking a shot to the legs. He kept returning to the game and leading his team to time-consuming and scoring drives.

QB David Garrard, Rush: 1 - 12 - 0

Garrard spelled Leftwich for one play when Leftwich had to come out due to injury. He used that opportunity to rush for 12 yards and keep the Jaguars’ drive alive.

RB Greg Jones, Rush: 16 - 33 - 0, Rec: 2 - 7 - 0 (2 targets)

Jones ran hard and with power, but went up against a determined Titans’ defense that did not allow him any big gains. Jones had the majority of the rushing attempts, as Fred Taylor was ineffective in this game.

RB Fred Taylor, Rush: 6 - -8 - 0 (1 targets)

Taylor started but had a very sub-par game, in large part to the run defense of the Titans. He was stopped behind the line of scrimmage several times, and did not have a chance to get going. He did not play most of the second half

RB Alvin Pearman, Rush: 1 - 3 - 0, Rec: 2 - 18 - 0 (2 targets)

Pearman had one carry in the game, and converted both of his targets for completions. He was in the game on third down plays several times, but did not have a large role in the game.

WR Jimmy Smith, Rec: 5 - 89 - 0 (9 targets)

Smith had another solid game, despite being double teamed for a large part of the contest. Smith continued to run a variety of routes well, and showed an ability to catch balls that were thrown high intentionally. He came close to scoring, being pushed out of bounds at the three yard line, but was not targeted in the end zone. Smith continued to show a good rapport with his quarterback.

WR Ernest Wilford, Rec: 5 - 47 - 1 (7 targets)

Wilford did not have a pass thrown to him in the first half, but took advantage of being called on in the second half. His touchdown catch was an example of great leaping ability and concentration, as he out jumped a Titans’ defender to catch the ball. Wilford did not run many deep patterns in this game, but was effective on the short to intermediate routes he was asked to run.

WR Matt Jones, Rec: 3 - 46 - 1 (5 targets)

Jones played very well, and his quarterback showed he has a lot of confidence in him, by continually going to him in the end zone. Jones caught two balls thrown to him in the end zone, but was ruled out of bounds. He used his size to advantage on both of these pass plays, as well as the pass he caught for a touchdown, whether on fade routes, or post-up routes.

WR Reggie Williams, Rec: 1 - 9 - 0 (2 targets)

Williams was not involved in the passing game in the first half either, and was only targeted on one series in the second half.

TE Kyle Brady, Rec: 3 - 43 - 1 (5 targets)

Brady was involved in the passing offense more than usual, and responded well. He carried multiple Tennessee defenders with him for extra yards on a catch and run that was for 33 yards. Brady also caught a one yard toss from Leftwich for a touchdown.

TE George Wrighster (1 targets)

Wrighster was not a factor in this game.

PK Josh Scobee 1 - 1 FG, 4 - 4 XP, 7 points

Scobee made all four of his extra point attempts, and his lone field goal attempt, which was from 31 yards.

JAX Rush Defense

The Jaguars rush defense was aggressive throughout the game, and held Chris Brown to a 3.0 yards per carry average. Although Brown ran hard, Jacksonville’s defenders, led by their linemen, stopped him for minimal gains, preventing him from shifting to a higher gear where he could showcase his speed. Thanks to the offense dominating the time of possession, the Jaguars run defenders did not wear down, and kept swarming to Brown whenever he was given the ball. They did give up a touchdown run to Brown, which was in large part to a strong effort by him to fight through tackles for the score.

JAX Pass Defense

Jacksonville’s pass defense was also aggressive and made several big plays. The front four was assisted by blitzing teammates, and they were able to record three sacks on McNair and bat down some of his passes. In additon, they hurried him into some incompletions, aided by a secondary that did not allow Tennessee’s receivers to get open deep. The success of the pass defense contributed to Tennessee relying on a conservative passing game that emphasized shorter passes.

QB Steve McNair, Pass: 20 - 30 - 208 - 2 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 1 - 2 - 0

McNair played well within the conservative game plan. He was accurate on his throws, including when he had to make some tough ones on the run. He remained poised in the face of the fierce pass rush, and despite not having many opportunities in the second half, still managed to bring his team to within three points at the end of the game. Overall, McNair played a solid game considering the excellent pass defense he faced.

RB Chris Brown, Rush: 20 - 61 - 1, Rec: 4 - 58 - 1 (5 targets)

Brown played very well in all facets of the game. He ran with determination against a very strong run defense, and was very effective in the passing game. The only target he did not catch was a ball that was tipped as it headed his way. Brown scored both on the ground and in the passing game.

RB Troy Fleming, Rec: 1 - 5 - 0 (1 targets)

Fleming’s contributions were mostly as a blocking fullback for Brown.

WR Drew Bennett, Rec: 6 - 55 - 0 (7 targets)

Bennett played well, despite wearing a cast on his hand. He ran good routes, and caught most of the passes thrown to him. Bennett was asked to run short to intermediate routes almost exclusively, and did a good job of doing so. He was targeted in the end zone once, but was unable to convert the pass into a touchdown.

WR Courtney Roby, Rec: 2 - 24 - 0 (4 targets)

Roby was slightly more productive than his fellow rookie Jones, as he caught two passes thrown to him. His contribution to the passing game was minimal as well.

WR Roydell Williams, Rec: 1 - 8 - 1 (1 targets)

Williams made the most of the one pass thrown to him, converting it into an eight yard touchdown reception.

WR Brandon Jones, Rec: 1 - 21 - 0 (4 targets)

Jones only caught one of the passes thrown to him. He was targeted once in the red zone, but did not catch the ball. He was not a factor otherwise.

TE Erron Kinney, Rec: 5 - 37 - 0 (7 targets)

Kinney, along with Bennett, was the most targeted Titans’ receiver. He was stopped inside the one yard line on one reception. He was McNair’s outlet receiver on most of his targets.

TE Ben Troupe (2 targets)

Troupe was unable to catch either of the two passes thrown to him in the game.

PK Rob Bironas 0 - 0 FG, 4 - 4 XP, 4 points

Bironas did not attempt any field goals, and made all four of the extra point attempts he tried.

TEN Rush Defense

The Titans’ run defense was excellent throughout the game. They ran run blitzes very effectively, and stopped the Jaguars’ running backs behind the line of scrimmage several times. The Titans held Fred Taylor to negative eight yards rushing, and did not allow his backup, Greg Jones, a run longer than five yards.

TEN Pass Defense

The Titans’ pass defense was very aggressive and relied on the blitz a lot. They kept sending linebackers and defensive backs throughout the game and were able to disrupt Leftwich, especially early in the game. They knocked him down many times, and though they did not have an interception, made him hurry several throws. The pass defense scored a touchdown when a defensive lineman stripped the ball from Leftwich and another lineman picked the ball up and ran into the end zone. However, when the blitz did not get to Leftwich in time, the secondary was unable to prevent Jacksonville’s receivers from getting open.

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