Titans hold on to earn first postseason berth since 2008
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- This time, the Tennessee Titans held on to the fourth quarter lead and clinched their first playoff spot since 2008.
Three Ryan Succop field goals, a 66-yard touchdown reception by Derrick Henry and a relentless effort by the defense carried them to a 15-10 win over the AFC South champion Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday at Nissan Stadium.
Tennessee (9-7) earned an AFC wild-card spot, while Jacksonville (10-6) lost its second straight game. But the outcome didn't affect its No. 3 seed for the playoffs, so it will host a wild-card round matchup next weekend, perhaps against the Titans.
Tennessee won despite picking up just 235 total yards. Henry accounted for 66 of them on a screen pass that he took to the end zone 56 seconds into the second quarter to break the scoring seal.
The offense's second-best drive might have been the one that salted the game away. Marcus Mariota scrambled for two first downs, the last coming on a 13-yard run on 3rd-and-5 to the Jaguars' 43 at the two-minute warning, to melt away the final 3:57.
Mariota completed 12 of 21 passes for 134 yards while running for a team-high 61 yards on nine carries. Henry struggled to find running room all day, managing only 51 yards on 28 attempts.
Succop converted field goals of 25, 39 and 38 yards to give the Titans a 15-3 lead midway through the third quarter. The first two came in the last 81 seconds of the first half after consecutive Jacksonville fumbles deep in its territory.
However, the modest offensive output held up as Tennessee snapped a three-game losing streak. It lost fourth quarter leads in every game.
The Jaguars' only touchdown came courtesy of their defense. Mariota and Henry botched an exchange with 10:48 left in the game that defensive end Yannick Ngakoue lugged 67 yards to the end zone.
But the Tennessee defense allowed no more. Kevin Byard sealed the outcome with his second interception of the day at the Jacksonville 46-yard line with 10 seconds left.
Blake Bortles hit 15 of 34 passes for 158 yards with two picks. Josh Lambo accounted for the Jaguars' only offensive points with a 41-yard field goal in the second quarter.
Following the game, players from both teams engaged in a brief scuffle.
NOTES: Leading receiver Marqise Lee was the headliner on Jacksonville's list of inactives, which also included WR Montay Crockett, RB Chris Ivory, OL Chris Reed, OL Cam Robinson, OL William Poehls and DT Abry Jones. ... Tennessee's inactives were RB DeMarco Murray (knee), QB Brandon Weeden, DB Curtis Riley, OLB Josh Carraway, LB Nate Palmer, OL Corey Levin and WR Harry Douglas. ... Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette topped 1,000 yards for the season in the second quarter.