The Tennessee Titans got four return touchdowns in a five minute span wrapped around the first half and used those to defeat the Jacksonville Jaguars, 38-20, in the season finale at LP Field today. Zach Brown returned two Chad Henne interceptions for scores and Darius Reynaud returned two punts for scores as part of the barrage.
It looked early like the game would be a shootout on both sides, as the Jaguars scored touchdowns on their first two possessions and the only reason the Titans didn't score two of their own was Nate Washington failed to catch the deep downfield pass by Jake Locker. Little did we know, though, that neither offense would find the end zone again, as both teams reverted to their normal stretch of incompetence. The score didn't move from 14-7 until Brown finally took advantage of one of Henne's repeated attempts to give them the football. The Titans extended their lead to 38-14 with a Rob Bironas field goal, then the Jaguars returned a blocked punt late for the final score.
With four return scores, the Titans didn't get as many chances to run offensive plays as they otherwise would have. Chris Johnson unsurprisingly struggled to find running room. Locker finished 9 of 15 for 152 yards with a couple drops and took two sacks. Collin Mooney got five carries late in the game. Taylor Thompson and Brandon Barden seemed to get a little bit of playing time with Stevens out.
Defensively, the Titans struggled tackling early once again. In the second half, they got to Chad Henne a lot, as they did in the first matchup. This time, Derrick Morgan led the way with two of the six sacks. Tommie Campbell got to play corner for Alterraun Verner in the second half. Jaguars tight end Marcedes Lewis had a career-high 103 yards receiving, because of course he did. Akeem Ayers and Jason McCourty failed to haul in catchable balls before Zach Brown's first pick-6.
Well, a win is a win. The Titans finish the year at 6-10 and will probably have something like the 10th pick in the 2013 draft. I'll have more on this game later this week, I'm sure, but on to the offseason.
It looks like the Titans finally figured out the secret to scoring points. Leave the offence on the sidelines. If the offence isn't on the field, Jake can't throw interceptions and CJ and the receivers can't fumble the ball away. This was a stroke of genius on the part of the coaching staff. Looks like Munchak probably saved his job. Let's just hope that he didn't save anyone else's.