Kenny Britt scored his second touchdown of the season but the Tennessee Titans settled for field goals rest of the day. The result was a 24-19 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in an unexpectedly defensive struggle Sunday at Jacksonville.
Rob Bironas made four of five attempts but Jacksonville scored three touchdowns, snapped a seven-game losing streak and won at home for the first time in six tries this season.
"We basically didn’t execute the plays that were called for us," running back Chris Johnson said. "We got down there so many times and we didn’t execute. We let it get away from us early in the game. Any time you play a team like Jacksonville, a division game, it’s going to be a very tough game no matter what their record is."
The Titans (4-7) and Jaguars (3-9) entered the contest 30th and 31st, respectively, in total defense and both were among the bottom four in scoring defense.
Tennessee recorded a season-high seven sacks from six different players, and had an interception for the sixth time in seven games.
Jacksonville’s ability to keep the Titans out of the end zone, though, was the difference. The Jaguars allowed 32 touchdowns through their first nine games, including five a week earlier in an overtime loss to Houston.
"I don’t think guys came in here expecting just to walk out and win the game," quarterback Jake Locker said. "We knew Jacksonville was a good football team. If you don’t think that, then you’re mistaken. And I don’t think our team prepared that way. I don’t think we came here with that mindset. We just didn’t execute as well as we needed to win the game.”
The need to settle for kicks started early.
Alterraun Verner intercepted a pass on the first official offensive snap of the contest and gave the ball to Tennessee’s offense at the 28-yard line. The Titans managed just eight yards and took an early 3-0 lead on a 38-yard field goal.
Bironas made one more in each quarter — from 40, 39 and 33 yards, respectively — but missed a 42-yard attempt midway through the second. It was the second time this season he kicked four field goals in a single game.
Britt finally got Tennessee to the end zone with a six-yard touchdown catch that cut a nine-point deficit to two, 21-19, with 4:52 to play.
Locker threw an interception on the next possession and again on the final, desperate play of the contest, though. That doubled his interception total for the season and was the first time in 11 career appearances he was picked off more than once.
Locker finished 23-40 passing for 261 yards. Tight end Jared Cook had a team-high six catches and Johnson rushed for 80 yards on 21 carries.
Linebacker Zach Brown had two sacks and was the Titans’ leading tackler. Verner’s interception was his third of the season.
"Right from the beginning, with the turnover, we struggled all day to score points and had to settle for field goals when we could have done much better than that," coach Mike Munchak said. "When you do that in this league, it ends up costing you. We missed a field goal in there, too. We just missed way too many opportunities to put points on the board."