For the first quarter of the 2013 season, the Tennessee Titans were 3-1 when recording zero turnovers. Through nine games, the Titans have been plagued with injuries and continue to turn the ball over, leading to a 4-5 record.
Despite allowing a mere 214 total yards to the previously winless Jacksonville Jaguars, the Titans turned the ball over four times Sunday while recovering two fumbles coughed up by Kendall Wright and Ryan Fitzpatrick.
After missing three weeks with a hip and knee injury and gaining a win on the road last week in St. Louis, Titans fans were hopeful that Jake Locker would get the Tennessee offense back on track.
Following a fumble on an exchange between Locker and running back Chris Johnson, the quarterback suffered a season-ending foot injury bringing Ryan Fitzpatrick back into the starting lineup.
Fitzpatrick has yet to lead Tennessee to a victory with all four of the Titans’ wins coming off starts made by Locker.
Aside from the turnovers, Fitzpatrick had his best game of the season. Going 22 of 33 through the air, Fitzpatrick was able to throw for 264 yards and two scores on the day. Tight ends Delanie Walker and Taylor Thompson were the recipients of the two touchdowns while Fitzpatrick added another score on the ground.
Though the Titans were able to move the ball through the air, Tennessee has found ways to win when playing hard-nosed football and having success running the football. One week after rushing for a season high 150 yards and two touchdowns against the Rams, Chris Johnson rushed for 30 yards on 12 carries against the Jaguars.
Allowing a pair of field goals and two touchdowns on the ground, the Tennessee defense continued its dominance in spite of the four Titans turnovers. The Jacksonville Jaguars have given up the most points in the NFL with 291 while allowing nearly 400 yards per game. Even so, the Titans only managed to score ten points through the first three quarters of Sunday’s game.
With the Jaguars leading by seven with eight minutes to go, the Titans regained possession of the ball and were handed an opportunity to tie the ball game. Backed up to their own one-yard line, Tennessee attempted a drop back pass. Ryan Fitzpatrick was able to complete the pass to back up running back Shonn Greene but only due to the hold committed by rookie guard, Chance Warmack, which resulted in a safety.
If that wasn’t enough, Tennessee was handed yet another opportunity to win the game but could not deliver.
Down by two points with 2:36 to go in the fourth quarter, Ryan Fitzpatrick was stripped by defensive back Will Blackmon to put that Jaguars up by nine sealing the game for Jacksonville.
Even with a disheartening loss to the worst team in the NFL and a season ending foot injury suffered by Jake Locker, the Tennessee Titans remain one game out of the final wild card spot behind the New York Jets who lost to Tennessee 38-13 on September 29th in Tennessee. Sitting at 4-5 there is still hope for a young Titans team who are preparing for a Thursday night matchup with the division leader, Indianapolis Colts.