Though the Tennessee Titans are 6-9 with one week left to play in the 2013 season, familiar faces have led Tennessee in each of these six victories including Sunday’s 20-16 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.
A strong rushing attack featuring more than one running back, holding the opposing offense to under 300 total yards, a stand out wide receiver and Rob Bironas have been the keys to winning football games for Tennessee.
Trailing for most of the first three quarters, the Titans were able to control the clock by keeping the offense on the field. Shonn Greene and Chris Johnson rushed for a combined 181 yards on the ground while Greene punched in a touchdown in the third quarter to bring Tennessee within point of the Jaguars. Because the Titans were not trying to feature a single back throughout the duration of Sunday’s matchup, fresh legs were on the field and each back able to rumble through the weak Jacksonville defense.
Aiding the ground game and putting up Tennessee’s only points in the first half, kicker Rob Bironas reached the 100 point mark for the seventh straight season. Making 84.6 percent of his field goals in 2013, Bironas hit kicks from 45 and 52 yards out Sunday to keep the Titans within a touchdown going into halftime.
Because the Titans fell to Jacksonville earlier in the season, and were now trailing heading into the fourth quarter, it caused Titans’ fans to sink into their seats preparing themselves for yet another defeat. For once this was not the case. Ryan Fitzpatrick finally found his most reliable target, veteran wide out Nate Washington putting the Titans ahead with 14:25 to play. Washington, who finished with six catches for 117 yards and the 30-yard scoring strike, caught his first touchdown reception since Week 4.
Though the Titans trailed at the half without scoring a touchdown strong defensive play kept Tennessee in the game. Aside from an early touchdown drive, the Tennessee Titans defense did not allow Jacksonville to move the ball. Giving up just three points in the second half, the defense put Tennessee in position to come back and take the lead late in the game. The Tennessee defense gave up a mere 289 total yards to Chad Henne and the Jaguars offense not allowing a single 100-yard rusher or receiver on the day.
The Tennessee defense really came to life in the fourth quarter despite the impressive defensive performance through the first three quarters. Bernard Pollard and the Tennessee defense stopped Jacksonville on fourth down with five minutes to play while safety George Wilson picked off Henne with under a minute to go after Tennessee punted the ball back to the Jaguars.
It was a sight to see on the field this past Sunday with Tennessee playing like a team and showing as much resilience as they’ve displayed all year. However, coming in Week 16, Tennessee must stretch these positives into 2014. With a matchup with the last place Houston Texans in Week 17, Tennessee is attempting to deprive their divisional foe of a number one draft pick in May’s draft.