NASHVILLE, Tenn. – What a difference four days made.
And they didn’t make a positive difference at all for the Jaguars, who on Thursday night missed a chance for a second victory in less than a week.
Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry rushed for four touchdowns – including an NFL-record-tying 99-yarder in the first half — and the Jaguars continued their recent offensive struggles in a 30-9 loss to their AFC South rivals at Nissan Stadium in a nationally-televised, prime-time game Thursday night.
The Jaguars, after shutting out AFC South rival Indianapolis 6-0 this past Sunday, never led in their fourth consecutive loss to Tennessee. The Titans beat the Jaguars, 9-6, at TIAA Bank Field in Week 3 this season.
The Jaguars (4-9) now have lost eight of nine games. The Titans improved to 7-6 with their second consecutive victory, leading 30-2 midway through the third quarter.
Thursday’s game turned midway through the second quarter.
Trailing 7-2, the Jaguars drove inside the Titans 10 and had seven plays after facing 2nd-and-3 at the Titans 7. A sneak by quarterback Cody Kessler gave the Jaguars first-and-goal at the Titans 3, but running back Leonard Fournette was stopped for a one-yard gain on 4th-and-goal from the 2.
Henry on the ensuing play became the second player in NFL history to run 99 yards for a touchdown, stiff-arming past cornerback A.J. Bouye and linebackers Myles Jack and Leon Jacobs and giving Tennessee a 13-2 lead with 7:07 remaining before halftime.
Henry rushed for a Titans record 238 yards and four touchdowns on 17 carries, becoming the first Titans player in 17 games with more than 100 yards rushing. Henry scored on a three-yard run in the first quarter and 16- and 54-yard runs in the third quarter.
Kessler, making his second consecutive start after replacing Blake Bortles in the lineup, completed 25 of 43 passes for 240 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions.
Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota completed 18 of 24 passes for 162 yards and a touchdown with an interception.
Fournette, returning after serving a one-game suspension for fighting the previous week in a loss to the Buffalo Bills, rushed for 36 yards on 14 carries.
The Jaguars had 255 yards on offense, including 98 in the first half.
Step by step:
*The Jaguars, after shutting out Indianapolis four days before, allowed the Titans a quick touchdown on the game’s first drive to give Tennessee a 7-0 lead with 9:30 remaining as Henry capped a 73-yard drive with a three-yard run; a 33-yard screen pass from Mariota to running back Dion Lewis to the Jaguars 19 set up the touchdown. The Jaguars cut the lead to 7-2 when Titans wide receiver Cameron Batson muffed a punt and couldn’t get out of the end zone with :45 remaining in the first quarter. …
*Henry’s 16-yard run with 7:19 remaining in the third quarter gave the Titans a 23-2 lead, with his 54-yarder on the only play of the Titans’ next series pushing the lead quickly to 30-2. Kessler passed seven yards to wide receiver Dede Westbrook for a touchdown to cut the Titans lead to 30-9 with 1:49 remaining in the third quarter.
Notable: Jaguars strong safety Barry Church was a healthy scratch Thursday. A starter in 27 consecutive regular-season games after signing with the Jaguars as an unrestricted free agent in the 2016 offseason, Church was replaced in the lineup against the Colts Sunday by rookie Ronnie Harrison. He was active against the Colts, but did not play. … Harrison registered his first career interception in the first quarter when Mariota overthrew wide receiver Tajae Sharpe; Harrison last Sunday registered his first career sack in his first career start. … Defensive tackle Abry Jones and Church were among seven Jaguars inactives Sunday; Jones sustained a shin injury Sunday against Indianapolis. With Jones out, Taven Bryan and Marcell Dareus started at defensive tackle. … The Jaguars’ other five inactives: offensive lineman Josh Walker (foot/ankle), rookie wide receiver DJ Chark Jr. (quadriceps), running back Dave Williams, cornerback Tre Herndon (ankle) and safety C.J. Reavis. … Ereck Flowers started a fourth consecutive game for Walker. …
Injury report: Jaguars linebacker Leon Jacobs sustained a second-quarter quad injury and did not return.
What’s next: The Jaguars are scheduled to play the Washington Redskins at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville Sunday, December 16 at 1 p.m. in their final home game of the 2018 season.