JAX-TEN grades: Marcus Mariota grades well in Titans' victory
Tennessee Titans 36, Jacksonville Jaguars 22
Here are the biggest takeaways and top-graded players from Tennessee’s 36-22 win over Jacksonville:
Quarterback grade: Marcus Mariota, 83.7
Mariota quick and efficient in victory
Thursday night was the best game of Marcus Mariota’s young career. He played mistake-free football and was on the money from start to finish. Of his four incompletions, two were throwaways. He only attempted one pass of 20 or more yards downfield, but he completed it for a 36-yard touchdown. There really wasn’t much more he could do on such a limited number of attempts (22).
Top offensive grades:
WR Kendall Wright, 81.7
RT Jack Conklin, 81.2
TE Delanie Walker, 81.1
TE Anthony Fasano, 80.3
C Ben Jones, 79.5
Offensive line creates freeway-sized running lanes
When Mike Mularkey schemed up the Titans offense, this is exactly what he had in mind. Tennessee put Jacksonville in a bind with their heavy formations. The Jaguars linebackers and edge players weren’t winning the one-on-one battles with the Titans tight ends, causing huge bounce-out lanes for Tennessee’s running backs Demarco Murray and Derrick Henry. The Titans backs gained 116 of their 221 yards before contact.
Top defensive grades:
DI Jurrell Casey, 83.3
LB Sean Spence, 82.2
DI Angelo Blackson, 79.7
CB Antwon Blake, 78.0
LB Avery Williamson, 77.8
Jurrell Casey shines as Orakpo and Morgan are held in check
DI Jurrell Casey made his presence felt by Jaguars QB Blake Bortles all night, as he recorded six hurries and a QB hit. With the Jaguars quitting on the run early, Casey was able to wreak havoc as a pass-rusher, beating RG A.J. Cann for the majority of the night. Among the league leaders in sacks, OLB Brian Orakpo disappeared for most of the night as he logged just two hurries, and while Derrick Morgan notched a sack, it was his only pressure for the night. The Titans defense wasn’t spectacular, but it didn’t need to be with the way Bortles was throwing the ball.
Quarterback grade: Blake Bortles, 43.7
The return of the “Garbage-Time King”
A glance at the box score will indicate that QB Blake Bortles had a solid day, throwing for 337 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions, producing an impressive 103.1 passer rating. Of course, anyone watching this game saw that it was a brutal performance by the Jaguars’ former first-round pick, as he really struggled to hit his mark until well after the game was decided and the Titans were playing a prevent-style defense. Especially bad under pressure, Bortles completed just 42.9 percent of his passes and produced a passer rating of 57.4 when under duress.
Top offensive grades:
RT Jermey Parnell, 80.4
TE Julius Thomas, 78.9
WR Allen Hurns, 76.2
LT Kelvin Beachum, 72.5
RB T.J. Yeldon, 71.3
Jags abandon run game, air it out
The Jaguars got behind the Titans very quickly and gave up on trying to establish the run, as the team ran just nine designed runs for a total of 25 yards. It was a shame, as RB T.J. Yeldon had a promising start, forcing two missed tackles on just three carries while also impressing out of the backfield in the receiving game, catching all four of his targets for 36 yards. Bortles was again unable to find a connection with WR Allen Robinson, as just six of his 15 targets were caught. WR Allen Hurns easily had his best game of the season, even with a drop, catching seven of 10 targets and gaining 2.0 yards per route run.
Top defensive grades:
S John Cyprien, 83.6
DT Abry Jones, 76.1
DT Sen’Derrick Marks, 73.7
CB Prince Amukamara, 73.3
DT Tyson Alualu, 70.9
It was a rough night for Jags’ rookie defenders
With Jacksonville’s season all but finished, Jaguars fans at least have a promising rookie class to look forward to. Unfortunately, they didn’t come close to bringing their collective A-game Thursday night. First-round cornerback Jalen Ramsey was caught out of position multiple times versus the run and got sucked inside on a 47-yard wheel route at the start of the third quarter. To top it off, second-round linebacker Myles Jack missed a tackle on his only attempt and finished with the fifth-lowest grade of anyone on the Jags defense in 22 snaps.
PFF Game-Ball Winner: Titans QB Marcus Mariota
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