In what was most certainly a tale of two halves, the Titans proved that they are the smashmouth kings of the AFC South. It seemed like coaches Mike Mularkey and Doug Marrone were using the same playbook in the first half, feeling each other out and trying to establish the run game.
It was tough sledding for the Titans early, and the Jacksonville defensive line kept Demarco Murray bottled up. Likewise, Jacksonville’s Fournette couldn’t get much going either. Marcus Mariota had a spotty first half, with a few questionable throws. Including an errant throw that was picked off by Telvin Smith. He settled down once the run game started to take off. He ended the day 15/27 with 215 yards, a touchdown and an interception.
The real story on the day was the emergence of Derrick Henry. He did most of his damage in the second half, and had a career high 92 yards on the day with a touchdown. He consistently broke tackles, and the Jaguars couldn’t slow him down.
Blake Bortles is always going to Bortles it seems, his three turnovers were nails in the coffin for Jaguars. Brian Orakpo hit him for a strip sack in the second quarter, which was recovered by Erik Walden. Then Bortles had two tipped balls in the second half that the opportunistic Titans defense intercepted.
The Titans dropped 31 points on Jacksonville in the second half, and validated some of the hype that media pundits were lavishing on them prior to the season. Next week’s matchup, against the Seattle Seahawks, will be another bar fight and will test the toughness of this Titans team. Fantasy owners, do what you can to move Demarco Murray, King Henry has ascended his throne.