Jaguars 15, Titans 12
The Jacksonville Jaguars are proving that with a good defense, any kind of offense will do.
Fred Taylor ran for a one-yard touchdown with nine seconds left Sunday and the Jaguars beat the Tennessee Titans, 15-12, for their first victory ever at the Coliseum. Jacksonville now is 3-0 despite scoring just 35 points this season.
Of course, the Jaguars have allowed only 28.
"Our defense is outstanding," Taylor said. "They keep us in it and give us a chance to win. I don't want to say we have the luxury of starting slow, because that just isn't how you want to play."
The Jaguars sacked Steve McNair three times and knocked him out in the fourth quarter with a bruised sternum. He watched the final minutes from the sideline as the Titans (1-2) lost their second straight, then was taken to a local hospital for more tests.
Jaguars Coach Jack Del Rio said his Jaguars have plenty of room for improvement after pulling out a victory over Buffalo with no time left and recovering a fumble last week in the final minute to beat Denver. "For us, a huge win. [I'm] proud of our guys for fighting the whole 60 minutes," Del Rio said.
Byron Leftwich also threw for a touchdown as the Jaguars improved to 3-0 for the first time since 1998.
Tennessee has dominated this series since 1999, winning nine of the previous 11 games and each of the first five games played in the Coliseum.
But the Jaguars said they didn't care about history with 36 players added since the end of the 2002 season. They held Tennessee and McNair, the 2003 co-most valuable player, to just 249 yards.
The Titans now have lost consecutive games at home after going 7-1 at home in 2003. "Honestly, right now we are not playing good football," Pro Bowl wide receiver Derrick Mason said.
McNair was hurt while trying to rally the Titans. He ran twice for 19 yards, including a 14-yard scramble on third and 10, on a drive capped by Chris Brown's 26-yard touchdown run for a 12-7 lead with 5 minutes 37 seconds to go.
But McNair overthrew Mason in the left corner of the end zone on a two-point attempt, then went straight to the sideline.
Leftwich drove the Jaguars 59 yards in 13 plays, and Taylor capped it with a run to the right side. Taylor, one of only four Jaguars left from the 1999 season in which Tennessee beat them three times, ran back to the sideline with the ball under his arm. "They flushed my Super Bowl opportunity down the drain, so I respect them to the utmost," Taylor said of the Titans. "I don't know how they feel about us, but it really isn't important."
Leftwich hit Reggie Williams on the two-point attempt, but it wasn't needed. Leftwich was 14 of 20 for 124 yards, and Taylor ran 17 times for 81 yards.
Backup Billy Volek warmed up, but the Titans had left him only three seconds after a botched play on the short kickoff return. Drew Bennett bounced a lateral back to Samari Rolle, but he was tackled. Volek's pass to Brown bounced off his back as time ran out.