Jaguars Offense Stalls, Defense Shines, in 16-14 Win over Titans

Justin UseltonContributor ISeptember 12, 2011

JACKSONVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 11:  Maurice Jones-Drew #32 of the Jacksonville Jaguars is tackled by Shaun Smith #93 and William Hayes #95 of the Tennessee Titans  during the season opener game at EverBank Field on September 11, 2011 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

The Jacksonville Jaguars (1-0) withstood a late rally, and Dwight Lowery intercepted Matt Hasselbeck with less than 30 seconds remaining, to secure a 16-14 over the Tennessee Titans (0-1) on Sunday.

Hasselbeck, who struggled early, found his rhythm after an 80-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Britt in the third quarter cut the Jaguars early lead to 13-7. After his second touchdown pass to Britt and a defensive stop on 3rd down, Hasselbeck nearly had the Titans within Rob Bironas' field goal range before the costly interception that sealed the Titans fate.

Jacksonville opened the game with a stout defensive effort, holding the Titans to three-and-out, before taking the early lead on Maurice Jones-Drew's 21-yard touchdown run. The Jones-Drew run would be the Jaguars only touchdown of the afternoon, however, as Tennessee stacked the line of scrimmage throughout the remainder of the game, limiting the Jaguars to just six second-half points.

While a conservative game plan slowed the Jaguars offensive production, the Jaguars defense shined on Sunday. Jacksonville limited Chris Johnson to just 24 yards rushing, most of which came in the 4th quarter, as the Jaguars front seven dominated for most of the game. Dawan Landry and Drew Coleman led the Jaguars with seven tackles each, while Paul Posluszny and Tyson Alualu spearheaded a front seven effort that set the tone early for the Jaguars, resulting in two sacks and several other hits and pressures on Hasselbeck.

While the Jaguars ran the ball effectively, three times they were the victim of stalled drives in Titans territory, including a third quarter drive that saw the Titans stop Maurice Jones-Drew three times inside the Tennessee five-yard-line. The resultant field goals enabled the Tennessee rally, keeping the Titans involved in a game that wasn't as closely contested as the score indicated.