Jaguars
Titans
10 - 17 Final
  for this game

Johnson, defense leads Titans past Jaguars

Sep 8, 2008 - 12:05 AM By Chip Cirillo PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Ticker) -- On a sunny day dominated by defense, the Tennessee Titans' shined brightest.

The Titans sacked David Garrard seven times and held the Jacksonville Jaguars to 33 yards rushing en route to a 17-10 victory on Sunday in a season-opening matchup of AFC South Division opponents that made the playoffs as wild card teams last season.

"The defensive line plays incredible," Titans cornerback Cortland Finnegan said. "It helps so much in the secondary in what we do."

Finnegan benefited from the pass rush as he intercepted two of Garrard's passes in the second half, including a leaping interception on a throw intended for Troy Williamson in the third quarter.

"I was telling Freddy (Taylor) in the locker room that this is the sorest I've been in a long time," said Garrard, who completed 23-o-35 passes for 215 yards. "It's football and I'm used to it and that's what the position offers sometimes, but I don't like being this sore. If you don't have your top guys in there, especially to be able to protect me, it's going to be tough."

Jacksonville (0-1) lost three guards to injuries, as Uche Nwaneri (knee), Maurice Williams (arm) and Vince Manuwai (knee) left early, depleting a line that already was without tackle Richard Collier, who remains hospitalized with gunshot wounds suffered on Tuesday.

Tennessee (1-0) also had injury problems as quarterback Vince Young left with a sprained left knee late in the fourth quarter. Defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth suffered a mild concussion and defensive end Jacob Ford had a sternum injury.

Young left the locker room on crutches, but the extent of his injury was not known.

"Probably the biggest concern I have right now is Vince, but I don't think it's serious," Titans coach Jeff Fisher said. "We're going to do some tests on his knee and he's icing down right now."

Young has also been hampered by a tight hamstring since Friday. He drew occasional boos from the sellout crowd of 69,143 at LP Field as he struggled, completing 12-of-22 passes for 110 yards with two interceptions.

Titans rookie Chris Johnson, a first-round draft pick out of East Carolina, rushed for 93 yards on 15 carries in his NFL debut. He also caught three passes for 34 yards, including a 7-yard touchdown pass from Young that gave Tennessee a 10-7 lead with 3:09 left in the first half.

"I wanted the touchdown bad," said Johnson, who lost his balance before diving into the end zone for his first career TD. "I scored in the preseason but that doesn't matter. I wanted to get on the board in the regular season. I know my speed can make a difference. Me being in the backfield is an extra dude you've got to account for."

It was the first TD in 2008 for the Titans' first-string unit that failed to find the end zone in four preseason games.

Tennessee backup Kerry Collins completed a 44-yard pass to tight end Bo Scaife on his first play in relief of Young and added a 21-yard strike to Justin Gage to set up LenDale White's 1-yard TD run that increased Tennessee's lead to 17-7 with 3:47 left.

"Kerry is a vet," said Scaife, who caught six passes for a career-high 105 yards. "Everyone looked in his eyes and he was ready to go. No one picked us to win this game. Everyone in this locker room believed. The coaching staff believed. The organization believed. We proved everybody else wrong."

Jacksonville drove to the Tennessee 15 late in the first half, but Titans defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch sacked Garrard, caused a fumble and recovered it at the Tennessee 34 to end the scoring threat.

"We did well in all facets of the game today," Vanden Bosch said. "We stopped their running attack, got a lot of pressure on their quarterback and got some sacks and had good coverage downfield. It was a complete game."

Jacksonville drove into Tennessee territory eight times, but only had a touchdown and a field goal to show for it.

"That's a very good defense," Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio said. "Very strong up front. They did a better job controlling our run game than we did theirs and unfortunately they were able to win a hard-fought, close ballgame."








  • NFL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    JACKSONVILLE 0 7 0 3 10
    TENNESSEE 3 7 0 7 17 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: TEN - FG, ROB BIRONAS 47 YD, 5:10. Drive: 6
    plays, 48 yards in 3:22. Key plays:
    C Johnson 18-yard run to Tennessee
    41; C Johnson 11-yard run to
    Jacksonville 48; 16-yard pass
    interference pen

    Sep 7 4:09 PM


  • NFL
    FG JAC
    JOSH SCOBEE 27 YD
    JACKSONVILLE 10
    TENNESSEE 17 2:13 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Jaguars 10, Titans 17  4th - 2:13Sep 7 3:52 PM
  • 97
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    RUWTbot Added 66 roots (Close Finish)

    Jaguars 10, Titans 17  4th - 2:13Sep 7 3:52 PM


  • NFL
    TD TEN
    LENDALE WHITE 1 YD RUN
    (ROB BIRONAS KICK)
    JACKSONVILLE 7
    TENNESSEE 17 3:47 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Jaguars 7, Titans 17  4th - 3:47Sep 7 3:45 PM
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    RUWTbot Took away 69 roots

    Jaguars 7, Titans 17  4th - 3:47Sep 7 3:45 PM
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    Jaguars 7, Titans 10  4th - 9:07Sep 7 3:23 PM


  • NFL
    END, 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    JACKSONVILLE 0 7 0 7
    TENNESSEE 3 7 0 10 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: TEN - FG, ROB BIRONAS 47 YD, 5:10. Drive: 6
    plays, 48 yards in 3:22. Key plays:
    C Johnson 18-yard run to Tennessee
    41; C Johnson 11-yard run to
    Jacksonville 48; 16-yard pass
    interfere

    Sep 7 3:09 PM


  • NFL
    HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    JACKSONVILLE 0 7 7
    TENNESSEE 3 7 10 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: TEN - FG, ROB BIRONAS 47 YD, 5:10. Drive: 6
    plays, 48 yards in 3:22. Key plays:
    C Johnson 18-yard run to Tennessee
    41; C Johnson 11-yard run to
    Jacksonville 48; 16-yard pass
    interference

    Sep 7 2:25 PM
  • 25
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    McTool Added 5 roots

    Jaguars 7, Titans 10  2nd - 3:09Sep 7 2:12 PM


  • NFL
    TD TEN
    CHRIS JOHNSON 7 YD PASS FROM VINCE YOUNG
    (ROB BIRONAS KICK)
    JACKSONVILLE 7
    TENNESSEE 10 3:09 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Jaguars 7, Titans 10  2nd - 3:09Sep 7 2:08 PM


  • NFL
    TD JAC
    GREG JONES 1 YD PASS FROM DAVID GARRARD
    (JOSH SCOBEE KICK)
    JACKSONVILLE 7
    TENNESSEE 3 10:16 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Jaguars 7, Titans 3  2nd - 10:16Sep 7 1:48 PM


  • NFL
    END, 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    JACKSONVILLE 0 0
    TENNESSEE 3 3 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: TEN - FG, ROB BIRONAS 47 YD, 5:10. Drive: 6
    plays, 48 yards in 3:22. Key plays:
    C Johnson 18-yard run to Tennessee
    41; C Johnson 11-yard run to
    Jacksonville 48; 16-yard pass
    interfere

    Sep 7 1:33 PM


  • NFL
    FG TEN
    ROB BIRONAS 47 YD
    JACKSONVILLE 0
    TENNESSEE 3 9:50 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Jaguars 0, Titans 3  1st - 9:50Sep 7 1:11 PM
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