The Jacksonville Jaguars’ defense followed up a shutout with a washout.
A defense that prides itself as one of the NFL’s best got embarrassed on a national stage by Derrick Henry in the Jaguars’ 30-9 loss to the Tennessee Titans on Thursday night.
Henry stiff-armed three separate Jaguars on an NFL record-tying 99-yard touchdown run in the second quarter and spent the rest of the night running all over a defense that seemed like it would have rather been anywhere else. Henry finished the night with a franchise-record 238 yards rushing and four touchdowns on just 17 carries.
Jacksonville’s toothless offense generally leaves its defense with no margin for error. The Jaguars produced a single-digit scoring total for the fifth time this season Thursday. They have exceeded 21 points just once in their last nine games.
So if the Jaguars’ defense isn’t dominant, they have little chance of winning. That defense was virtually flawless Sunday as the Jaguars snapped a seven-game skid with a 6-0 victory over Indianapolis that resulted in Colts quarterback Andrew Luck’s first career shutout loss.
But a defense that could do no wrong against the Colts did very little right Thursday.
Tennessee (7-6) took the lead for good by driving 73 yards on the game’s opening possession and scoring on Henry’s 3-yard touchdown run. Henry’s second touchdown was far more impressive and capped a four-play sequence that essentially decided the game.
Jacksonville (4-9) trailed 7-2 and had second-and-goal at the 1 with a chance to take the lead in the second quarter, but the Jaguars failed to score. Leonard Fournette was stopped on a second-down run, quarterback Cody Kessler couldn’t connect with Tommy Bohanon on third down and Fournette was stopped again on fourth down.
Then Henry delivered the knockout blow.
Henry cut around the left end and headed down the sideline. His first stiff-arm knocked cornerback A.J. Bouye out of the play about 20 yards downfield. Henry later used his arm to toss linebacker Leon Jacobs to the ground and then stiff-armed linebacker Myles Jack out of the way as well.
The 2015 Heisman Trophy winner from Alabama then sailed into the end zone and celebrated with a Heisman pose. The only other NFL player ever to score on a 99-yard run was Hall of Famer Tony Dorsett, who did it for the Dallas Cowboys against the Minnesota Vikings in 1983.
Henry wasn’t finished imposing his will on Jacksonville’s defense.
He scored two more touchdowns in the third quarter — one on a 16-yard run up the middle and another on a 54-yard burst around right end. His 238-yard performance broke the franchise record previously held by Chris Johnson, who ran for 228 yards against Jacksonville on Nov. 1, 2009.
Source: The Associated Press