JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles' three turnovers made a major difference in Jacksonville's 37-16 blowout loss to the Tennessee Titans (1-1) at EverBank Field Sunday.
Bortles fumbled once and threw two interceptions in the Week 2 home opener. The fumble was his first turnover of the season.
He completed just 5-of-12 passes for 41 yards and interception in the first half.
Bortles led the Jaguars (1-1) on a scoring drive in their first offensive possession of the game, but failed to maintain the momentum. His turnovers in the second and third quarters stalled any sort of offensive success brought on by running back Leonard Fournette.
Bortles completed 20-of-34 passes for 223 passing yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. His ability to run the ball briefly made up for his passing woes, as he collected 29 rushing yards against the Titans.
Bortles' top target was wide receiver Marqise Lee, who caught seven passes for 76 yards. Fournette produced 40 rushing yards and a touchdown on 14 carries.
Bortles was sacked twice, as the Jaguars offensive line failed to maintain the protection they were lauded for in Week 1. The team was also flagged for 10 penalties, costing them 99 yards in the process.
The game started out as a ground-and-pound showcase for both teams, as the evenly matched running games carried the brunt of the offense in the first quarter. The Jaguars produced 31 rushing yards, while the Titans picked up 32 yards on the ground in the game's first period.
The grind-it-out recipe led to a low-scoring first quarter. The Jaguars and Titans were tied 3-3 entering the second quarter.
The two teams exchanged multiple punts in the second quarter until Bortles was strip-sacked by Titans outside linebacker Brian Orakpo. The Titans recovered the ball and took over on offense.
A few plays later, Jaguars weakside linebacker Telvin Smith picked up off Tennessee quarterback Marcus Mariota to return the ball back to Jacksonville's offense.
Unfortunately for Jacksonville, the turnovers didn't stop there. After driving the ball into Tennessee territory, Bortles had a pass deflected at the line of scrimmage by defensive tackle Daquan Jones. The ball bounced in the air and was intercepted by Titans defensive back Curtis Riley. The Titans offense able to take over possession right before the two-minute warning.
The Titans were able to move the ball into Jaguars territory through the passing game. Mariota was able to lead Tennessee into field goal range and kicker Ryan Succop made his second attempt of the game.
The Titans took a 6-3 lead into halftime.
Bortles continued to produce turnovers in the second half. On the first possession of the third quarter, Bortles threw a pass slightly behind wide receiver Marqise Lee. The ball hit one of Lee's hands and bounced into the air. It was intercepted by Titans safety Da'Norris Searcy.
Set up in Jacksonville territory, Mariota was able to move the ball into the red zone with a pair of nifty runs. The Jaguars defense was able to make a few plays deep in their own territory to hold the Titans to another field goal attempt. Succop made the 26-yard attempt to put the Titans up, 9-3, with 9:24 left in the third quarter.
The Jaguars and Titans then exchanged punts. Tennessee cornerback Adoree' Jackson returned a punt 46 yards to place the Titans in Jacksonville territory. The Titans were able to find the end zone for the first time in the game after just two plays. Titans running back and Yulee native Derrick Henry ran 17 yards for a touchdown.
Following an extra point, the Titans led 16-3 with 6:36 remaining in the third quarter.
As the Titans' defense started to thrive, the Jaguars' offense continued to falter. Following another failed offensive series by Jacksonville, the Titans continued to run up the score.
A 42-yard completion to Titans wide receiver Taywan Taylor put Tennessee at the Jaguars' 7-yard line. A few plays later, tight end Delanie Walker ran into the end zone for a touchdown. Following an extra point, the Titans were up 23-3 with 2:49 left in the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Mariota hit rookie tight end Jonnu Smith for a 32-yard receiving score. With just over 10 minutes to play in the game, the Jaguars trailed 30-3.
Mariota completed 15-of-27 passes for 215 passing yards, a touchdown and an interception. His top weapon was Walker, who caught four passes for 61 yards in addition to his rushing touchdown. Running back Derrick Henry picked 92 rushing yards and a touchdown on 14 carries.
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PLAYER OF THE GAME
Fournette produced 61 total yards and a touchdown on 16 touches. He wasn't dominant but provided some bright moments on the afternoon. He forced several missed tackles in the first half.
PLAY OF THE GAME
Following a fumble recovery by Tennessee's defense, Jaguars weakside linebacker Telvin Smith stopped the Titans' momentum with an interception in the second quarter. The Titans were nearing the red zone and Smith's pick wiped out their progress and handed the ball back to his offense.
STAT OF THE GAME
Bortles' three turnovers were his first of the season. Bortles hadn't thrown an interception in three-straight regular season games.
The Jaguars played without safety Calvin Pryor, who was ruled out on Friday with an ankle injury.
Defensive end Lerentee McCray suffered a knee injury in the third quarter.
Defensive tackle Malik Jackson suffered a groin injury in the third quarter. Defensive tackle Michael Bennett suffered a pectoral injury in the fourth quarter.
Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @Mike_E_Kaye.
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