Gardner Minshew, nine sacks of Marcus Mariota carry Jaguars to 20-7 win over Titans

Curtis Crabtree
ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports

Minshew Mania now has a win on the resume.

Gardner Minshew passed for 204 yards and two touchdowns as the Jacksonville Jaguars picked up their first victory of the season in a 20-7 win over the Tennessee Titans on Thursday night.

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The sixth-round rookie from Washington State took advantage of a muffed punt return by Adoree Jackson to give Jacksonville the early lead. Leon Jacobs recovered the loose ball to give the Jaguars a quick red zone opportunity, which was cashed in on a 7-yard touchdown pass from Minshew to tight end James O'Shaughnessy.

Minshew then led a proper drive on Jacksonville’s next possession, marching 62 yards on six plays before a 22-yard touchdown pass to D.J. Chark gave the Jaguars an early 14-0 cushion.

The Titans couldn’t get anything going offensively. Their longest possession in the first half covered just 28 yards. A nine-play, 55-yard drive on their first possession of the third quarter stalled out with a turnover on downs as Marcus Mariota was sacked by Calais Campbell on a fourth-and-6 from the Jaguars’ 11-yard line.

Campbell would end up with three sacks of Mariota on the night. The Titans quarterback was sacked nine times by Jacksonville in total. Josh Allen and Dawuane Smoot each had two sacks, Taven Bryan had one, and Marcell Dareus and Leon Jacobs split another.

The early 14-0 cushion was plenty. Josh Lambo would add field goals from 40 and 48 yards for the Jaguars

The Titans finally got on the board with a 1-yard Derrick Henry touchdown run early in the fourth quarter. But the lack of protection for Mariota and general ineffectiveness rushing the ball limited Tennessee. Henry and Dion Lewis combined for just 57 yards on 20 carries.

Mariota finished 23 of 30 for 304 yards for Tennessee.

Leonard Fournette wasn’t productive either for Jacksonville, being held to minus-8 yards rushing until a late 69-yard run got him back into positive numbers and skewed the final stat line heavily. However, Minshew’s 20 of 30 night passing was enough to carry Jacksonville’s offense to the win.

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