Jacksonville, FL – Chad Henne threw for 261 yards with two scores on 17-of-26 passing and the Jacksonville Jaguars hung on for a 24-19 win over the Tennessee Titans on Sunday at EverBank Field.
Henne got the starting call in place of Blaine Gabbert, who was hurt in last week's loss to the Houston Texans and was subsequently placed on injured reserve earlier in the week.
Rashad Jennings ran for 43 yards and a score on 16 carries, while Cecil Shorts caught four passes for 105 yards and a touchdown for the Jags (2-9), who finally put the brakes on a seven-game slide. They came close last week in a 43-37 overtime loss at Houston and won for the first time since a 22-17 triumph over Indianapolis in Week 3.
"I'm very proud of this team," Jags coach Mike Mularky said. "I have been (proud) all along and something good happend for them today. We have more work to do, though. We need more production in all facets of the game."
Jake Locker made his second straight start for Tennessee after missing five games with a shoulder problem and threw for 261 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions on 23-of-40 passing.
Chris Johnson ran for 80 yards on 21 carries and Kenny Britt snagged a touchdown pass for the Titans (4-7), who were coming off their bye and failed to build on a 37-3 win at Miami two weeks ago. Tennessee has dropped three of its last four games.
"It's obviously a very disappointing loss for us," Titans coach Mike Munchak said. "We had plenty of opportunities to score, but struggled all day having to settle for field goals."
Jacksonville got the ball to start the game, but things didn't quite go the way Henne would have liked on his first series as his first pass attempt of the afternoon was tipped at the line and intercepted by Alterraun Verner, giving the Titans the ball at the Jacksonville 28.
The Titans' offense was ineffective on its first three plays, but Rob Bironas booted a 38-yard field goal for an early 3-0 lead.
After tossing the pick, Henne fared much better on the Jags' final possession of the opening quarter. He completed passes to Justin Blackmon and Marcedes Lewis for 21 and 23 yards during the 12-play, 75-yard drive, which was capped by a 1-yard TD stretch by Jennings, putting Jacksonville ahead 7-3 after one stanza.
Tennessee had a chance to make it a one-point game early in the second quarter as Locker led a 12-play drive to the Jags' 24, but Bironas pulled a 42-yard field goal try wide left with 9:31 on the clock.
After Jacksonville turned the ball over on downs with 47 seconds to play in the first half, the Titans got the ball at their own 45 with two timeouts.
Tennessee moved to the Jacksonville 22 and Bironas atoned for his earlier miss by connecting on a 40-yarder to pull the Titans within 7-6 at halftime.
The Jaguars began their first possession of the second half at the 25 and Henne capped a 6-play, 75-yard drive with a 59-yard touchdown strike to Shorts, expanding the margin to 14-6.
Tennessee moved the ball effectively on its next drive, going 64 yards in 12 plays. The march stalled at the Jacksonville 21 and Bironas hit from 39 yards out to cut the lead to 14-9 with 3:26 to play in the third quarter.
After forcing a three-and-out. Tennessee started its first touch of the fourth quarter deep in its own territory at the 13.
Facing a first down on the Jacksonville 15, Locker lofted it up for Damian Williams, who made the catch in the end zone along the right sideline for what looked like a go-ahead touchdown, but the officials determined that Williams was out of bounds when he made the catch.
Tennessee challenged the call, but it stood, and Bironas hit from 33 yards out three plays later to cut the deficit to 14-12 early in the fourth quarter.
The Jags marched 80 yards in eight plays on their next drive and Henne capped the trek with a 7-yard TD strike to Blackmon, extending the lead to 21-12, but the Titans had an answer.
Locker capped a quick 6-play, 78-yard drive with a 6-yard TD pass to Britt in the back left corner of the end zone, slicing the lead to 21-19 with 4:52 to play.
Tennessee's defense forced a three-and-out and the offense got the ball back on the 37 with 3:28 on the clock. Johnson was stuffed on first down, which forced the Titans to take to the air, but Locker's second-down pass was picked off by Dwight Lowry.
Josh Scobee iced it for the Jags with a 41-yard field goal with 24 seconds remaining.
Jacksonville earned its first home win of the season in six tries... Tennessee leads the all-time series, 20-16 ... Sunday marked the first meeting of the season between the AFC South rivals. They will also close the season on Dec. 30 at LP Field in Nashville ... The Jags have won three of the last four meetings ... The Tennessee defense finished with a season-high seven sacks ... Tennessee outgained Jacksonville, 360-321 ... The Jaguars finished 7-of-14 on third down, while the Titans went 6-of-15 on third down opportunities.