|View From the Other Side: Titans @ Jaguars
Nov 17, 2008
Their team mascot's head caught on fire before the game.
And then the unbeaten Tennessee Titans came in and burned their house down. Again.
For Jacksonville Jaguars fans who have seen this before, it was deja-booooo all over again.
This Jaguars locker room had the same somber and empty feeling that permeated it nearly a decade ago when Titans came here and annihilated the favored Jags in the 1999 season's AFC Championship Game. That loss marked the end of an era for the Jaguars and ultimately sent the team into a demoralizing death dive that got the coach fired and condemned the franchise to years of mediocrity.
The collapse Sunday was Jacksonville's worst since the 2003 debut of Del Rio (the Jags blew a 14-point halftime lead in that contest) and virtually plucked the word "playoffs" right off the tongues and out of the minds of nearly player in the still-reeling locker room.
The real silencer came just moments before, when Tennessee capped its comeback with Kerry Collins' 38-yard touchdown pass to Justin Gage with 3:57 left to play. The score was one of three second-half TD passes from Collins and Gage caught two of them.
"I won't even say the P-word," said Jaguars tackle Khalif Barnes of the club's playoff hopes. "I can't even think about that right now."
Michael C. Wright,
Paul Spicer didn't skirt around with empty cliches and rehearsed postgame monologues after his Jacksonville Jaguars lost a 24-14 must-win game to the undefeated Tennessee Titans.
After watching what was the Jaguars' best first-half performance of the season go down the toilet, he could only acknowledge the moment exactly for what it was:
The 10-0 Titans added another week's worth of bragging rights as the lone undefeated team in the NFL.
And the Jaguars stand to lose all their rights to a postseason. The team is barely in contention for a wild-card berth to the playoffs, and with division rivals Houston, Indianapolis and non-division rival Green Bay on the radar, things aren't adding up for a happy ending.
Shannon J. Owens,
Brian Williams and Drayton Florence had no excuses Sunday when they lived the nightmare part of an NFL cornerback's life.
They were the victims when Kerry Collins threw a pair of touchdown passes to Justin Gage of 56 and 38 yards in the second half that gave the Tennesssee Titans a 24-14 victory over the Jaguars.
Neither Williams nor Florence ducked out of the locker room after the game. Instead, they patiently stood in front of their lockers and pointed the fingers at themselves.
"We tried to do the same things we do every week," Northcutt said. "We just didn't get it done. They got pressure on us and that messed up our rhythm. It made it tougher for us to go through our reads and we just never got in rhythm."
The receivers went from scarce to virtually absent in a second half that produced no points. Neither Northcutt nor Porter caught a pass in the second half.
"I don't know what adjustments they made," Porter said. "I'll have to look at the film, but the main thing is we've got to play better. They just played better than we did."