JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A season in which the Titans have built some giant playoff hopes crashed Saturday at EverBank Field.
The Texans' win over the Cincinnati Bengals on Saturday night in Houston clinched the AFC South for Houston and ended the Titans' bid for the division title no matter what they do next week against Houston in Nashville.
The Titans were ineffective from the start in Jacksonville.
"It was in our hands; it's not in our hands anymore," coach Mike Mularkey said. "We have to rely on other teams to do things for us, and that's not what we wanted.
"I give them credit. They beat us. That's the first time I can honestly say that we have been beaten like that. Bad timing for it."
I don’t think they weren’t ready. I simply think a division opponent was charged up to beat the Titans and found ways to make things difficult for them. Tennessee couldn’t solve the Jaguars, who moved to just 3-12 on the season.
Tennessee (8-7) lost its ninth consecutive AFC South road game. The Jaguars improved to just 17-62 over the past five years, and the Titans now account for 29.4 percent of their wins in that span.
Mariota completed just 8 of 20 passes for 99 yards and a touchdown before he was injured after getting taken down by his feet as he tried to escape the pocket. Matt Cassel led a touchdown drive that got the Titans within 25-17.
But then the Jaguars took over.
Blake Bortles pitched the ball to Marqise Lee, then took off up the left side and hauled in a 20-yard touchdown pass from Lee to make it 31-17. On the Titans' next play from scrimmage, Cassel threw an interception that rookie cornerback Jalen Ramsey (who is from the Nashville area) returned for a 30-yard score.
The Titans and Jaguars have now split the home-and-home series for eight consecutive years.