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Jaguars Stay in First; Top Titans 17-6

In a game they had to have on the road, the Jags laid a knockout blow on one of their big division rivals, topping the Tennessee Titans at LP Field, 17-6.

Maurice Jones-Drew rushed for 186 yards on 31 carries, while David Garrard and Rashad Jennings added scores on the ground as Jacksonville gutted it out to move to 7-5 on the season, and in sole possession of first in the division with the Colts losing at home to the Cowboys.

“The team that wins the hitting battle usually wins the ballgame,” said Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio. “This was a real big divisional win for us.”

Garrard finished 14-of-19 for 126 yards for the Jaguars. Jennings ended with 44 yards on 10 carries. “Today, Garrard wasn’t our problem — it was just the running game,” said Titans linebacker Stephen Tulloch of the Jaguars ground attack, which carried the ball 53 times for 258 yards.

Kerry Collins threw for 169 yards but was intercepted twice and completed only 14-of-32 passes for the Titans (5-7), who suffered their fifth straight defeat.

Chris Johnson was held to 53 yards on 13 carries, and Tennessee’s lone scores came on two Rob Bironas second-half field goals.

On the Titans’ first drive of the second half, Collins hit Bo Scaife square in the chest near the goal line on 3rd-and-10 from the Jaguars 19, but the tight end let it bounce off his body. Bironas had to make a 37-yarder and Tennessee was finally on the board with 5:58 left in the period.

Josh Scobee had a 49-yarder blocked on the Jags’ next series, but on the change of possession the Titans only countered with a Bironas 30-yard make early in the fourth.

The Jaguars almost assumed a 20-6 edge with 7:47 remaining, but Scobee’s 48- yard try hit the right post and bounced back into play. Tennessee then faced a 4th-and-3 from its own 45 and didn’t convert.

Though Jennings was stuffed on a 4th-and-2 deep in Tennessee territory on Jacksonville’s next series, Collins was picked off by William Middleton at the visitors’ 34 with 2:47 to play.

Jones-Drew broke off a 37 yard run on 2nd-and-9 to the Titans’ 28, then Garrard took a knee three times to run off the remaining seconds.

“I only had to make one guy miss most of the time,” Jones-Drew said about the ease of his fourth straight 100-yard game and sixth overall this season. “Guys were running downfield and blocking well.”

Jennings’ 11-yard run to paydirt gave the Jags a 7-0 advantage for the lone score of the first quarter, then Garrard called his own number on a four-yard score with 5:38 left in the second quarter.

Scobee then connected on a 26-yarder on the final play of the half for a 17-0 Jacksonville lead.

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