The Jacksonville Jaguars beat the Tennessee Titans, 21-13, Thursday night – and they did it with defense.
Down 10-0 late in the second quarter, the Jaguars allowed just three points the rest of the way and sacked Charlie Whitehurst four times.
“Just trying to let it be known what we’re all about,” Jaguars defensive tackle Sen’Derrick Marks said on Ferrall on the Bench. “Our D-Line, we really go out and we really work on getting after guys. We try to intimidate. That’s our job, and we go out there and try to be great at it.”
Marks actually sacked Whitehurst to end the game. He then popped up and did Johnny Manziel’s money sign. Why? Because that sack gave Marks 8.5 for the season, which activated a $600,000 contract bonus. After the game, Marks said he was going out in Jacksonville to celebrate and that any and all teammates were welcome to come with him.
“We pride ourselves on getting after the quarterback,” Marks said. “I think we’re top five in the league (in sacks), and we’re a team that hasn’t really played with a lead. So we pride ourselves on that. We continue to go in each week and work on that and it’s showing up for us. So that’s just a commitment to our guys to show what we’re all about.”
Marks, 27, was actually drafted by Tennessee in 2009. The Auburn product didn’t get as much playing time as he would have liked, however, as the Titans didn’t think he was all that great at rushing the passer.
“I waited on my opportunity and I kept working and look where I’m at now,” Marks said. “I don’t take nothing (personal) for that. They drafted me and gave me that opportunity, but I just continue to work my craft and try to get better every day.”
You could say that for the entire Jaguars team, which continues to improve. The Jags were down 21-0 against the Giants in Week 13 but came back to win, 25-24; they gave the Ravens all they could handle in Baltimore in Week 15, ultimately losing, 20-12. And, last night, they beat the Titans with a dominant second half.
Yes, it seems Jacksonville (3-12) is getting better.
“I know we are,” Marks said. “We just continue to work and bring our guys long. We got a great core of veterans on this team. We got a very young team on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. We’re nowhere but going up. It’s great nobody really talks about us. When it happens, it happens – and it’ll happen right up under your nose. We’re going to continue to work.”
The pivotal play in Thursday’s game came in the fourth quarter, when Jordan Todman reeled off a 62-yard touchdown run. Todman’s score made it 21-10 with 9:13 to go.
“He’s a speedster,” Marks said. “He’s a burner. If he gets that crease, he can take it to the house.”
Blake Bortles, meanwhile, finished 13-of-26 for 115 yards and a touchdown. He also carried five times for 50 yards
“Oh, man, we love Blake,” Marks said. “He’s a guy that came right in and he’s a leader. The guys don’t mind playing for him. He’s showed his toughness, he showed us what he is. He’s shown he has the ability to extend plays and also (play well) in key situations when the game is on the line.”
Bortles kept fighting against the Ravens – despite getting sacked eight times – and almost led the Jaguars to victory.
“He’s a tough SOB,” Marks said. “We all rally around him. We’ll always be behind Blake 100 percent.”