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Jaguars stun Titans in final minutes to clinch AFC South

Jan 7, 2023; Jacksonville, Florida, USA;  Tennessee Titans wide receiver Treylon Burks (16) runs with the ball against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the second quarter at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Allen returned a fumble for a touchdown with 2:51 remaining and the Jacksonville Jaguars clinched their first playoff berth since 2017 by recording a 20-16 victory over the visiting Tennessee Titans on Saturday night.

The victory gave the Jaguars (9-8) the AFC South title, while Tennessee (7-10) endured its seventh straight loss. Jacksonville, which has won five straight games, won the fourth division crown in franchise history.

Rayshawn Jenkins delivered the strip-sack on Titans quarterback Josh Dobbs and the ball went forward toward Allen, who scooped it up and raced 37 yards for the decisive touchdown.

Jacksonville stopped Tennessee on downs and took possession with 90 seconds left and ran out the clock. The Jaguars were a combined 4-29 the past two seasons before turning things around in the second half of this campaign.

Trevor Lawrence completed 20 of 32 passes for 212 yards and one touchdown for Jacksonville. Christian Kirk had six receptions for 99 yards and one score. NFL tackles leader Foyesade Oluokun had 13 stops to raise his season count to 184 and also registered one of the team’s four sacks.

Dobbs was 20-of-29 passing for 179 yards, one touchdown and one interception in his second career start. Derrick Henry rushed for 109 yards on 30 carries and Chigoziem Okonkwo had a touchdown catch.

Tennessee lost despite controlling the ball for 36:12 and outgaining the Jaguars 312-222.

Jacksonville’s Tyson Campbell intercepted Dobbs late in the third quarter and returned it 29 yards to the Tennessee 25-yard line. But the Jaguars failed to take advantage of the stellar field position and Riley Patterson was called on to boot a 36-yard field goal to leave Jacksonville trailing 16-13 with 14:49 left in the contest.

Henry had 71 first-half rushing yards as the Titans led 13-7 at the break.

Randy Bullock kicked a 51-yard with 1:23 left in the opening quarter before a Jacksonville turnover set up a Tennessee touchdown in the second.

The Jaguars attempted a trick play and Lawrence’s pitch to Jamal Agnew was high and Tennessee’s Rashad Weaver recovered at the Titans’ 31. Seven plays later, Dobbs tossed a 10-yard scoring pass to Okonkwo to make it 10-0 with 5:32 left in the half.

Agnew returned the ensuing kickoff 54 yards to ignite Jacksonville, and Lawrence prospered with a 25-yard scoring pass to Kirk with 2:36 remaining.

Bullock added a 39-yard field goal as time expired to put Tennessee up by six.

The teams traded field goals in the third quarter — Patterson kicking a 26-yarder for the Jaguars and Bullock knocking one through from 41 yards.

–Field Level Media

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