Jones-Drew turned in the NFL's second-best rushing effort of the season with 186 yards on 31 carries, and Rashad Jennings and quarterback David Garrard each ran for a touchdown in the Jaguars' 17-6 victory over the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.
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Houston's Arian Foster has the top rushing game this season with 231 yards against Indianapolis on Sept. 12.
"Obviously, Maurice Jones-Drew was special today, and we rode Maurice hard today," Jacksonville coach Jack Del Rio said. "He had a superb game."
With their fourth win in five games, the Jaguars (7-5) took over first place in the AFC South, a half-game ahead of the Colts, who played later Sunday. Jones-Drew has run for at least 100 yards now in five straight games, but his latest might have been his easiest.
"I only had to make one guy miss most of the time, and the guys were doing a great job of keeping guys off me," Jones-Drew said. "That performance was a total team effort."
The Jaguars got a bit of revenge for a 30-3 loss to Tennessee on Oct. 18 by taking control on the ground from the start on a cold, windy day. They scored on their opening drive by running through and over the Titans to split the season series. Jennings scored on an 11-yard run to cap the 12-play, 77-yard drive.
"They are a physical team, and we had to be physical today," Jaguars center Brad Meester said. "We were able to run the ball and keep pounding it, and that was key for us."
Tennessee (5-7) started veteran Kerry Collins at quarterback with offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger in the press box calling plays days after starting chemotherapy for cancer but unable to avoid a fifth straight loss. The Titans have now gone 13 quarters without an offensive touchdown.
"We have to play perfect right now, and we're not doing that," Titans coach Jeff Fisher said. "We're going to continue to work on it. We've gone quarters and quarters without scoring a touchdown. That's got to change."
Jacksonville held the ball for more than 21 minutes in the first half and scored the first 17 points.
The Jaguars have a tough schedule ahead, with their final divisional games on the road against Indianapolis and Houston.
|The Jaguars didn't score in the second half, but they didn't have to after building a 17-0 first-half lead. Their offensive line dominated the Titans to the tune of more than 250 rushing yards. The defense held Chris Johnson to 53 yards and didn't give up a touchdown.|
|Tennessee's losing streak reached five games with a dismal effort in every conceivable way. The Titans yielded 258 yards on the ground while producing just 57 rushing yards themselves. They haven't scored an offensive touchdown since the third quarter against the Dolphins on Nov. 14.|
|By Bob McClellan|
"We realized that we control our own destiny," said Jaguars cornerback Derek Cox, who had an interception and broke up a pass to Randy Moss. "We wanted to take advantage of this opportunity to come on the road into their house and jump out fast. Not only do you have to start fast, but you have to finish faster."
Against the Titans, the Jaguars outgained Chris Johnson and the Titans 258-57 on the ground, and intercepted Collins twice with one sack.
"They ran it and we didn't stop it, and they stopped our run and that was the difference in the ballgame," Fisher said.
The Titans had three AFC South opponents lined up at home, and a win would have helped their playoff chances. But their best scoring threats ended when Moss couldn't pull in a low throw near the goal line, and Bo Scaife tried to run before catching a pass near the end zone.
The Jaguars didn't worry about passing.
Jacksonville ran on 15 of its first 17 plays, picking up 86 yards. The Jaguars' opening drive consisted of 11 running plays and one pass. Jones-Drew ran seven times for 44 yards, and Jennings added 27 yards on four carries -- his 11-yard score came on a fourth-and-1 play.
The Titans were so ineffective that Cortland Finnegan, ejected from last week's game for fighting with the Texans' Andre Johnson, was bowled over more than once trying to tackle Jones-Drew.
Tennessee showed some life in the third quarter, forcing Jacksonville to punt on its first drive when sacking Garrard on third down. They nearly ended their TD drought with their best drive of the game before Scaife's drop. Rob Bironas' 37-yard field goal ended Tennessee's scoring drought, and he added a second in the fourth quarter.
It could have been worse.
Jacksonville tried to pad its lead when coach Jack Del Rio sent Scobee out to try a 49-yard field goal into the wind. Jacob Ford and blocked the kick with 3:14 left in the third. Scobee also had a 48-yarder in the fourth hit off the right upright.
- The Jaguars have won three of their first four divisional games for the first time since 1999 when they won the AFC Central.
- They are 7-5 for a second straight season.
- Jones-Drew joined Fred Taylor as the only players in franchise history with consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons. He came in 9 yards short of 1,000.
- The Titans had won six of the last eight in this series.
- Tennessee held the ball a season-low 20 minutes, 6 seconds.