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Titans return to old form against Jags

©Associated Press
October 14, 2002

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Titans got a much-needed win Sunday by sticking with what they used to do best.

Eddie George rushed for 100 yards for the first time this season, getting 113, and scored two touchdowns as the Titans beat the Jaguars 23-14 to snap a four-game skid.

Tennessee came in with the league's worst rushing offense and George averaged 2.7 yards a carry. But coach Jeff Fisher said running always is the plan against Jacksonville and nothing would stop him from sticking with the four-time Pro Bowl player.

"He has confidence going in every week that he's going to make a difference, and this week, he did. Eddie George is fine," Fisher said.

Jacksonville coach Tom Coughlin said he never doubted the Titans would run with George. The Jags just couldn't stop him.

"I don't think we need to ask any more questions about Eddie George," he said.

The Titans won for the first time since their opener and beat Jacksonville for the seventh time in their past nine meetings.

Tennessee knocked out a starting quarterback in the first quarter for a second straight game and again faced a rookie the rest of the way.

This time, they knocked out Jacksonville's Mark Brunell, the league's second-rated passer, who had a concussion. Rookie David Garrard replaced him.

Unlike Patrick Ramsey, who rallied Washington to victory last week with 21 successive points, the fourth-round draft pick could not pass on the Titans. Kevin Carter had two of Tennessee's three sacks and the Titans intercepted Garrard twice. He was 4-of-7 for 53 yards and had seven rushes for 71 yards and two scores.

Fred Taylor, who had 100 yards in three of his past four against the Titans, carried 19 times for 59 yards.

Tennessee looked like the team that won 26 games in two seasons (1999-2000) by opening with an 80-yard touchdown drive. It got three field goals in the second quarter for a 16-7 halftime lead.

The Titans held the ball for more than 37 minutes and rolled up 370 yards offense. Joe Nedney, who hadn't had a field goal in three games, scored on kicks of 40, 26 and 33 yards.

Garrard had a 41-yard TD run in the third quarter to pull the Jaguars within 16-14. But the Titans responded, going 68 yards in 14 plays. George capped the drive by scoring from the 1 on fourth down.

Lance Schulters' pickoff at the Titan 6 with 3:37 left sealed the win.

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