Tennessee Titans: Expect the unexpected in Jacksonville

The Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars have a rivalry that dates back to the team’s move to Nashville in 1999. And when these two teams lock horns one thing you can often expect is the unexpected…

Especially in Jacksonville.

It started in week three of the 1999 season. A young and unproven Titans team went to Jacksonville to face the Super Bowl contending Jaguars.

Tennessee was up 20-19 late in the game and hanging on to dear life as Jacksonville moved into scoring range. With under a minute to play and inside the Titans’ 20 yard line Jaguars’ quarterback Mark Brunell inexplicably goes for the kill shot in the end zone.

The ball was picked off by Samari Rolle…securing Tennessee’s first signature win as the Titans.

The following January the underdog Titans went back into then Alltel Stadium for the AFC Championship game. The Jaguars were 14-2 and heavy favorites, even though both losses came at the hands of Tennessee that year.

Looking to grab the momentum early in the second half, Titans qb Steve McNair found Frank Wycheck over the middle for a walk-in touchdown, but Wycheck lost a fumble at the one yard line.

A few plays later Brunell was sacked for a safety, and the ensuing free kick was returned for a touchdown by Derrick Mason….essentially breaking the game wide open.

After the win, Titans head coach Jeff Fisher jokingly called Alltel Stadium Tennessee’s second home.

And strange things continued to occur in that city for the boys in two-tone blue.

On November 25, 2012 the Titans…still mathematically alive for a playoff berth…visited a 1-9 Jacksonville team. The Jaguars stunned the Titans 24-19 that day, and Tennessee never recovered.

Ironically enough, that Jacksonville team was coached by Mike Mularkey.

And Titans fans won’t soon forget last year’s Christmas Eve from hell, when Tennessee…needing to win their last two games to win the AFC South…visited a struggling Jacksonville team that had nothing to play for.

The Jaguars dominated the game from the onset, and knocked qb Marcus Mariota out for the rest of the season. The Titans missed the playoffs as a result.

Which brings us to Sunday’s huge divisional tilt in EverBank Field. Jacksonville is looking to take an early two game lead over Tennessee after demolishing Houston last week.

Tennessee is looking to restore order to a division that many picked them to win this year.

Before last weekend’s results, no one would have Tennessee as the road underdog, yet they are. And if history is any indication between these two teams, that might not be a bad thing for the Titans.

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