NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Another Tennessee win over Jacksonville and even Titans coach Jeff Fisher is providing the Jaguars with excuses.
''Jacksonville's got a lot of people hurt now,'' Fisher said Monday night after the Titans beat Jacksonville 27-13, their fifth straight win over the Jaguars.
''They're struggling over there, but they're a good football team.''
This first prime-time game in Tennessee was a showcase for the Titans' prime-time players -- Eddie George, Steve McNair and Frank Wycheck.
The Titans beat their favorite whipping boys as George ran for 165 yards on 30 carries, McNair threw for 234 yards and two touchdowns, and Wycheck started things off by catching a TD pass flat on his back.
The defense chipped in with five sacks in a game in which a lot of streaks continued.
It was the fifth straight win after an opening-game loss in Buffalo for Tennessee and put the Titans in first place by themselves in the AFC Central, one-half game ahead of Baltimore.
It was the fourth straight loss for Jacksonville, the longest streak since its first season in 1995. The Jaguars (2-5) lost yet another key player, wide receiver Jimmy Smith, who bruised his right knee in the first quarter.
And George, who didn't crack 100 yards in his first three games, had his third straight in triple figures and second over 150.
''I think it's the best stretch I've had,'' George said. ''It's a lot of fun when you're controlling the ball and keeping the defense off balance.''
The five straight wins over Jacksonville include three last season, when the Jaguars finished 15-3 and capped the season with a 33-14 home loss to Tennessee in the AFC title game.
But this year, it was just another loss added to four earlier ones. And this game went just about the way the season has for the Jaguars.
They had two chances in the first half -- at the beginning and the end. They blew them both and went off trailing 17-3.
The first came four minutes into the game, when Fred Taylor broke loose on a 71-yard run that gave Jacksonville a first down at the Tennessee 7. But the Jags had to settle for a 23-yard field goal by Mike Hollis and a 3-0 lead.
Then, trailing 17-3 with 2 minutes left, Brunell completed a screen pass to Anthony Johnson that carried 48 yards. Then, on a third-and-10 from the Titans' 21, Brunell found Keenan McCardell down the middle. As McCardell dived for the end zone, Marcus Robertson stripped the ball and Samari Rolle fell on it for a touchback.
In between, the Titans dominated despite 69 yards in penalties in the first half alone.
''We haven't been able to run on them. This time we were able to do what we wanted,'' Fisher said.
Their first score was set up by Derrick Mason's 66-yard kickoff return. Five plays later, McNair found Wycheck in the corner of the end zone. The ball bounced off Jacksonville's Renaldo Wynn to Wycheck, lying on the ground. It popped in the air and Wycheck caught it again for the score.
Tennessee made it 14-3 early in the second quarter on another deflected pass -- from McNair to Mason, who caught it as it bounced off Jason Craft, but injured an ankle on the catch. They added a 26-yard field goal by Al Del Greco later in the period.
Then, on the Titans' first drive of the second half, McNair's 54-yard pass to Chris Sanders set up another score -- George's 19-yard run. Like McCardell, he also fumbled in the end zone, but he went over the goal line with the ball, so the TD stood.
Hollis added a 45-yard field goal 1:41 into the final period and DelGreco matched it with 3:37 left. Johnson capped the scoring with a 2-yard run with 53 seconds to play.
But that was no consolation.
''Some of our inefficiencies show up week in and week out,'' Jaguars coach Tom Coughlin said. ''We have some good players on this team. We also have some negatives. This isn't junior high school.''
Notes:Titans left guard Bruce Matthews, who sprained a knee ligament last week, started the game and extended his NFL-leading streak of consecutive starts to 203 games. He hasn't missed a game since 1987. ... George has topped 100 yards 26 times in his career, and the Titans are 21-5 when he does. ... Taylor's 71-yard run in the first quarter was the second-longest of his career, just behind a 77-yarder on Oct. 12, 1998, against Miami. ... Mason's 66-yard kickoff return was the longest of his career, topping a 54-yarder against Baltimore in 1997. ... Smith spent the second half on the bench with ice on his sprained right knee. X-rays were negative. He had one catch for 9 yards to stretch his streak to 79 games with a reception. ... The Titans stretched their NFL-best record in a division since 1998 to 19-2.
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