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Bortles helps lift Jaguars out of AFC South cellar

The Jacksonville Jaguars moved out of the cellar in the AFC South with a 21-13 win over the Tennessee Titans in the final Thursday Night Football matchup of the season. Our takeaways:

  1. After an extremely slow start, the Jaguars offense did some nice things, book-ending each side of the half with 80-yard touchdown drives. The two possessions turned a 10-0 second-quarter deficit into a 14-10 third-quarter lead. The Jags never trailed again. Give credit to Bortles, who was limping around with a foot injury all week and ended up with 50 yards rushing on five carries.
  1. The game was over when: Jordan Todman burst into the second level and rumbled 62 yards to the house with 9:13 to play. Todman hasn't gotten much playing time of late, but that run should earn him a longer look in the season finale.
  1. Sen'Derrick Marks did more than end the game when he sacked Charlie Whitehurst as time expired. He also earned a cool $600,000 bonus in his contract by reaching 8.5 sacks. This explains why he was doing the Manziel Money Sign at midfield as teammates closed in.
  1. Not that we should have to tell them, but the Jaguars should absolutely make fixing their offensive line the top priority of the offseason. The Jags have some pieces, but they have no shot if they can't protect Bortles. The Jaguars set the franchise-record for sacks allowed after four more on Thursday.
  1. Charlie Whitehurst is a figure of snark in social media, but we have to give Clipboard Jesus credit. He made some genuinely pretty throws in this game. That doesn't mean Whitehurst is the answer, as we were reminded when he missed a gimme short touchdown throw to Delanie Walker that could have drawn Tennessee within a field goal midway through the fourth.
  1. Speaking of Delanie Walker: I'm convinced he's a 1,200-yard, 10 touchdown tight end in a proper offense. Big, fast, good hands. The fact that he plays on this team and has been one of the NFL's more productive tight ends should tell you about the potential here.
  1. The Titans' minor victory here actually isn't so minor. They are now 2-13 after their ninth consecutive loss, keeping them in prime position for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 draft. It appears it will come down to Tennessee and Tampa Bay in the sad race to the podium.
  1. "I wish we had a lot of games like this this year." -- Jim Nantz

The latest Around The NFL Podcast previews every Week 16 game and recaps the Jaguars' win over the Titans. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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