JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Chad Henne provided another spark for the NFL’s worst offense, this one in a winning effort.
Making his first start in more than 13 months, Henne threw two touchdown passes and the Jacksonville Jaguars beat the Tennessee Titans 24-19 Sunday.
The Jaguars (2-9) snapped a seven-game losing streak and were competitive at home for the first time this season.
Henne was the key.
A week after coming off the bench and throwing for 354 yards and four touchdowns in a loss at Houston, Henne found Cecil Shorts III for a 59-yard touchdown in the third quarter and hooked up with rookie Justin Blackmon for a 7-yard score in the fourth.
The Titans (4-7) cut the lead to 21-19 on Jake Locker’s 6-yard pass to Kenny Britt with 4:52 remaining and had the ball with a chance to take the lead. But Russell Allen tipped Locker’s pass over the middle, and Dwight Lowery — back on the field after a five-week absence — had his first interception of the season.
Josh Scobee’s 41-yard field goal with 24 seconds remaining left the Titans in desperation mode for the final few snaps.
Henne completed 17 of 26 passes for 261 yards. His first pass of the game was tipped and intercepted. He also was sacked seven times, including twice that took the Jaguars out of field-goal range.
But he made up for the mistakes with clutch throws, the kind Jacksonville has been missing much of the season — especially at home.
The Jaguars had been outscored 153-44 in five losses at EverBank Field. They trailed 3-0 after Henne’s interception, but slowly seized control by holding the Titans to field goals most of the day.
Rob Bironas made four and was wide left from 42 yards away. His miss loomed large, especially after Britt’s late score made it a two-point game.
The Jaguars were relieved.
“They needed that. A lot of people needed that,” coach Mike Mularkey said.
Shorts finished with four receptions for 105 yards. Blackmon added five catches for 62 yards.
Shorts set a franchise record with his fourth reception of at least 50 yards this season, surpassing the previous mark set by Keenan McCardell in 1998 and tied by Jimmy Smith the following year.
Rashad Jennings, filling in for injured starter Jalen Parmele, ran 16 times for 43 yards and a touchdown.
Jacksonville showed some resiliency by closing out Tennessee without three defensive starters. Cornerbacks Derek Cox (leg) and Aaron Ross (dehydration) left the game and did not return. Defensive end Austen Lane (leg) came out late.
Locker completed 23 of 40 passes for 262 yards, with a touchdown and an interception. His final pass of the game was picked off.
Chris Johnson ran 21 times for 80 yards, and that’s with a 31-yard run on Tennessee’s lone touchdown drive.
The Titans had won two in a row on the road and looked to stay in the playoff hunt with a win after their bye week. Now, they’re probably a long shot in the AFC postseason picture.