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Another Tape-Measured Defeat for the Jaguars

Associated Press

Replay is haunting, rather than helping, the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Steve McNair threw for two touchdowns and ran for two more, including a controversial one-yard score with 44 seconds left, as the Tennessee Titans beat Jacksonville, 28-24, Sunday, extending the Jaguars’ losing streak to five games.

The Jaguars (2-5) were hurt by a video replay for the second consecutive week. Referee Bill Carollo ruled that McNair’s touchdown plunge stood despite the replay showing he might have lost the ball before crossing the goal line.

Asked if he had the ball, McNair laughed and said it was his little secret.

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“I was lying on my back, so I couldn’t see. All I heard was the crowd cheering. I knew something good had happened. I didn’t know if I had crossed the line, but when I got to see the line, I knew my body was all the way across,” he said.

Jacksonville Coach Tom Coughlin, who lost a protest of a Baltimore touchdown last week, called a timeout to give the replay official in the booth time for a second look.

It didn’t help.

“The referee said it was a very bad picture, and he couldn’t distinguish it,” Coughlin said.

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Jacksonville had one last chance, but end Jevon Kearse sacked Mark Brunell twice, and time ran out as the Jaguars got across midfield.

“It is difficult to take because there is effort,” Brunell said. “I think there is a lot of emotion out there. We are just coming up short. We can’t have any more of it.”

The Titans (3-4) talked of resting Eddie George for the first time in his NFL career because of injuries to his knee, thigh and ankle. He started his 87th straight game and carried 22 times for 70 yards.

But it was McNair who had one of the best days of his career--his first game with two TDs through the air and on the ground.

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He was 27 for 34 for 241 yards passing, with 10 carries for 74 yards. He tossed a 20-yard touchdown pass to Kevin Dyson and a five-yarder to Derrick Mason, and scored on a five-yard run in the third quarter.

Maybe it’s the Jaguars. He has passed for nine touchdowns in his last four games against Jacksonville, with no interceptions. It also was his best rushing performance since the 1999 AFC championship game against Jacksonville.

“He was in control out there,” Coughlin said.

Jacksonville had trouble moving the ball against a Titan defense that looked more like the unit that led the NFL last season than the group that is the AFC’s worst against the pass. Brunell threw for 261 yards and a touchdown, but was sacked five times.

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