The third of five season-defining moments

February, 5, 2014
Feb 5
3:50
PM ET
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- This week we are looking at five key moments that told the story of the Tennessee Titans' 2013 season.

Monday was Darius Reynaud's safety on the opening kickoff return of the season.

Tuesday was Jake Locker's touchdown pass to Justin Hunter to beat San Diego.

We're not going in any order, here is the third installment:

Johnson
Chris Johnson's fumble in Nashville against Jacksonville.

The Titans were 4-4 on Nov. 10 when they kicked off at LP Field against the 0-8 Jacksonville Jaguars.

Tennessee was flat from the start, turning the ball over four times and watching Jake Locker suffer a season-ending foot injury as the Jaguars broke into the win column.

Johnson got it started with a careless fumble on the Titans' first play from scrimmage. He took a handoff heading right, cut upfield and had the ball popped out by linebacker Paul Posluszny after a four-yard gain. Three plays later the Jaguars were up 7-0, and the home team's unraveling was fully underway.

Johnson was hardly the only culprit, but it was a negative tone-setting play by the franchise’s marquee player.

The quarterbacks did their part -- Locker threw an interception, then lost a fumble on a handoff on his final play of the season, one snap after he suffered a serious Lisfranc foot injury. Ryan Fitzpatrick threw an interception during his relief stint, and had a fumble ripped away and returned for a score.

First-round pick Chance Warmack, the right guard, was called for a hold of former Titans defensive lineman Sen'Derrick Marks on a another bad play for a fourth-quarter safety that provided the ultimate winning-margin.

“We just didn’t play very well,” former head coach Mike Munchak said. “That goes without saying, probably, but I need to say it. You can’t fumble on the first snap of the game when you have a run. We did some things you can’t do against any team, let alone against a team that we knew was struggling.”

It was the third year in a row in which Munchak’s Titans lost to a team that qualified as the worst in the league at the time.

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

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