Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans escaped a nightmare against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, 12-9, at FirstEnergy Stadium. The former Heisman Trophy winner accounted for 211 total yards and no touchdowns in the victory.
As he works himself back to full strength, the Titans are taking baby steps with their franchise player. Following a 300-yard Monday night win over the Colts, Mariota was more conservative against a solid run defense that forced a pass-funnel.
Hawaii’s finest completed 21-of-34 attempts for 203 passing yards. He did not throw a touchdown, nor did he turn the ball over. Incredibly, Mariota has yet to throw a red zone interception during his professional career.
His legs aren’t completely under him after dealing with a hamstring issue, but he did hobble eight yards on his lone carry.
“It’s tough to win in this league,” Mariota told the media contingent in Cleveland. “It doesn’t matter who you’re playing. It’s nice to enjoy this win. We’ll have an opportunity to look at the film, but we came out with the win and that’s all that matters.”
Following a Ryan Succop field goal in the first, third and fourth quarter respectively, Tennessee and Cleveland headed to overtime in a 9-9 tie.
The Titans’ kicker added his fourth field goal of the day in the extra period, propelling Tennessee to their fourth victory. The winless Browns dropped to 0-7 on the season.
His numbers may not be where he wants them right now, but Mariota’s presence on the field can not be overlooked.
When Mariota is on the field from start to finish, the Titans have won four straight. The only game that Tennessee actually lost was their season-opener vs Oakland. His stats may not be “Mariota-like” but the wins continue to pile up.
Once he gets his legs under him, it’s only a matter of time before the numbers arrive.
Marcus Mariota Season Stats
110-of-176 pass completions
61.8 percent completion percentage
1,301 passing yards
4 passing touchdowns
7.39 yards per pass
216 passing yards per game
55 yards (season-long pass completion)
23 rush attempts
124 rushing yards
3 rushing touchdowns
5.39 yards per carry
34 yards (season-long rush)
Next for up the Titans (4-3) is a much-needed bye week, especially for their quarterback. When they return to action in two weeks, it will be against the Baltimore Ravens (3-4) from Nashville.