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The Marcus Mariota Report: Titans stay atop AFC South with 24-13 win over Texans

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Mariota has his Tennessee team at 8-4 and in first place

Houston Texans v Tennessee Titans Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Marcus Mariota led the Tennessee Titans past the division-rival Houston Texans 24-13 on Sunday from Nissan Stadium in Nashville. The AFC South leaders have now won six of their last seven games, including a sterling 5-1 record at home in 2017.

It may not be as pretty as it was when he played for Oregon on Saturday’s, but Mariota continues to get the job done. It seems like he’s over his mini-slump and more importantly, his legs look fresh again.

After suffering a hamstring issue against the Texans in his fourth game of the season, Mariota was forced from the affair alongside the next contest against the Miami Dolphins. The Titans lost both games. In fact, Tennessee has only dropped two games this year with Mariota on the field from start to finish.

On Sunday, the Titans were down 10-0 with 10:40 remaining in the first half. That was until Mariota took over.

The former Heisman winner galloped nine yards to the house, 10-7, for the first Tennessee points of the afternoon with 4:18 left in the first 30 minutes. It was an efficient 10-play, 75-yard drive (6:22).

Houston Texans v Tennessee Titans
Marcus Mariota and Eric Decker celebrate after the quarterback scampered to the end zone for Tennessee’s first points of the game. It was Mariota’s fifth rushing tally of the season.
Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

Then Mariota and the Titan offense traveled 80 yards on another 10 plays just before the half. Ryan Succop tied the game 10-10 as the teams headed to their respective locker rooms.

Tennessee carried their momentum into the second half, as Mariota found his main man Delanie Walker in the end zone with three seconds left in the third quarter. The tally gave the Titans a 17-10 advantage with 15 minutes to play.

Following a Houston field goal, 17-13, Derrick Henry placed the finishing touches on the Texans with his 75-yard jaunt. The touchdown sealed the victory and placed Tennessee ahead 24-13.

The Titans had three touchdowns in the final minute of a quarter in this game. They scored with :03 seconds in the second and third quarter, while Henry’s TD came with :46 seconds left in the game.

Overall, Mariota completed 15-of-23 attempts for 150 passing yards and a score. He rushed for 23 yards and a TD on three carries. The former Duck finished with a RTG of 98.1 against the Texans’ defense.

The Titans are currently tied in the standings with the Jacksonville Jaguars. However, Tennessee owns the tiebreaker after their 37-16 win during Week 2. The two will meet again, in what should be an epic showdown in Week 17 to conclude the NFL regular season.

Marcus Mariota Season Stats

208-of-329 pass completions (+15-of-23)

63.2 percent completion percentage (+0.1)

2,423 passing yards (+150)

10 passing touchdowns (+1)

12 interceptions

7.37 yards per pass (+0.01)

75 yards season-long completion

57.7 QBR (+0.1)

80.4 Rating (+1.3)

43 rush attempts (+3)

213 rushing yards (+23)

5 rushing touchdowns (+1)

0 fumbles

4.95 yards per carry (+0.20)

34 yards (season-long rush)

0 red zone interceptions

GAME HIGHLIGHTS

Week 13: Titans vs Texans

Next up for the first place Titans (8-4) are the Arizona Cardinals (5-7) on Sunday. Kickoff is slated for 1:05 p.m. PT from University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. The game will be broadcast live on CBS in local areas.

Stay tuned, if you want to; Twitter @TheQuackFiend Gram @eugene_levys_eyebrows