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DeMarco Murray Takes Flight, Not Pleased Overall


NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Titans – and running back DeMarco Murray – were flying high early on Sunday against the Vikings.

The sight of Murray floating through the air on his six-yard touchdown catch got the crowd at Nissan Stadium hyped.

"We came out firing in the first half," Murray said. "But the second half we just didn't execute obviously, and turnovers killed us. There were a couple of plays we'd like to have back. At the end of the day we fought, but we just didn't execute the way we should have."

The Titans lost 25-16 to the Vikings in the season opener.

Murray provided a huge highlight in the first half. With the Titans facing a second-and-goal, Murray caught a ball in the flat from quarterback Marcus Mariota, turned upfield and headed toward the end zone. Vikings defensive back Terence Newman was there waiting for him, but Murray hurdled him and landed in the end zone – with a flip -- for a touchdown, making it 10-0.

Murray was swarmed by teammates on the field and on the sideline, as the crowd went wild.

"It was an open play,'' Murray said. "I think anyone could have scored on that play."

But the Titans unraveled in the second half. Mariota threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown, and Murray and Mariota both took blame for a botched handoff which led to another Minnesota touchdown. Murray had another fumble in the second half, which was recovered by the Vikings.

"I didn't think I played as great as I should have played,'' Murray said. "I'll work a lot harder and try and learn from it and try not to let those things happen."

Murray finished the game with 42 yards on 13 carries, with a long run of 12 yards. He also caught five passes for 35 yards out of the backfield, and scored two touchdowns.

Rookie running back Derrick Henry managed just three yards on five carries in his first NFL game, but he turned a short reception into a 29-yard gain in the first half. Henry caught two passes for 41 yards on the day.

Henry said he'll learn from his first NFL game.

"We didn't expect the outcome to be this way,'' Henry said. "But we have to put this one behind us, watch (film) and get ready for next week."

Murray, who joined the Titans in March via trade after playing last season with the Eagles, said the Titans will be an improved team in 2016.

Despite Sunday's loss, better days are ahead, he said.

"The mindset has already changed,'' Murray said. "Last year was last year, and I wasn't a part of that team. But I know for damn sure that is not going to happen this year. We let one slip away. (The Vikings) are a good team, and we have to do better, including myself. I take full responsibility and at the end of the day we have to come back and sweep this under the rug and learn from it and move on to the Detroit Lions.

"Right now, whether it's bad or great, you have to watch film and learn from the things you didn't do well, and the things you did great you have to build on and keep going. There is no doubt in my mind that we are a good football team. We have a lot of leaders on this football team and we're going to work hard and go from there."

The Tennessee Titans kick off the 2016 season in Week 1 against the Minnesota Vikings at Nissan Stadium. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)

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