Game Notes: Mularkey Wins Debut as Titans Head Coach


MULARKEY WINS DEBUT AS TITANS HEAD COACH: Mike Mularkey made his debut as interim head coach of the Titans.  He was promoted to the post on Tuesday, Nov. 3, replacing Ken Whisenhunt seven games into the season.  Mularkey became the second coach in franchise history to take over as head coach during a season and win his debut, joining Wally Lemm (1961).


OVERTIME WIN: **The Titans produced their first overtime win since beating the Detroit Lions 44-41 at Nissan Stadium on Sept. 23, 2012.  The franchise is 18-24 all-time in overtime games.

WALK-OFF OVERTIME TOUCHDOWN:For only the second time in franchise history, the Titans won an overtime game with a "walk-off" touchdown.* Marcus Mariota* became the first quarterback in franchise history to throw a game-winning touchdown pass in overtime when he found tight end Anthony Fasano for a five-yard score on the first possession of overtime.  The only other overtime touchdown in franchise history was Vince Young's 39-yard touchdown run at the Houston Texans on Dec. 10, 2006.

LARGEST NET YARDAGE TOTAL SINCE 2009:The Titans offense netted 483 yards against the Saints (112 rushing, 371 passing), their highest total since posting 532 yards against the Arizona Cardinals on Nov. 29, 2009.  The 483 yards by the Titans tied for the 13th-best single-game total by a Saints opponent at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, which opened in 1975.

GOAL-TO-GO EFFICIENCY:The Titans scored three touchdowns in three goal-to-go situations at New Orleans, bringing their season totals to 12 touchdowns in 14 goal-to-go chances.  Their efficiency rate of 85.7 percent is tied for third in the NFL.

OFFENSIVE LINE MOVES:The Titans unveiled their fifth different starting offensive line combination of the season.  Taylor Lewan started his eighth game of the season at left tackle as the lone member of the line to start every game at the same spot, while Byron Bell moved to right tackle after starting the first seven contests at left guard.  Joe Looney started for the first time as a member of the Titans at left guard, while rookie Andy Gallik notched his second career start at center.  At right guard, Chance Warmack started for the sixth time this season.

LIMITING SACKS:The Titans' pass protection improved considerably from the previous week.  After giving up seven sacks at Houston on Nov. 1, the Titans did not surrender a sack against the Saints.  It was the first time all season the Titans did not give up a sack. The last game in which the Titans were not sacked was Nov. 17, 2014 against the Steelers.


MARIOTA'S TRIUMPHANT RETURN: Rookie quarterbackMarcus Mariotawas back in the lineup after missing two games with a knee injury.  In his sixth career start, he was 28-of-39 passing for 371 yards, four touchdowns, no interceptions and a passer rating of 135.7.  His five-yard touchdown pass to tight endAnthony Fasanoon the first drive of overtime capped his first career game-winning drive. Late in the first quarter, he threw a 61-yard touchdown pass to tight endDelanie Walker, marking the longest completion of Mariota's rookie season.  He found Walker again in the second quarter for a two-yard touchdown pass.  In the fourth quarter, he completed an eight-yard touchdown pass toJustin Hunter** and a subsequent two-point conversion to Walker to tie the score and help force overtime.

FRANCHISE ROOKIE TOUCHDOWN RECORD:With four touchdown passes against the Saints, Marcus Mariota improved his season total to 13 touchdown passes.  In doing so, he broke the franchise's single-season rookie record for touchdown passes, topping Vince Young's 12 touchdown passes in 2006.

SINGLE-GAME PASSER RATING: Marcus Mariota's passer rating of 135.7 at New Orleans was the ninth-highest passer rating by any NFL quarterback in 2015 and ranked 10th in franchise history for a single game (minimum 20 attempts).

SEASON PASSER RATING: Marcus Mariota improved his season passer rating to 101.5, which ranks ninth in the NFL and first among rookies.

MARIOTA'S PASSING YARDS RECORD: Marcus Mariota broke his own franchise rookie record with 371 passing yards at New Orleans, topping the 367 yards he recorded against the Indianapolis Colts on Sept. 27.  The performance ranks 24th in franchise history among all passers and the most since Ryan Fitzpatrick's 402 passing yards against the Arizona Cardinals on Dec. 15, 2013. Mariota became the first rookie in franchise history to record multiple 300-yard passing games.


MARIOTA IN THE CLUTCH: In the fourth quarter and overtime,Marcus Mariota** completed a combined 15 passes on 17 attempts for 160 yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions and a passer rating of 145.1.

NFL ROOKIE FIRST FOR MARIOTA:Prior to Marcus Mariota's performance at New Orleans, no rookie in NFL history had ever produced two games with four touchdown passes and no interceptions.  Mariota previously passed for four touchdowns without an interception in the season opener at Tampa Bay (Sept. 13) and matched the feat against the Saints.  Mariota and Tom Brady became the only NFL quarterbacks through nine weeks of the 2015 season to have multiple games (two each) with four touchdowns and no interceptions.

MARIOTA MATCHES CULPEPER: Marcus Mariota became the second quarterback in NFL history to pass for at least 350 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions and the game-winning touchdown pass in overtime.  Daunte Culpepper is the only other signal caller to accomplish the feat, having done so on Oct. 10, 2004 against the Houston Texans.

TWO-POINT PLAY: Marcus Mariota's completion to Delanie Walker for a two-point conversion was the Titans' first successful two-point conversion since Nov. 4, 2012, when Matt Hasselbeck completed a pass for two points to Kenny Britt against the Chicago Bears.

ANOTHER ROOKIE FIRST: Marcus Mariota became the first rookie in NFL history to throw a touchdown pass in overtime after sending the game to overtime with a fourth-quarter touchdown pass and a subsequent pass for the game-tying two-point conversion. The last NFL player to accomplish the feat was Josh Freeman on Nov. 18, 2012.

TIGHT END TOTALS:Titans tight ends accounted for 12 receptions for 155 yards and three touchdowns. Delanie Walker led the way with seven catches for 95 yards and a touchdown, followed by Anthony Fasano's three catches for 33 yards and a score and Craig Stevens' two receptions for 25 yards.

BIG DAY FOR WALKER:Tight end Delanie Walker recorded the fourth-highest receiving yardage total of his career, collecting seven receptions for 95 yards and a pair of touchdowns.  Late in the first quarter, Marcus Mariota lofted a pass deep down the left sideline in his direction.  After the ball was tipped by a pair of colliding Saints defenders, Walker grabbed it and raced to the end zone for a 61-yard touchdown.  It tied for the second-longest reception of Walker's 10-year career.  In the second quarter, Walker snagged a two-yard touchdown pass from Mariota, giving him his first career game with multiple touchdown catches.  Midway through the fourth quarter, he tied the game at 28-28 with a reception for a two-point conversion.

GAME-WINNER FOR FASANO:Tight end Anthony Fasano caught the game-winning, five-yard touchdown pass from Marcus Mariotain overtime.  The touchdown was Fasano's second of the season and the 33rd of his career.  It was his first career touchdown catch in overtime, and it was the franchise's first-ever game-winning touchdown reception in overtime.


HUNTER'S FIRST TD OF 2015: Wide receiverJustin Hunter** scored his first touchdown of the season and his eighth career touchdown on an eight-yard reception in the fourth quarter.

GREEN-BECKHAM RECORDS HIGHEST TOTALS TO DATE:Rookie wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham caught five passes for 77 yards, setting career highs in both categories.  His day included two receptions for first downs (14 and nine yards) during the game-winning drive in overtime.

DOUGLAS RETURNS, POSTS 30-YARD CATCH:Wide receiverHarry Douglasreturned to action after missing two games with a rib injury.  In the second quarter, he recorded a 30-yard catch, marking his longest reception as a member of the Titans and his longest since a 41-yard catch for the Atlanta Falcons on Dec. 14, 2014 against Pittsburgh.  He totaled five receptions against the Saints for 73 yards.

ANDREWS FOLLOWS LONG CATCH WITH LONG RUN:In the second quarter, running backAntonio Andrewsturned a pass fromMarcus Mariotainto a 23-yard gain, tying the running back's career-long reception.  On the next play, he set a career benchmark with a 38-yard run, which led to a Titans touchdown three plays later.  Andrews set a career high in rushing yards for the third consecutive week, totaling 19 carries for 88 yards.

McCLUSTER REACHES 1,000 CAREER RUSHING YARDS:With 19 rushing yards against the Saints, running back Dexter McCluster surpassed the 1,000-yard rushing mark for his career.

FROM PRACTICE SQUAD ON SATURDAY TO INTERCEPTING BREES SUNDAY:In the third quarter, third-year cornerback B.W. Webb recorded his first career interception a day after being promoted to the active roster.  Webb, who spent the first seven games of the season with the team on the practice squad, intercepted a Drew Brees pass in the end zone that was intended for Mark Ingram.


ORAKPO TAKES SACK LEAD: In the first quarter, outside linebacker Brian Orakporecorded his fourth sack of the season, droppingDrew Brees** for a four-yard loss.  Late in the fourth quarter, he delivered a key eight-yard sack to help slow a potential game-winning drive by the Saints.  It was his ninth career game with at least two sacks.  Orakpo's five sacks in 2015 are the most on the team and are tied for ninth in the AFC through nine weeks of the season.

WOODYARD NOTCHES THIRD SACK:In the third quarter, inside linebacker Wesley Woodyard notched his third sack of the season, delivering an 11-yard takedown of Drew Brees.  The play gave Woodyard 13.5 career sacks.  The last time Woodyard had three or more sacks in a season was 2012, when the eighth-year veteran recorded a career-high 5.5 sacks.

BLACKSON CONTRIBUTES A SACK:Rookie defensive end Angelo Blackson contributed his second sack of the season with a nine-yard takedown of Drew Brees in the fourth quarter.

SUCCOP TAKES STREAK TO 15 FIELD GOALS:In the first quarter, Ryan Succop got the Titans on the scoreboard with a 51-yard field goal.  The field goal was his longest since he hit a 51-yarder against the New York Jets on Dec. 14, 2014.  In the third quarter, Succop made a 29-yarder to give him 15 consecutive field goals dating back to the 2014 season.  It ranked as the seventh-longest such streak in franchise history.  The streak, which tied for Succop's second-longest streak of his career (22 in 2011, 15 from 2009-2010), came to an end with a 55-yard miss off the crossbar late in the fourth quarter.

KERN HAS ANOTHER BIG GAME:For the second consecutive week, Brett Kern turned in one of the top 15 net punting performances in team history.  With five punts for 253 yards (50.6 gross average) and two punts inside the 20, his 46.4 net average ranks 11th in team annals for a single game (since 1976, minimum four punts).  His 45.9-yard net average in the previous game at Houston is the 14th best in franchise history.  Kern owns 12 of the team's top 16 net punting performances.


SPECIAL TEAMS TAKEAWAY: In the first quarter, the Titans punt coverage unit forced a turnover.  OnMarcus Murphy'sreturn,Cody Riggsknocked the ball loose (first career special teams forced fumble), andSteve Johnson** recovered his second special teams fumble of the season (second career) to give the Titans the ball in Saints territory.  The turnover resulted in a Titans field goal.

CAPTAINS:The Titans' five captains at New Orleans were outside linebacker Brian Orakpo, defensive tackle Jurrell Casey, linebacker Wesley Woodyard, tight end Delanie Walker and running back Dexter McCluster.

INACTIVES: The Titans' seven inactive players were quarterback Charlie Whitehurst, wide receiver Kendall Wright, cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson, cornerback Jason McCourty, offensive lineman Quinton Spain, defensive end Ropati Pitoitua and defensive lineman Mike Martin.  Wright (knee), Wreh-Wilson (hamstring) and McCourty (groin) were listed on the injury report leading up to the game.

The Tennessee Titans take on the New Orleans Saints Week 9 at the Superdome (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)


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