NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota was hot on Sunday against the Dolphins.
He wants to keep it going this Sunday against the Browns. He has a chance to make NFL history in the process.
"I think for us, being able to go in and score points, finish drives was huge,'' Mariota said after practice on Wednesday. "It's the standard now. It's something that we can look to and continue to build off of."
Mariota accounted for four total touchdowns – three through the air and one on the ground – in the 30-17 win against the Dolphins. On the day he was 20-of-29 for 163 yards with touchdown passes to tight end Delanie Walker and receivers Andre Johnson and Rishard Matthews. He also added a five-yard touchdown run.
The appearance was the 17th game of Mariota's career. In those games, he's had four performances in which he's passed and/or rushed for four touchdowns. He did it three times as a rookie -- against the Buccaneers (four passing), Saints (four passing) and Jaguars (three passing/one rushing).
It's quite a feat.
In the history of the NFL, Mariota is just the second quarterback to have four four-touchdown performances in his first 17 games. The only other player to do it? Charlie Conerly of the New York Giants. Back in 1948-49.
There are only five other players in NFL annals with three such performances in their first 17 games: Matthew Stafford, Mark Rypien, Daunte Culpepper, Fran Tarkenton and Johnny Unitas.
With another four-touchdown performance on Sunday against Cleveland, Mariota would become the first quarterback to have five four-touchdown games in his first 18 games in NFL history.
Mariota didn't talk about his individual performance on Wednesday. His focus is on the Browns.
"They play together," he said of Cleveland's defense. "Although they're young, they're very unified and disciplined in what they do. You know, they play teams tough. We have to be prepared for that.
"It's all about us and that's kind of been our focus. It's, 'How can we get better? How can we improve week-in and week-out?' I firmly believe that we take every opponent as a faceless opponent. It's a good way to keep your mentality so that they're focusing on how you can get better and how you can execute."
On Sunday, the Titans will be looking to win back-to-back games for the first time since the end of the 2013 season.
The Titans would also like to win at Nissan Stadium for the first time this season.
"It's tough to win in this league,'' Mariota said. "To come here on a Wednesday after a big win, it's huge. For us, it's continuing to build confidence, continuing to believe in each other and try to use this momentum for the rest of the year.
"I think it's important (we keep the momentum going). It's critical. I don't think consistency has been something that we've done around here. If we're able to do that and continue to build one good game after another, we'll like the direction we're going in."
Titans players take the field for Wednesday's practice at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Gary Glenn)