EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. –When the Titans worked on a pass play involving running back Antonio Andrews and quarterback Marcus Mariota during the week, well, let's just say it wasn't executed to perfection.
On the play, Andrews – not Mariota – was the one throwing the pass.
"All week in practice, it didn't work,'' receiver Harry Douglas said. "It looked a little weird in practice."
Even Andrews, a high school quarterback, admitted as much.
"It was all bad throws this week,'' Andrews said with a half-smile.
When the Titans called the play on Sunday, however, it worked. Andrews connected with Mariota on a 41-yard touchdown pass in the team's 30-8 loss to the Jets. Unfortunately, it was one of just a few highlights in an otherwise forgettable performance against the Jets.
Titans interim coach Mike Mularkey said the team saw the play executed by the Texans, so they put the play in themselves. After some shaky tries in practice, the Titans worked on the play again on Saturday in greater detail, and executed it better.
"I said to Marcus,'' Mularkey said. "… I'll see you when we get done scoring after the play."
On the play, Andrews took the direct snap from center after Mariota went in motion and lined up to the right, on the sideline.
With Andrews running to his right, Mariota began jogging at the snap, before breaking into a sprint. Jets safety Calvin Pryor slipped on the play, allowing Mariota to get behind him. Andrews lofted the ball to Mariota, who sprinted into the end zone for the touchdown.
"The guys did a great job of selling it, and I just had an opportunity,'' Mariota said. "I played receiver growing up, and had experience in high school as a receiver. I was pretty comfortable."
Mariota caught two passes for 28 yards and two touchdowns in college at Oregon. It was Mariota's first career catch in the NFL.
Andrews played quarterback in high school at Fort Campbell (Ky.), throwing for 1,667 yards during his final season while also running for 1,597 yards.
"I told coach Mularkey, "I am a game time player, so it will be ready game time,'' said Andrews, who wasn't surprised Mariota pulled the play off. "He is an athlete. He is a well-rounded athlete. He can catch, throw, and do everything in between."