NASHVILLE, Tenn. —** Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota threw just five passes in the team's preseason opener, and not one hit the ground.
This on a night when the Titans hit the ground running.
Mariota was just fine with the development. He wasn't alone.
"They did a great job,'' Mariota said of the running backs, "but it starts up front. I thought those guys did a great job controlling the line of scrimmage, giving us time to throw the ball in the passing game. If we can run the ball like that, it will make our job a lot easier throwing the ball down the field."
Mariota was a perfect 5-of-5 for 45 yards in the team's 27-10 win over the Chargers, including a 31-yard completion to receiver Tajae Sharpe on his first throw of the night.
Mariota played just three series in the contest, and left with the Titans ahead 10-7. The Titans ended up cruising to victory.
"I thought we did fairly well,'' Mariota said of the start. "We weren't able to convert a couple third downs, but we were able to move the ball. The offensive line did a great job in pass protection, as well as the run game and controlling the line of scrimmage. So that's all you can really ask for. It's something to build off of, and we look forward to getting back to work on Monday."
The Titans led 17-10 at the half, thanks to a run game that was impressive early.
Veteran running back DeMarco Murray ran for 93 yards on just six carries, and scored on a 71-yard touchdown.
Rookie Derrick Henry carried the ball 10 times for 74 yards, and scored on a 16-yard run.
The Titans racked up 179 rushing yards by halftime, and finished the game with 288 rushing yards. Running back Bishop Sankey added another score on a 41-yard touchdown run.
"I think it's a confidence booster,'' Mariota said. "Guys are starting to believe what is going on around here. It is only the first preseason game, but if we are able to do what we are capable of doing on the field, our goals are definitely attainable."
The Tennessee Titans kick off the 2016 preseason against the San Diego Chargers at Nissan Stadium. (Donn Jones, AP)