DETROIT, Mich. —** Marcus Mariota isn't sure what Sunday's dramatic win over the Lions will ultimately lead to, but he can hardly wait to find out. "You hope this is a momentum boost,'' the Titans quarterback said after Sunday's 16-15 come-from-behind win over the Lions. "You hope you can use this for the rest of the season. Just to see the guys in the locker room. … This could be a huge momentum boost for us."
Things weren't pretty for the Titans during a good chunk of Sunday's game.
But in a reverse from Week One, things flipped for the better in the end. The Titans made plays in crunch time, and pulled out the win under pressure.
Mariota connected with receiver Andre Johnson on a nine-yard touchdown pass to give the Titans the lead with 1:13 left.
"It didn't surprise me, the throw,'' Titans coach Mike Mularkey said of Mariota. "The guy is a gamer, and he'll give us a chance."
Mariota finished the game 25-of-33 for 238 yards and two touchdowns. He was a perfect 9-of-9 on the game-winning drive.
The Titans trailed 15-3 at the start of the fourth quarter. Then Mariota connected with tight end Delanie Walker for a 30-yard touchdown to make it 15-10.
With the game on the line, Mariota led a 13-play, 83-yard drive for the Titans after the team got the ball with 7:04 remaining. The game-winning pass came on a 4th and 4. Johnson caught the ball in between two defenders. The Titans converted two third downs earlier on the drive.
"Everyone just had a confident look,'' Mariota said. "Everyone believed in each other. There weren't many words, guys just kind of felt we could do it and that's what really matters."
Johnson praised Mariota for his poise.
The Titans squandered chances earlier in the game, and hurt themselves with penalties. Mariota threw an interception in the third quarter, and the Titans were held to just three points in the first half.
"He was great,'' Johnson said of Mariota. "When you look at guys that young in this league and you face the adversity we faced in the first half, even the team tends to go in the tank. Teams don't tend to win those games. … But we knew we had to keep playing."
Mariota battled cramps during the second half of the contest.
He benefited from running game that produced 139 yards on the ground. Running back DeMarco Murray led the Titans with 89 yards on 12 carries, with a long run of 67 yards. Derrick Henry had nine carries for 40 yards.
Murray also contributed with seven catches for 56 yards, while Walker (6-83) had a bigger impact in Week 2. Receivers Rishard Matthews and Tajae Sharpe had four catches each.
"We kind of dug ourselves in a hole a little bit (early),'' Mariota said. "But I am proud of those guys for sticking in there and fighting.
"I think guys believed in each other even when it was 15-3. We have confidence in each other and believe in each other. Sometimes you have to grind it out a little bit, and then you get your shot. I'm happy we were able to get the win. And to win like we did today, it gives you confidence when we are in another situation like this to go out there and do it again."
The Tennessee Titans take on the Detroit Lions in Week 2 action at Ford Field. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)