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Marcus Mariota Picking up New Believers Along the Way



NASHVILLE, Tenn. –** Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota keeps putting up big numbers, and he's making more believers along the way.

The latest: NFL Network's Michael Robinson.

"I wasn't a huge fan of this guy coming out,'' Robinson said, "but Marcus Mariota is legit."

Robinson, who played eight NFL seasons as a fullback with the 49ers and Seahawks, made his comments on NFL Network's Good Morning Football show. Robinson, who won a Super Bowl ring with the Seahawks, was asked what he learned in Week 10.

As tape rolled from Tennessee's 47-25 win over the Green Bay Packers, Robinson offered praise for Mariota, who finished Sunday's game 19-of-26 for 295 yards and four touchdowns, with no interceptions, and a passer rating of 149.8. Mariota was 10-for-10 to start the game, for 196 yards and two touchdowns.

"How about, when I'm in the red zone, I don't throw interceptions," Robinson said of Mariota. "All I do is throw 30 touchdowns, and zero interceptions.

"This guy is in his second year, and he snaps the football while the Green Bay Packers are still getting set up – that's an Aaron Rodgers move right there. And then he finds a wide open receiver with a pin-point pass …

"And the (Titans) run game helps him tremendously because at any point he can just turn around and hand the ball off to DeMarco Murray or Derrick Henry, and this offensive line that's full of first-rounders are just mauling people off the ball.  If they can keep this run game up, Marcus Mariota will finish this year as one of the top quarterbacks in the league fantasy points wise, and real football wise when you talk about stats."

In his career, Mariota has thrown 30 touchdowns vs. zero interceptions in the red zone.

In the past six games, Mariota has 17 passing touchdowns vs. only three interceptions, in addition to two rushing touchdowns. Mariota has at least two touchdown passes in six consecutive games, and he's already surpassed his rookie total for touchdown passes on the season with 21. Mariota is the first Titans quarterback since Steve McNair in 2003 to thrown for 20 touchdowns in a season. McNair threw for 24 touchdowns that season, when he was named the NFL's co-MVP.

For the sixth time in 22 career starts, Mariota accounted for four total touchdowns passing and/or rushing in a game vs the Packers. In NFL history, no player has recorded more four-touchdown performances in his first 22 NFL games.

Peter Schrager, a senior national writer with and an analyst for NFL Network, also offered praise for the Titans.

The Titans have won four of their last six games while scoring at least 26 points in those games. The Titans have scored 35-plus points in three straight regular season games for the first time in franchise history.

"My thought is they had the first overall pick this year and they traded back, and what they got instead was Jack Conklin, who is going to end up being a 10-time All-Pro. This guy is fantastic,'' Schrager said of Conklin, the team's right tackle. "And then they got Derrick Henry in the second round.

"They are loaded with youth. … Obviously this offensive line is all first-rounders, but Taylor Lewan is playing as good as any tackle in football. He has a temper, but I kind of like it. He is a dog.

"I like this team, and I like it up front. If the defense can hold their own, this team could be one to watch."

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