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Marcus Mariota Replaces Bad Memory with Good One


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Marcus Mariota didn't need any reminders.

As he walked into EverBank Field on Sunday, the Titans quarterback remembered vividly what happened the last time he visited.

It only made Sunday's 37-16 win over the Jaguars sweeter.

"It feels great," Mariota said. "Obviously last year I was leaving here on crutches. To be able to walk out of here with the guys, with a huge divisional win, it was huge. And we're going to enjoy it."

Everyone remembers Mariota suffering a fractured fibula in the team's Christmas Eve loss, and the sight of him being carted off the field. It was the start of a long and painful offseason, which included months of rehab. Leading up to today, beginning with his post-game press conference after the team's Week One loss to the Raiders, Mariota fielded questions on the subject.

On Sunday, Mariota replaced the memory with a much better one.

Mariota completed 15-of-27 passes for 215 yards and a touchdown in the game as the Titans rolled.

"I think going into this game it was going to be tough – they have a great defense, a great defensive front," Mariota said. "We knew we just had to kind of keep chugging along. We knew we could make some plays when it came around. I am proud of the guys. I thought the offensive line did a great job, the receivers and everybody found ways to get open, and the tight ends made some big plays."

Mariota and the Titans got rolling in the second half.

One drive was capped off with a Derrick Henry touchdown run, another on a short run by tight end Delanie Walker.

Mariota, who was intercepted in the first half, made plays himself. He hit rookie Taywan Taylor for a 42-yard pass, and got things going with veteran receiver Rishard Matthews (3 catches, 43 yards). Eric Decker was more involved (3-32), and Walker made plays in the passing game as well.

Mariota connected with rookie tight end Jonnu Smith on a screen pass for a 32-yard touchdown.

"Those guys have made plays like that throughout the offseason and into the preseason," Mariota said. "To find ways to get those guys the ball and allow them to make plays, that was huge."

Mariota gave big props to his offensive line.

After racking up 10 sacks a week ago in a win over the Texans, Mariota was sacked just once.

And on this day, he left with a bounce in his step.

"It's a very important win for us," Mariota said. "It's a brand-new year. Our whole focus, our main concern was being better in our division. And we were able to accomplish that today."

The Tennessee Titans take on the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 2 action at EverBank Field. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)

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