Marcus Mariota Throws Three TDs in Win Over Browns

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. —** Marcus Mariota came out running.

On the first offensive play of Sunday's game against the Browns, the Titans quarterback took off, and ran for 41 yards.

In his team's 28-26 win, however, the Titans took flight -- in more ways than one.

Mariota completed 17-of-24 passes for 284 yards and three touchdowns, and receivers Kendall Wright and Rishard Matthews made a pair of spectacular diving grabs.

"The object of the game is to help your quarterback out, right?,'' tight end Delanie Walker said afterward. "When we play good, Marcus plays good, that's just how it goes."

Mariota's passer rating of 132.6 on Sunday was his best of the season. In a win last week against the Dolphins, Mariota posted a passer rating of 117.5.

Mariota has now accounted for seven touchdowns (six passing, one rushing) in the last two weeks. The 132.6 rating on Sunday was Mariota's sixth career game with a passer rating of 100 or better.  It was his third-highest passer rating and his highest since Nov. 8, 2015 at New Orleans (135.7).

The Titans improved to 6-0 when Mariota's passer rating is 100 or better.

Mariota was happy with the win, which improved the Titans to 3-3.

"It feels great, feels great,'' Mariota said. "I'm proud of those guys in the locker room and they deserve all the credit. Just glad we were able to get another win under our belt and get ready for next week."

Titans coach Mike Mularkey said Mariota benefited from nice plays from Wright, and Matthews.

Wright's diving 48-yard touchdown catch gave the Titans a 14-6 lead in the second quarter. Matthews stretched out for a 43-yard catch in the third quarter which set up a touchdown run by DeMarco Murray.

Matthews caught an 11-yard touchdown in the game, and in addition to Wright, tight end Anthony Fasano scored on a 15-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter.

"I'm telling you, he doesn't pay any attention to any of the noise,'' Titans coach Mike Mularkey said of Mariota, who struggled with inconsistency and turnovers earlier in the season. "It doesn't matter where he's going to play or who it's against, he is locked in to what his role is and what his job is, and that stuff doesn't bother him."

Mariota turned the ball over once on Sunday, when he threw an interception.

But he was effective throughout as the Titans never trailed. The Titans ran the ball for 137 yards on Sunday, with Murray's 65 yards leading the way, but they won on Sunday because of their passing game and swarming defense, which produced six sacks for the second game in a row.

Mariota's 284 yards through the air ranked third in his career. With his 64 yards on the ground, Mariota's 348 combined passing and rushing yards set a season high through six games and ranked fourth in his career.

"I just try to do my best to come in and play and execute and put our offense and our team in the best situation,'' Mariota said. "It's nice to get a win at home.  It's nice to get two in a row but we're going to come back here tomorrow and get ready for the Colts.

"We just got to continue to grind and focus on what we can do each and every single day to get better."

The Tennessee Titans take on the Cleveland Browns in Week 6 action at Nissan Stadium. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)

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