NASHVILLE, Tenn. —Marcus Mariota has over 1,000 passing yards in his first four NFL starts.
On Sunday, the Titans rookie quarterback added another dynamic to his game for the first time as a pro -- he used his legs to make plays.
In the wake of Sunday's 14-13 loss to the Bills, however, Mariota found himself answering questions he's undoubtedly already getting tired of addressing. Like everyone else, he knows the Titans let a winnable game slip away.
"This is the NFL and you can't expect to go undefeated every year. You just have to take your lumps and bruises, learn from your mistakes and just try and get better and finish off the season strong,'' Mariota said.
"You just have to learn from situations. We are a young team. I think that the guys can learn from these situations and build upon it. Once you get a couple of these, it leaves a sour taste in your mouth. You don't want to go through that again, so we'll learn to finish games. Obviously we can improve on those things and we'll go from there."
Mariota completed 21-of-32 passes for 187 yards against the Bills, with no touchdowns and one interception. His passer rating was a season-low 68.1. Mariota also ran five times for 47 yards after running just five times for 25 yards in the first three games combined.
In four games, Mariota has thrown for 1,020 yards with a passer rating of 99.7. He has eight touchdowns with only three interceptions.
After the game, Bills coach Rex Ryan said of Mariota, "that young kid is going to be a great one."
Against the Bills, Mariota failed to throw a touchdown pass for the first time this season. The Titans scored their only touchdown on a one-yard run by Antonio Andrews in the third quarter.
Mariota had some nice moments.
Early in the fourth quarter, with the Titans backed up deep in their own territory, Mariota guided the Titans on a drive that featured a big throw to receiver Justin Hunter on third down, and another 15-yard completion to tight Delanie Walker. Mariota also ran for 22 yards on the same drive, which ended with a Ryan Succop field goal.
Mariota wasn't able to save the Titans late, however.
After the offense got the ball back on its own 31 with 1:41 remaining, and the Titans trailing 14-13, Mariota floated a ball downfield intended for receiver Kendall Wright.
Bills cornerback Stephon Gilmore stepped up and intercepted the pass, however.
"I thought I had it,'' Wright said, "and he came out of nowhere."
Mariota said he was trying to make a play, and admitted he didn't see Gilmore. He second-guessed himself for not looking at a deeper route for Justin Hunter.
"I saw Kendall Wright matched up one on one and tried to give him a shot. It's that point in the game where you have to try and get one and I thought we had a chance on it,'' Mariota said.
"It's tough. Again, you have to kind of dust yourself off. It's one game, it doesn't define our season and we just have to keep getting better."
Despite the losses, Mariota said players have confidence.
"I think for the most part, you have to look at it, and there should be a lot of confidence in that room. We've been in games and we've had opportunities to win it,'' Mariota said. "That says a lot about this team, we've just got to go ahead and finish. We finish some of those games, we'll be in a better position. Now moving forward we have a sour taste in our mouth, we just have to continue to grind and continue to work hard hopefully we'll end up on the other end of some of these."