Marcus Mariota Upbeat Despite String of Losses


NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota went 36-5 as a starter at Oregon, and finished his college seasons in bowl games.

During his first year in the NFL, things haven't been as easy.

The Titans are 2-9 as a team, and Mariota is 2-7 as a starter.

But the rookie said it hasn't gotten him down. His mission is to keep improving, while helping the team produce wins down the stretch.

"It's part of the process,'' Mariota said. "I've learned that no matter what, everyone is going to go through adversity. It's how you handle it, it's how you overcome it, and we do it as a team. I lean on these guys and they have been awesome for me, and that is kind of how we get through it."

Mariota said he "enjoys being here every single day."

Mariota, who has thrown 16 touchdowns vs. only eight interceptions this season, said in Wednesday's session with reporters he wants to be more accurate with his passes down the field to give the receivers a chance to make plays on the football.

The Titans missed on a few deep ball chances on Sunday vs. Oakland. A day later, interim coach Mike Mularkey said Mariota threw good balls, and receivers needed to "go get" the ball.

This Sunday, Mariota will face the Jaguars for the second time in three weeks. In a 19-13 loss at Jacksonville on November 19, Mariota completed 22-of-35 passes for 231 yards, and he also ran for a 23-yard touchdown.

Having the defense fresh in his mind "is a benefit," Mariota said.

"But obviously they might change some things up,'' he said. "But it is good to have things so fresh in your memory and to be able to go out there and practice and know the looks.

"We are confident, and we have to go out there and execute."

Mariota leads NFL rookies in passer rating (92.8) and has a club rookie record with 16 touchdowns. Already he has three games with three-plus touchdown passes, which is second only to Peyton Manning (four in 1998) among NFL rookies.

"I am just doing my job,'' Mariota said when asked about his accolades. "I am doing my best to go out there and put my best effort out there, and I don't care about the stats, I don't care about those things. I am just trying to get wins for these guys."


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