Marcus Mariota Wants to Get Titans Back on Track vs. Rams



NASHVILLE, Tenn.—** Quarterback Marcus Mariota feels no pressure heading into a critical stretch for the Titans.


"For me personally, I think you start to feel pressure when you're not prepared," Mariota said on Wednesday. "These coaches, the entire organization, my teammates, they've done a great job of being prepared week in and week out. For me personally, I don't feel pressure. We've just got to go out there and play."

This week, the Titans (8-6) are preparing for one of the NFL's hottest teams in the Los Angeles Rams (10-4).

While the Titans are coming off back-to-back losses on the West Coast, the Rams come to town winners of seven of their last nine games. They have the NFL's 12th ranked defense, including 6th against the pass. The Rams are tied for first in the NFL in scoring offense.

"Guys understand the situation. When it comes down to it, we messed up," Mariota said of back-to-back losses against the Cardinals and 49ers. "We didn't play well, we obviously didn't accomplish what we wanted to do on our road trip. That's in the past, you can't change it, you can't fix it. All you can do is look forward to the next one, and kind of right the ship and get it going.

"The mentality hasn't changed for us. Obviously, guys understand the situation we're in. We've got to just play our football, play our game. When it comes to Sunday, just make sure you're prepared and ready to go."

Mariota is coming off a solid performance against the 49ers.

In that contest he completed 23-of-33 passes for 241 yards and two touchdowns, with a passer rating of 110.8. The passer rating was Mariota's highest of the season.

In the past three games at home against NFC opponents, Mariota has 791 pass yards with eight touchdowns and an interception for a 112.0 rating.

"I think he's a great football player, great competitor," Rams coach Sean McVay said of Mariota on a conference call. "I've always had a lot of respect for him, since he was coming out. I think he handles himself extremely well. You talk about the poise and the confidence that he instills in his teammates and his ability to beat you with his arm and his legs, that's a tough combination to stop."

One of the most popular questions surrounding Mariota and the Titans this week surrounds the no-huddle.

In Sunday's game against the 49ers, the Titans had success operating out of the no-huddle attack. Coach Mike Mularkey has said on multiple occasions this season it's regularly a part of the practice week, but others factor determine how much, or if, the team uses it against an opponent. Mularkey has answered the question already several times this week.

Mariota said the Titans will be ready.

"I think the guys deserve all the credit for what they were able to do in the no-huddle last week,'' Mariota said. "It's a package that we can get to. It's something that we feel like that we can use to our advantage. It's not something that we want to dive into and be heavy in. But, if you're able to get to it and change tempo, I think you can make it tough on defenses.

"I would say (as a unit we're improving). I think there's different areas we've improved in. Offensively, I think we did a better job last week and I think as we continue to build as a team, taking the positives week in and week out is always important. Just making sure we build off of that."

Titans players take the field for Wednesday's practice at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Gary Glenn)

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