NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota is the team's nominee for the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award, which recognizes players around the league who exemplify outstanding sportsmanship on the field.
When asked about in on Wednesday, Mariota said it's an honor.
And then he told on himself a little bit.
"I would say that's stuff that you kind of learn as you grow," Mariota said. "My parents kind of instilled those types of values in me at a really young age. Growing up, I was a pretty bad sport. I mean, if I lost, I wasn't the nicest person to be around. Again, those are things that my parents have kind of instilled in us, me and my brother. Hopefully, we're able to continue to carry that as we go forward."
By all accounts, Mariota's behavior has been good since he entered the national spotlight.
His play with the Titans, well, it's been spot on as well, especially of late.
Mariota was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance against the Green Bay Packers.
Mariota completed 19-of-26 for 295 yards and four touchdowns, with no interceptions, and a passer rating of 149.8 in the team's 47-25 win over Green Bay. He was 10-for-10 to start the game, for 196 yards and two touchdowns.
"First of all, that would not have been possible without those guys in the locker room—guys like Delanie (Walker) and DeMarco (Murray) and those five guys up front and the receivers making plays," Mariota said. "I'm really just kind of a result of that. Really, that honor should go to those guys. They deserve a lot of credit."
The Titans have won four of six games, and Mariota has been on a roll.
In the past six games, Mariota has 17 passing touchdowns vs. only three interceptions, in addition to two rushing touchdowns. Mariota has at least two touchdown passes in six consecutive games, and he's already surpassed his rookie total for touchdown passes on the season with 21. Mariota is the first Titans quarterback since Steve McNair in 2003 to thrown for 20 touchdowns in a season. McNair threw for 24 touchdowns that season.
For the sixth time in 22 career starts, Mariota accounted for four total touchdowns passing and/or rushing in a game vs the Packers. In NFL history, no player has recorded more four-touchdown performances in his first 22 NFL games.
Mariota has won three Offensive Player of the Week Awards. Only Titans/Oilers QBs with more are Warren Moon (6) & Steve McNair (4).
The second-year quarterback hopes to keep it going on Sunday vs the Colts. The Titans have scored at least 26 points in the last six games, and over 35 points in the last three.
"You can always get better," Mariota said. "That's the mentality we have to continue to have. I think that's what's allowed us to put up the amount of points we've had the last few weeks. Whether it's over-communicating, whether it's a better ball by me or getting out of things, there's always things we can improve on. Hopefully, those things will lead to even more points.
"For us, we just focus on (Indianapolis), one week at a time. If we continue to prepare the way that we have been, those things will take care of themselves."
Titans players take the field for Wednesday's practice at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Gary Glenn)