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Mariota Proving to be Gamer When Game is on the Line



NASHVILLE, Tenn. —** Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota has proven to be cool under pressure.

Mariota, who directed a 13-play, 83-yard game-winning drive in the fourth quarter against the Lions, has now engineered three game-winning drives before his 23rd birthday.

It's quite a feat.

Since 1970, Mariota is one of only five quarterbacks to stage three or more game-winning touchdown drives to cap fourth-quarter comebacks before turn­ing 23. The others to accomplish the feat were Josh Freeman (five), Ben Roethlisberger (four), Bernie Kosar (four) and Drew Bledsoe (three). Only four additional players produced two such games: Jameis Winston, Teddy Bridgewater, Matthew Stafford and Alex Smith.

Mariota, who turns 23 on October 30, said he just tries to be himself when the game's on the line, and his teammates are looking to him.

"I think that's the nature of the position,'' Mariota said after practice on Wednesday. "As a quarterback, guys are going to look at you, especially in those times where it's those clutch moments and those times where you've got to make a play. But really, I just try to be myself. There's not a whole lot of ups and downs with me. I don't try to get super high emotionally just because I think guys, like you said, do feed off of that. So I try to stay even-keeled as much as I can and be myself."

Mariota connected with receiver Andre Johnson for the game-winning score with just 1:13 remaining in a 16-15 win over the Lions.

Mariota has attempted 25 passes in the fourth quarter this season, completing 18 of his attempts for 181 yards and three touchdowns without throwing an interception. His 131.8 passer rating in the fourth quarter leads the NFL.

As a rookie in 2015, Mariota led the Titans to victory twice by leading a game-deciding touchdown drive after facing a fourth-quarter deficit. He completed a five-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Fasano in overtime in a win at New Orleans (Nov. 8), and he produced an 87-yard touchdown run against Jack­sonville in December.

On Sunday, Mariota and the Titans hope to keep it going against the Raiders.

"Well, you know, that's the expectation,'' Mariota said. "It's the standard we kind of hold ourselves to. That's the culture that Coach (Mike) Mularkey and the rest of these coaches have built around here. It's going to be the standard. It's what we want to do. It's not going to be easy, but we're going to put the time in and prepare, and hopefully we can get on a roll."

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