Skip to main content

QB Marcus Mariota Guides Titans to Improbable Win


KANSAS CITY – Marcus Mariota, take a bow.

Here on Saturday, the Titans quarterback guided his team to its biggest win in nearly 15 years.

Mariota completed 19-of-31 passes for 205 yards and two touchdowns in the contest, and he engineered some big drives late as the Titans rallied for a 22-21 win in an AFC Wild Card game. The Titans outscored the Chiefs 19-0 in the second half to win it.

"Unbelievable," Mariota said. "It is what you work hard for. It is what you grind it out for 4-5 months. This isn't (the ultimate goal), but it was nice to get a win and hopefully we can keep it rolling."

With the Titans trailing 21-3 at the half, Mariota and the Titans stepped it up.

The Tians cut the lead to 21-10 midway through the third quarter on a bizarre play – a six-yard touchdown pass from Mariota, to Mariota. It came on third-and-goal, when Mariota, rolling to his left, threw a ball that was batted back in his direction by Chiefs cornerback Darrelle Revis. Mariota caught the pass, and then dove into the end zone for a touchdown.

Mariota became the first player to catch a touchdown pass from himself since Brad Johnson in Week 7, 1997.

"It's hard to explain," Mariota said. "I was trying to make a play. … I was just kind of in the right place at the right time."

Teammates said luck had nothing to do with Mariota's finish.

Mariota guided a six-play, 62-yard drive in the fourth quarter that was capped off with a 35-yard touchdown run by running back Derrick Henry, which cut the lead to 21-16 with 14:08 left.

When the Titans got the ball back, Mariota engineered an 11-play, 80-yard drive that ended with a 22-yard touchdown pass to Eric Decker with 6:06 left, which gave the Titans a 22-21 lead.

Later in the game, Mariota sprung Henry for a big run with a key block.

"You can't count out 8," center Ben Jones said of Mariota. "He is a blocker, he is a quarterback. He throws touchdown passes to himself. Marcus is the man."

Mariota has now engineered five game-winning drives in 2017, and nine in his career.

"That guy is a legend," Titans tackle Taylor Lewan said of Mariota. "He gets it done. A lot of things have come up this year where (the media and fans) have been down on him. But I think that guy has earned some kudos.

"He is a hell of a competitor, and a hell of a player."

The Tennessee Titans take on the Kansas City Chiefs in an AFC Wild Card playoff game on Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018 in Kansas City. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)

Related Content

Fan Zone

Titans + Nissan Stadium App presented by Verizon

Titans + Nissan Stadium App presented by Verizon

Stay up to date with team and stadium news, concert and event announcements, stream live Titans games and more!

Tennessee Titans Marketplace

Tennessee Titans Marketplace

A one-stop shop for Titans memorabilia, autographed items and more!

Tennessee Titans Email Newsletter

Tennessee Titans Email Newsletter

Get Titans news sent straight to your inbox.