Titans coach Mike Mularkey Praises QB Marcus Mariota


NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Titans interim coach Mike Mularkey has seen a lot to like from rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota on the field.

During Sunday's 42-39 win over the Jaguars, he saw something else that stood out while on the sideline.

"The one thing about him that I saw yesterday is that after the fumble, after the interception, after anything that could have possibly been a negative,'" Mularkey said of Mariota on Monday, "as you walk down (and see) the offense getting ready to go back on the field, (Marcus) has the look – at least this is the feel of the look I see – like 'I got it.'

"And that's a good feeling, when your quarterback is looking at you like, 'Don't worry about it, we're good.' And we have been in a lot of cases, the way he gives us a chance to win games."

Mariota completed 20-of-29 passes for 268 yards with three touchdown passes and one interception against the Jaguars, good for a passer rating of 118.2. It was Mariota's third game this season with a passer rating over 100. Mariota also rushed for 112 yards and a touchdown in the game. In doing so, he became the first player in NFL history with at least 250 passing yards, 100 rushing yards and three touchdown passes in the same game.

Mariota also stayed hot in the red zone, throwing for two more touchdowns. Inside the opponents' 20-yard line this season, Mariota is 26-of-38 for 195 yards, with 15 touchdowns, zero interceptions and a passer rating of 120.1.  Since 1991, the highest single-season passer rating by a Titans quarterback in the red zone is 110.5, recorded by Ryan Fitzpatrick in 2013 (25-41, 177 yards, eight touchdowns, zero interceptions). Over the same time period, the NFL's top single-season passer rating in the red zone is 122.4 by Philadelphia's Nick Foles in 2013 (26-37, 197 yards, 16 touchdowns, zero interceptions).

Mularkey worked with Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan when he was a rookie with the Falcons.

"(It's) very similar,'' Mularkey said of the quarterbacks. "(With them) You always felt like you have a chance."

A look at some of Mariota's other accomplishments on Sunday:

• Mariota became the second player in NFL history to record three touchdown passes four times during his rookie season, joining Peyton Manning (four in 1998) as the only rookies to accomplish the feat.

• Mariota became the first rookie in franchise history and the sixth quarterback (rookie or veteran) in franchise history to pass for at least three touchdowns and rush for at least one touchdown in the same game.

• Mariota turned in the fifth game in NFL history in which a player passed for at least 250 yards and rushed for at least 100 yards in a game.

• Mariota's 87-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter was the longest run in franchise history by a quarterback, and the fifth-longest run overall for the team. Steve McNair previously recorded the longest run in franchise history by a quarterback with a 71-yard attempt in 1998 (Nov. 8 at Tampa Bay). In NFL history, only two quarterbacks have recorded a run longer than Mariota's 87-yarder -- Oakland's Terrelle Pryor set the NFL quarterback record with 93-yard touchdown run for the Oakland Raiders in 2013 (Oct. 27 against Pittsburgh), and most recently San Francisco's Colin Kaepernick had a 90-yard touchdown run in 2014 at the San Diego Chargers.

The Tennessee Titans take on the Jacksonville Jaguars Week 13 at Nissan Stadium. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)

• Mariota's 112 rushing yards against the Jaguars are the most by a quarterback in franchise history in a single game, topping the record of 95 yards previously held by Steve McNair (Nov. 8, 1998 at Tampa Bay).  Mariota's total also is the highest by an NFL quarterback in 2015.

Mularkey said Mariota is as healthy as he's been since early in the season.

He said his confidence should only continue to grow.

The Titans face the Jets on Sunday.

"I think he is going to win a lot of games,'' Mularkey said of Mariota. "He is going to win a lot of football games here...The guys around him are seeing what he is capable of doing, so they know there is always a chance, regardless of the situation with him."


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