NASHVILLE, Tenn. –** Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota doesn't have great memories from the first meeting against the Houston Texans.
It was an ugly loss, of course – 57-14 back on October 1 in Houston. And Mariota left that game after halftime because of a hamstring injury.
Mariota doesn't head into this Sunday's game looking for revenge, however.
"It's next game up," Mariota said. "We're in the thick of things, this is where you want to be, and we have to take it one game at a time. Every one of these games coming up is going to be a challenge, and it's going to be tough. But we have to do our best to win every single one of these, and this is the next one up."
Mariota rushed for two touchdowns in the first half against the Texans, but he suffered the hamstring injury on the second sprint to the end zone. It sidelined him for 1 ½ games, and he was limited for a few games after returning.
Mariota is healthy now, but he's still working his way through some inconsistencies.
Mariota said he's studied his interceptions – he's thrown 12 on the season, including six in the last two games – and he said the majority of the turnovers have been a result of bad throws, and his mechanics.
"Not pushing off my back foot," he explained. "I tend to get inaccurate if I am not using my legs, and I think the last few interceptions have been the fact of not being able to push off my back foot and get everything behind my throws. … That's things I have to correct out here."
He doesn't like watching film of the interceptions.
"It pisses you off," he said. "It hurts our team, it puts our team in bad situations, and I never want to be that guy. I just want continue to make plays, give guys around me the opportunity to make plays. I just have to get better, and not allow those types of plays to hurt our team."
On the season, Mariota has completed 193-of-306 passes for 2,273 yards, with nine touchdowns and 12 interceptions.
Along the way, Mariota has guided the Titans to four game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime this season.
Mariota hopes the Titans can perform at a high level on Sunday against the Texans. The Titans (7-4) are currently tied with the Jaguars atop the AFC South.
"We have an opportunity to go where we want, and we've just got to take it one day at a time and not look ahead or anything like that. Just continue to get better and just string together hopefully some wins," Mariota said.
"You know what, I think we've been able to win games not playing our best all the way through 60 minutes. To go where we want to go, to be able to be a contender, you can't play that way. We've got to get it all together, we've got to play complete games, and hopefully we can build that up going into the last part of the season."
Titans players take the field for Wednesday's practice at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Gary Glenn)