It was not always pretty, but once again when the game was on the line, Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota was at his best leading the 12th game winning 4th quarter drive of his career.
The Titans trailed by as many 16 points, but the defense handed him the ball down 22-19 with just under two minutes to play.
Mariota calmly took the Titans 86 yards in only six plays for the game-winning score.
“It’s the guys around me.” Mariota said, “These guys find ways to make plays. I’m just the guy that’s kind of distributing and allowing these guys to go do their thing. Everyone seemed calm in the huddle, and we knew if we just got an opportunity to get in the red zone, we’d have a chance to win.”
Mariota did more than distribute the ball. Arguably the biggest play of the drive came courtesy of his legs when he scrambled 25 yards from his own 19 to the 45-yard line shaking off tacklers and ultimately recovering his own fumble.
It was his competitiveness and resiliency on full display. Tackle Taylor Lewan has seen it before.
“He’s a franchise quarterback for a reason, he’s a great pick, I’m super happy he’s on our team, that guys a winner.”he got smacked pretty hard and he’s going to sell out for the team and that’s what we love about him.”
Over and over in the locker room players said the same thing, they knew if they got Mariota the ball with a chance to win, he would deliver.
He had done it 11 times before and with the momentum building in Nissan Stadium and Mariota believed in his team.
“I knew the guys up front were going to give us some time, guys outside were going to do a good job of finding ways to get open. Guys just made plays, and we were able to get it done. It wasn’t pretty, but you know, sometimes you’ve got to win like that in this league.”
Head coach Mike Vrabel credits Mariota’s calm demeanor in clutch situations as the stakes rise, he is able to maintain his composure and make plays.
Davis said that attitude makes a difference before the ball is even snapped.
“In the huddle, there was honestly no panic. Marcus came in the huddle and set the tone. He told us that’s kind of what we do. We did it.”
Mariota took the Titans 86 yards in only 1:10 and didn’t even use the Titans final timeout, he also saved their season for now.