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Titans QB Marcus Mariota Aims to Stay Hot vs. Bengals

Posted Nov 8, 2017

Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota on Sunday will be aiming for his fourth game in a row with a 99-plus rating. In the past nine games at home, Mariota has 16 passing touchdowns and three interceptions for a 106.0 rating.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Titans were seeing red after struggling in the red zone earlier this season.

On Sunday, things changed -- the Titans were a perfect 3-of-3 in the red zone against the Ravens, scoring three touchdowns.

It’s a confidence builder, according to quarterback Marcus Mariota.

“Yeah, it’s huge,” Mariota said on Wednesday. “It’s a good building block, it’s something that we can work from. Looking forward, we’ve got to continue to be that way. We’ve got to be successful on third down, we’ve got to be able to be efficient down there and find ways to score points.”

Mariota connected with receiver Rishard Matthews for a 16-yard touchdown in the first quarter of the team’s 23-20 win. In the fourth quarter, Mariota found receiver Eric Decker open for an 11-yard score. In between, the Titans scored on a one-yard touchdown run by Derrick Henry.

In one game, the Titans jumped from 31st in the NFL in red zone offense to 19th.

Mariota said he was also pleased with the team’s success in the up tempo, no-huddle offense vs Baltimore as well.

It reminded him of his playing days at the University of Oregon.

“That’s kind of what I lived in for four years in college,” he said. “I like getting to it, I think it’s a great opportunity to change the pace of the game, to dictate the tempo. I thought the coaches do a good job of changing it up for us.

“We’ll see (if we do it more). It all depends on what the coaches think is best throughout the week. Looking at it, if you can change the tempo of the game, if you can create problems for the defense, obviously we’d like to be in it and use it.”

The Bengals, ranked sixth in the NFL, are next up for the Titans.

“I think they’ve played really well,” Mariota said of the Bengals. “You look at them across the board, they’re a physical group. They’ve done a lot, they’ve kept their team in games throughout the year and they’ve made it tough on opponents, especially in the red zone. They might lead the NFL in red zone efficiency. Definitely got an obstacle, definitely got a challenge in front of us, but we’re looking forward to it.”

Mariota connected on 19-of-28 passes for 218 yards against the Ravens, with the two touchdowns. He posted a passer rating of 100.0.

On Sunday, Mariota will be aiming for his fourth game in a row with a 99-plus rating. In the past nine games at home, Mariota has 16 passing touchdowns and three interceptions for a 106.0 rating.

Mariota is now 8-3 in his last 11 starts.

The Titans, meanwhile, have won seven of their last eight games at Nissan Stadium.

“We’ve got to make it tough for opponents that come in here,” Mariota said. “When you’re able to win games at home, make it a tough environment, it gives you that advantage that hopefully will last throughout the season.

“I think Cincinnati is going to be another test. They’re going to come in here and they want to make a statement, they want to get back on track. They want to get their season going in the right direction. So, we can’t take that lightly and we’ve just got to make sure we go out there and play hard.”