Titans win fourth straight
Mariota’s touchdown pass in final minute sends Tennessee past Cincinnati
By TERESA M. WALKER
The Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Titans are off to their best start in nearly a decade.
Marcus Mariota tossed a 7-yard touchdown pass to DeMarco Murray with 36 seconds remaining, and the Titans beat the Cincinnati Bengals 24-20 on Sunday for a fourth straight win.
“I use the word resilient a lot, but I think that’s the makeup of this team,” said Titans coach Mike Mularkey. “It’s amazing that they believe in themselves. They just know we always have a chance to win. That’s important in this business.”
Mariota completed 25 of 44 passes with a touchdown and interception as Tennessee improved to 6-3. The 24-year-old from Honolulu also ran six times for 51 yards.
Murray ran for two touchdowns for the Titans, who reached six wins faster than any season since 2008, when they won their first 10 and last reached the playoffs.
Mariota hurt his left shoulder — he is right-handed — on a scramble on the final drive, but said he was fine.
The Bengals (3-6) lost for the third time in four games despite sacking Mariota four times.
Cincinnati linebacker Vontaze Burfict was ejected in the second quarter after pushing the arm of an official.
“Sometimes what happens is you push back and you touch an official,” said Bengals coach Marvin Lewis. “You can’t do that. He knows better and we pay a price.”
The Titans’ Ryan Succop had his NFL-record streak of successful field goals inside the 50-yard line end at 56 after missing a 48-yard try in the second quarter.