On the back of a heroic, game-winning performance against the Philadelphia Eagles, Marcus Mariota has been honored for his efforts.
Following a thrilling 26-23 overtime win over the reigning Super Bowl champions, the Tennessee Titans have been recognized and talked about more than they have been since they beat the Kansas City Chiefs in the playoffs last season. Along with that recognition has come an actual award, as QB Marcus Mariota earned AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors for his stellar performance against the Eagles.
For anyone who watched the game on Sunday, or those who are box score watchers, this should come as no surprise. Mariota was simply outstanding against one of the best defenses in the league. He completed 30-of-43 passes for 344 yards and two touchdowns. He also carried the ball 10 times for 46 yards and added a score on the ground.
An ill-advised interception right before halftime was a blip on the radar in an otherwise stunning performance. Mariota brought the Titans back from a 17-3 deficit by reeling off three-straight scoring drives after the Eagles scored a touchdown on the first possession of the second half. Mariota ran for a short score on the first of the three drives, got into field goal range for K Ryan Succop on the second and hit Tajae Sharpe for an 11-yard strike on the third.
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Then, in overtime, after the Eagles had notched three points on their first drive of the extra period, Mariota led the Titans offense on an odyssey of a drive. Spanning 16 plays, 75 yards and over six minutes, the drive featured Mariota converting two fourth downs through the air — including a miraculous fourth and 15 — and another by way of defensive pass interference. The final fourth down conversion was made possible by a 17-yard scramble from Mariota on a 3rd and 19. After two straight incompletions to force a third and goal from the 10-yard line, Mariota found WR Corey Davis in the end zone on a jump ball and sent Nissan Stadium into joyful oblivion.
The victory was enthralling and had important implications on the Titans’ season, but the most imperative development from the game was Mariota looking healthy and playing the best ball he has in quite a long time. Mariota looked comfortable in OC Matt LaFleur’s offense, easily scanned his reads and delivered pinpoint passes, and was fearless and accurate when throwing downfield. Titans fans can only hope more of these AFC Offensive Player of the Week awards are on their way. If Sunday was an indicator of the future, this one surely won’t be the last.