Mariota throws 4 TD passes as Tennessee routs Packers 47-25
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Mike Mularkey credits Marcus Mariota for why the Tennessee Titans are scoring points at a clip this franchise has never seen before.
Having Aaron Rodgers just isn't enough right now for the Green Bay Packers.
Mariota threw for 295 yards and four touchdowns Sunday, helping the Titans rout the Packers 47-25 for their second win in three games.
Tennessee has scored at least 35 points in three straight games in that span, something this franchise has never done before in a single season even with quarterbacks named George Blanda, Warren Moon or Steve McNair.
''He's playing well for us right now,'' Mularkey said. ''He knows the things we can't do with the turnovers, but he's the reason we have the chance to put the points up.''
DeMarco Murray also ran for 123 yards, including a 75-yard touchdown on Tennessee's first play from scrimmage. Six different Titans scored a touchdown helping Tennessee (5-5) match its win total of the past two seasons combined.
The Packers (4-5) lost their third straight and for the fourth time in five games, falling below .500 at the latest point in the season since 2013 . Injuries are piling up, and it only gets tougher for Green Bay with two more road games before they play at Lambeau Field again.
''We dug ourselves a huge, huge hole and, frankly, it comes down to the basics of football,'' Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. ''We weren't nearly to the standard that we expect from one another.''
Here are some things to know about Tennessee's big win:
Mariota came into this game tied with Rodgers for the most touchdown passes in the NFL over the previous five weeks at 13. He threw two more than Rodgers to match the franchise record set by Moon in 1987 for most consecutive games with multiple TD passes at six. Mariota also has 21 TD passes this season, making him the first quarterback for this franchise to throw at least 20 in a season since Steve McNair had 24 in 2003. McNair was co-MVP that season with Peyton Manning.
Mariota is the first quarterback in league history to have three games with a 70 percent or better completion rate, at least four TD passes and no interceptions during his first two seasons.
Tennessee has scored at least 26 points in each of the past six games, cranking up the offense to 36, 35 and now 47 points against Green Bay. They also had five plays of at least 32 yards or longer, four of those passes from Mariota. He completed TD passes to four different players.
For the second straight week, the Packers found themselves trailing. This time, they have only themselves to blame after the Titans attempted an onside kick to open the game with the ball going straight to the Packers. With the ball at the Tennessee 49, Green Bay went three-and-out. ''It took a little bit to get going,'' Rodgers said.
The Titans certainly didn't miss left tackle Taylor Lewan as DeMarco Murray ran for 123 yards and a TD with Tennessee piling up 446 yards of total offense. But Mariota was sacked twice, the first sacks allowed by Tennessee in three games. He was tossed after knocking away back judge Steve Freeman's hand at the start of Tennessee's second series. Mularkey said he had told his team referee Jeff Triplette's crew already had ejected five players this season. Lewan said he wasn't proud of what happened.
The Packers lost two players within the first five minutes to ankle injuries. Both linebacker Jake Ryan and starting right guard T.J. Lang hurt ankles and originally were questionable to return before being ruled out early in the third quarter. Dan Barclay replaced Lang. Then Packers left tackle David Bakhtiari hurt a knee and was replaced by rookie Jason Spriggs late in the third quarter. McCarthy said they had so many injuries in the game he didn't have a list when he talked with reporters after the game or an update on Bakhtiari.
''We knew we had to bring it, or it could have gotten ugly for us,'' said Titans linebacker Brian Orakpo who had two of Tennessee's five sacks.
Packers: Remain on the road, facing the Washington Redskins.
Titans: Travel to Indy to face the AFC South rival Colts.
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