HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota was sacked 7 times on Sunday, and the Cleveland Browns handed the former Saint Louis Crusader his first regular season NFL loss, 28-14.
Following an outing in which he led the Tennessee offense to four first half touchdowns against Tampa Bay, Mariota and the Titans were shut out in the first half against Cleveland. Their first scoring play didn't come until the 1:36 mark of the third quarter, when Mariota found tight end Anthony Fasano in the endzone for a 19-yard touchdown.
Down 21-7 in the fourth quarter, the Titans were able to get within a single touchdown after Mariota found fellow rookie Dorial Green-Beckham for a 13-yard touchdown, but fellow Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel connected with Travis Benjamin on Cleveland's next drive for a 60-yard score that iced things for the Browns.
Mariota finished the game 21-of-37 for 257 yards and two touchdowns, but also lost two fumbles for the Titans, who turned the ball over three times.
"I've just got to do a better job of having two hands on the football, throwing the ball away, getting it out of my hands quick, so we're not taking unnecessary sacks and losing the football," Mariota said after the game. "That's just the way the ball bounces sometimes, and there's a lot of things we can improve on and get ready for before next week."
Tennessee lost despite outgaining the Browns by more than 100 yards of total offense, in large part due to points off turnovers and on special teams, where Benjamin returned a punt 78 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter.