Mariota sharp in return as Titans beat Saints in overtime - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Mariota sharp in return as Titans beat Saints in overtime

Courtesy: Instagram/@Titans Courtesy: Instagram/@Titans
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

As the CBS network television broadcast prepared to send Sunday's football game between the Titans and the Saints into overtime, a graphic on the screen reminded viewers that New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees, a 14-year veteran of the NFL, had, on separate 37 occasions over the course of his career, led teams to victory in either the fourth quarter or overtime. 

For Titans rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota, that number now stands at one.

Mariota, playing in his first game since October 18 after missing two straight with a left knee injury, threw for a career best 371 yards and four touchdowns, including a 5-yard score to Anthony Fasano in overtime, as the Titans beat the Saints for their second win of the season.

For both Mariota and the Titans, the performance against New Orleans was the strongest of the season. Tennessee totaled 483 total yards of offense, easily their best output of the year, and won the turnover battle thanks to an effort in which Mariota neither fumbled nor was intercepted.

Trailing 14-3 in the first quarter, Tennessee's first touchdown came on perhaps their flukiest play of the season, a 61-yard touchdown pass from Mariota to Delanie Walker in which the ball ricoheted off a New Orleans defender before falling into Walker's arms.

 A second touchdown from Mariota to Walker with 8 minutes to play in the first half closed the Saints lead to 21-17.

After a Drew Brees touchdown pass to Michael Hoomanawanui early in the fourth quarter gave New Orleans a 28-20 advantage, Mariota drove Tennessee down the field on an 8-play, 57-yard drive that ended with an 8-yard touchdown pass to Justin Hunter. Mariota completed a pass to Walker on the two point conversion to tie the game.

After winning the coin toss in overtime, Mariota and the Titans never allowed Brees an opportunity to possess the football. A 9-play, 80-yard drive ended with the game winning touchdown pass to Fasano from 5 yards out to give Tennessee the win.  

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