Marcus Mariota threw for 270 yards and two touchdowns to end his home struggles and hand the Titans their highest point total of the season in a 36-22 victory over the Jaguars on Thursday night.
Since the start of the 2014 season, the Titans are 3-0 at home against the Jaguars and 1-17 against everybody else. The Titans are 3-8 in home games started by Mariota.
“It was important to give our fans an opportunity to see how this team can play,” Mariota, a second-year pro out of Oregon, said. “It was huge. Hopefully this will build a foundation for the rest of the year and give the fans what they really want.”
Mariota was 18 of 22 and had a 148.1 passer rating, the second-highest of his career while DeMarco Murray ran for 123 yards and a touchdown to help the Titans bounce back four days after squandering a lead in a 34-26 home loss to Indianapolis.
“I thought it was good to have a short turnaround,” Titans coach Mike Mularkey said. “It was a difficult loss we had against Indy.
“We had to get focused right on these guys immediately, especially with a prime-time game. We wanted to show what we’re capable of doing, show the country what we’re trying to do here.”
The Titans (4-4) gained a season-high 494 total yards and won for the third time in four games. They scored on six straight possessions during a stretch that began in the first quarter and stretched into the third period.
Tennessee already led 3-0 before Mariota threw a 36-yard touchdown pass to Kendall Wright on the first play of the second quarter. Rookie Derrick Henry capped the Titans’ next drive by scoring his first career touchdown on a 6-yard run.
Murray added a 14-yard touchdown run 3 1/2 minutes later.
After starting out to his right and encountering traffic, Murray reversed his field, capitalised on a downfield block from Mariota and dove into the left corner of the end zone for his sixth touchdown run of the season.
Jacksonville (2-5) trailed 24-0 by the time it got its second first down of the game midway through the second quarter. The Titans led 27-0 at halftime.
“It’s a broken record,” Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles said. “It’s a lack of execution. It’s dumb mistakes. The same stuff every week.”
Bortles threw three touchdown passes and went 33 of 54 for 337 yards, but much of his production came with the game already up.