Marcus Mariota was drafted to turn the Titans franchise around and he’s doing a damn good job in just year two.

Tennessee pulled off the comeback they needed to inch closer to the Playoffs, as they beat the Chiefs on Sunday, 19-17. Mariota didn’t have the best game of his career by any means. Two turnovers early in the game helped pad the Kansas City lead, but when the pressure was on, Mariota rose to the occasion.

Mike Mularkey took a major risk by going for a two-point conversion with 3:12 left to play in the game. Mariota didn’t make that play, putting Tennessee down by one, 17-16. But, he got the opportunity at redemption after the Titans defense forced a 3 and out the following defensive possession.

In that situation, I question Mularkey’s decision to go for two because his team didn’t have a single time out left to slow down the clock. But it changed the way the Chiefs played the following series. I see both sides. If the Titans convert, Kansas City’s offense turns into the aggressor because they had to get points to win the game. When Mariota couldn’t put his team ahead, it forced Andy Reid to play conservative and drain the clock. The Chiefs were unable to do that and it put the ball in #8’s hands.

With 1:07 left to play, Marcus Mariota threw a 19 yard pass to Rishard Matthews, two completions to Delanie Walker for a combined 41 yards and boom, Ryan Succup nailed the 53 yard field goal to win the game.

“I was kind of pacing back and forth on the sideline,’’ Mariota said. “I ended up toward the back half of the sideline next to Tajae (Sharpe) and Harry (Douglas). And once (Succop) kicked it and I saw it go through, I might have been on the field before even the refs put their arms up.

“All in all it was such a great team effort. For us to pull that one off was huge and we just have to keep the momentum going,” Mariota said.

Titans kicker Ryan Succop (4) drilled a 53-yard game winning field goal as time expired to beat his old team (

The Playoff Push Continues

Now, it’s all about making the playoffs with two games remaining.

Marcus Mariota, in less than two seasons, has given Titans fans hope that this team can do something special. Eight months ago, Tennessee was the worst team in the NFL and had the first overall draft pick. Now this team controls its own destiny to host a playoff game. It’s an incredible turn around.

Marcus Mariota was 4-6 passing for 60 yards on 3rd & 4th downs in the fourth quarter against Kansas City (
The Titans travel to Jacksonville and they can’t take them lightly. The Jags just fired their head coach, Gus Bradley, and that team could be invigorated with new life because of the change. They can’t have a let down. If the Two-Tone Blue do in fact get through Jacksonville, it will all be on the line as they host the Texans in the season finale.

Mariota is ready for this moment. It’s what he was drafted to do. Winners of three straight and four out of their last five, Mike Mularkey has already silenced a lot of the critics. The haters are starting to see what he means to this team and the players love him.

If the Titans make the playoffs, it will be the first time since 2008, and it will reenergize a city that has been starving for a winning football team.

So it’s simple, win and you’re in. Beat Jacksonville and then beat the Texans. I think Marcus Mariota is the perfect guy to do it. He’s ready.