The Tennessee Titans produced an early season statement win on Sunday, defeating Seattle 33-27 on Sunday in Nashville.
Neither team was sharp in the first half as the Seahawks managed one touchdown that came late in the second quarter. Likewise the Titans offense struggled and managed to produce three Ryan Succop field goals in the first half.
The third quarter was dramatically different for the Titans.
Three third quarter touchdowns gave the Titans a lead they would never relinquish as quarterback Marcus Mariota threw two touchdown passes and DeMarco Murray provided the biggest run play of the young season.
Mariota’s first touchdown pass came midway through the third quarter when Rishard Matthews took a short bubble screen pass and turned in a 55 yard run to the end zone for their first touchdown of the game.
On their ensuing possession Mariota connected with rookie tight end Jonnu Smith from 24 yards out to stake the Titans to a 23-14 advantage.
Murray then turned the next Titans possession into a short one, going 75 yards on one play as Murray swept around left end and followed a great lead block from fullback Jalston Fowler as he weaved his way to the end zone.
Seattle would not go away as quarterback Russell Wilson would lead two fourth quarter scoring drives to produce 10 points and cut the Titans lead to six points with 1:49 remaining in the game.
Delaine Walker’s recovery of the ensuing onside kick allowed the Titans to work the clock, but Seattle’s defense forced a fourth down punt.
Titans head coach Mike Mularkey used a timeout just before the play clock expired to set up his punt team with just :11 seconds remaining.
Seattle was flagged for too many men on the field on the punt, giving the Titans a first down and allowing the offense to snap the football in the victory formation to seal the win.
The Titans improved to 2-1 with the win and find themselves in first place in the AFC South, tied with Jacksonville, but holding a head-to-head win over their division rivals.
Tennessee travels to Houston next Sunday for an important division contest.