Titans end 11-game skid against Colts with 36-22 home victory

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The Titans (3-3) stopped a two-game slide and moved into a tie for the AFC South lead with Jacksonville and Houston.
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Reuters

Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota throws a pass against the Indianapolis Colts during their NFL game at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee, on October 16, 2017. The Titans won 36-22.

Marcus Mariota shuffled around the pocket, carefully protecting a strained left hamstring that already cost him one game this season.

So the quarterback known for his legs showed off his arm.

Mariota threw a 53-yard touchdown pass to Taywan Taylor with 5:29 left, helping the Tennessee Titans beat the Indianapolis Colts 36-22 on Monday night to end an 11-game skid tied for the National Football League's longest active losing streak against one team.

Titans coach Mike Mularkey said Mariota followed their instructions, doing whatever he could to lessen the risk of further injury.

"He's as tough as I've been around and made some throws that were, obviously that one to Taywan was a big throw," Mularkey said. "It was a real big throw. I mean he did. He played well."

Mariota was 23 for 32 for a season-high 306 yards. He completed each of his three passes on the drive that ended with Taylor's tiebreaking score.

The Titans (3-3) stopped a two-game slide and moved into a tie for the AFC South lead with Jacksonville and Houston.

Jacoby Brissett tried to rally the Colts (2-4) to a second straight overtime. But Titans linebacker Wesley Woodyard forced Brissett out of bounds shy of the first-down marker on fourth-and-inches with 2:19 left before going toward midfield to celebrate.

The Titans were pleased to put their skid against the Colts behind them.

"We feel like every game's a must-win, but this was definitely a must-win, especially with the 11-game streak on the line," Woodyard said. "We came in and answered the call."

Derrick Henry clinched the win for Tennessee with a 72-yard TD run with 47 seconds left. Henry, the 2015 Heisman Trophy winner, finished with a career-high 131 yards on 19 carries. DeMarco Murray also scored.

The Titans looked like the NFL's worst scoring defense in the first half instead of Indianapolis, with Brissett directing the Colts to a 13-9 halftime lead. John Simon then intercepted Mariota's first pass of the third quarter and returned it 26 yards for a TD.

But the Titans forced the Colts to go three-and-out on three of their first four drives of the second half, and Avery Williamson stripped tight end Jack Doyle of the ball after a catch.

"It's a long season," Mariota said. "You're going to have to play with some sort of nick or ding. I'm just really happy for the guys. I mean they did a great job of putting protection up front."

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