Jim Wyatt, Senior Writer/Editor, TitansOnline.com
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Make it two in a row for the Tennessee Titans.
The Titans held on to beat the Cleveland Browns 28-26 on Sunday at Nissan Stadium, giving the team back-to-back wins for the first time since the end of the 2013 season.
In the process, the Titans improved to 3-3, matching their win total from a year ago.
Quarterback Marcus Mariota completed 17-of-24 passes for 284 yards and three touchdowns in the contest, with a passer rating of 132.6. Mariota has seven touchdowns in the past two weeks.
Receiver Kendall Wrighthad eight catches for 133 yards in the contest, with a touchdown.
The Titans racked up six more sacks on Sunday, giving the defense 12 in the past two weeks. Linebackers Brian Orakpo, Derrick Morgan, Wesley Woodyard, Avery Williamson and Sean Spence all had sacks, along with defensive lineman Jurrell Casey.
The Titans jumped out to a 7-0 lead early in the first quarter on an 11-yard touchdown pass from Mariota to receiver Rishard Matthews. It capped a seven-play, 75-yard drive, and it gave the team its first opening possession touchdown of the season.
The Browns cut the deficit to 14-6 with a pair of field goals from kicker Cody Parkey, from 37 and 45 yards.
But the Titans answered back with a big play from Wright, who turned in the play of the day early in the second quarter.
After getting behind the Cleveland defense, Wright made a diving catch on a ball from Mariota. Wright quickly got up, and managed to get into the end zone for a 48-yard touchdown catch before Browns defensive back Derrick Kindred could touch him down.
Wright had five catches for 105 yards in the first half.
The Browns cut the lead to 14-13 just before halftime on a seven-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Cody Kessler to receiver Terrelle Pryor.
The Titans stretched the lead to 21-13 on their opening possession of the third quarter when running back DeMarco Murray scored on a three-yard touchdown run, capping a seven-play, 70-yard drive. A 43-yard pass from Mariota to Matthews, who made a diving catch, helped set up the score.
Kessler connected with Pryor for a five-yard touchdown with 2:07 left to make it 28-19. The Browns added another score on a one-yard touchdown run by Duke Johnson with 27 seconds left.
The Titans face the Colts next Sunday at Nissan Stadium.