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GLENDALE, home of the Arizona Cardinals. Their quarterback has,Authentic Drew Brees Jersey, Ariz. (AP) -- The Tennessee Titans never have played at University of Phoenix Stadium, though.
As a redshirt freshman at Oregon, Marcus Mariota threw for two touchdowns and ran for another in the Ducks' 35-17 victory over Kansas State in the 2013 Fiesta Bowl.
''A good memory and a good way to end a really good season,'' he recalled.
Almost five years later, Mariota brings the Titans (8-4) onto that field for a game Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals.
not that one,This game, is on Mariota's mind.
''I think confidence is high, though. When we're able to win football games when we're not playing to the best of our abilities,'' he said. ''I think we can still improve,
and the special teams continue to do their job,that's huge. ... If we start pushing it on all cylinders and our defense continues to play well, this team can be very good.''
Arizona coach Bruce Arians has often talked of the difficulty of quarterbacks from college spread offenses adjusting to the NFL. Mariota, he said, is a good example for those
trying to make that transition.
''I think he gives a lot of those guys a chance,'' Arians said. ''Again, you have to be put in the right system. He was an excellent passer coming out. He wasn't just an
athlete; he was an excellent passer. Getting a running game around a guy - when you talk about Carson Wentz and you talk about Jared Goff and Marcus - when you have that running
it's a whole lot easier to bring those guys along.'',Womens Harrison Smith Jersey,game
25 yards) in their home win over Jacksonville two weeks ago. Now they'll face Mariota and the
,The Cardinals (5-7) shut down the running game of Leonard Fournette (12 carries
power-running game of the Titans.
The Titans are the last of the NFL's 32 teams to play on the Cardinals' home field. Here are some things to consider about the game:
and is coming off its best rushing performance in more than a year after piling up 198 yards in last
,Womens Sam Bradford Jersey,STOP THE RUN: Tennessee is back up to seventh in the NFL running the ball
week's 24-13 home win over Houston.
and Derrick Henry has two of them - both in the fourth quarter to seal
,The Titans also are the only team in the league with three runs of 70 yards or longer since 2012
ON THE ROAD: The Titans won't see the bright lights of Nashville for 10 days or so. After Sunday's game,Authentic Brandin Cooks Jersey, they will remain in the desert next week, practicing at Arizona State
University in Tempe for their game the following Sunday at San Francisco.
''These are long days for us anyhow, it's not going to change much,'' Tennessee coach Mike Mularkey said. ''I'll be in a hotel instead of my office. They're long days. Players
and the nice part is that they're going
,will have time to do some things out there. We've designed some things for their day off to do. There's plenty for them to do out there
to get to do it together for the week.''
FITZGERALD FAN: The Titans hope to get wide receiver Rishard Matthews back after he missed the last two games with an injured hamstring. He plans on watching Cardinals wide
receiver Larry Fitzgerald up close and personal.
''Just a guy that's done it that long the right way, the quote-unquote right way for so long in his career, still playing. Definitely be a first-ballot Hall of Famer,'' Matthews
but to see him still play at a high
,said. ''Just going to be kind of eye-opening to be across from him and watching him perform in person. I got to watch him my rookie year
level is great.''
that might leave them leaning on Brice McCain or LeShaun
,The Titans are hoping to get starting cornerback Logan Ryan back from a concussion suffered in last week's game. If not
Sims, who had an interception in the end zone,Womens Drew Brees Jersey, helping defend Fitzgerald.
FITZ AND MOSS: Fitzgerald needs 26 yards receiving to pass Randy Moss into third on the NFL career list (trailing only Terrell Owens and Jerry Rice). Fitzgerald was a ball boy
for the Minnesota Vikings when Moss was a star there. He said he used to wash Moss' car for cash and borrowed Moss' BMW to go to the high school prom.
''I love Randy,Authentic Stefon Diggs Jersey,'' Fitzgerald said. ''He taught me this game. I grew up immortalizing him,Womens Brandin Cooks Jersey, watching him, trying to emulate what he was doing every single day. ... He's always
been over-the-top kind to me. Anytime that you can have your name mentioned in the same sentence as Randy Moss you've got to be happy.''
OLD FOES: From 2004-2011,Authentic Harrison Smith Jersey, Arians was receivers coach,Authentic Sam Bradford Jersey, now Titans defensive coordinator, then offensive coordinator at Pittsburgh when Dick LeBeau,Womens Stefon Diggs Jersey, coached the Steelers' mighty
They won two Super Bowls together.