Thanks to a nearly flawless performance by the Indianapolis offense, Thursday’s night’s NFL Network showdown between the Colts and Tennessee Titans saw Havre’s Marc Mariani get plenty of chances to show his return skills.
The Titans dropped their sixth game in a row, 30-28 to the Colts, despite a valiant second-half comeback by Tennessee Thursday night in Nashville.
And while the loss was certainly disappointing to Mariani and to the Titans, he again showed why he’s one of the most dangerous return men in the NFL.
Mariani racked up 173 yards on seven kickoff returns Thursday night, and while he didn’t quite find a seem to break a big one, he continuously gave the Titans good field position. One of his most important returns came on the second half’s opening kick when he took it back 38 yards and helped Tennessee score on that drive to cut the Colts’ lead to 21-14. Mariani also nearly broke a big return in the first half, but was grabbed by the helmet and pulled to the ground, a play which resulted in 15 extra yards for Tennessee. In all, the Titans scored on three of Mariani’s kickoff returns, while he only had the chance to field one punt all night.
With the loss, the Titans fell to 5-8 on the season and are likely out of the AFC playoff picture for good. The Titans next play on Dec. 19 in what will be their home finale against the Houston Texans.