Titans play iT safe with Mariota
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The Titans weren't about to risk losing QB Marcus Mariota for the rest of their losing season.
So interim coach Mike Mularkey kept last year's Heisman Trophy winner and No. 2 overall draft choice on the sideline instead after he hurt his right knee five minutes into the second quarter Sunday.
After all, there was little chance the Titans would overtake the defending Super Bowl champions, even with Mariota. And they didn't with backup Zach Mettenberger as the Patriots won 33-16 after going out to a 24-3 halftime lead.
"I don't think it's serious," Mularkey said. "I'd rather err on the side of caution."
Mariota was hurt on an 8-yard sack by Patriots LB Jamie Collins one play before Ryan Succop kicked a 49-yard field goal that made it 14-3. Mariota said he doesn't expect to miss the rest of the season.
"I wanted to go back in right away," Mariota said. "The training staff felt if I wasn't 100 percent it wouldn't be good for me to go."
Bengals: AJ McCarron became the first former Alabama player to win a game as a starting quarterback since Jeff Rutledge for the Giants on Nov. 15, 1987, according to STATS.
Bills: RB LeSean McCoy left early in the second half after hurting his right knee.
Colts: K Adam Vinatieri played his 304th game, breaking a tie with Jerry Rice for No. 6 on the NFL's career list … Andre Johnson passed James Lofton for No. 9 in yards receiving (14,015).
Dolphins: Former Florida C Mike Pouncey (foot) left injured, as did OT Branden Albert (knee), LB Chris McCain (knee) and LB Koa Misi (back).
Falcons: The team scored on its opening possession for the first time this season.
Jaguars: The team has helped end four losing streaks this season: Tampa Bay and Tennessee snapped 11-game skids at home against Jacksonville, and San Diego and Atlanta both ended six-game skids against the Jags.
Patriots: LB Dont'a Hightower (knee), WR Danny Amendola (knee) and S Patrick Chung (hip) left injured.
Ravens: For the first time the team wore pants that were described by the club as gold but appeared to be the color of spicy mustard.
Redskins: Kirk Cousins set a franchise record with his sixth 300-yard passing day of the season and tied the mark of Hall of Famer Sonny Jurgensen, set in 1967, by starting the season with at least one TD throw in 14 straight games.
Seahawks: Doug Baldwin joined Jerry Rice (1987) as the only receivers with 10 touchdown catches in a four-game span in a season. … At 34, RB Fred Jackson is headed to the playoffs for the first time.
Texans: WR Cecil Shorts left early with a groin injury.