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Titans' Mariota breaks leg

Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota gets carted off the field after fracturing his right fibula on a sack during the second half.

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Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota gets carted off the field after fracturing his right fibula on a sack during the second half.

JACKSONVILLE — If the Titans make the playoffs, they won't have quarterback Marcus Mariota.

Mariota broke his right leg in a 38-17 loss to the Jaguars on Saturday, a crushing setback for a team that had so many things go right while winning three in a row and seven of 10 previously.

"That breaks my heart, man," Tennessee tackle Taylor Lewan said. "Love him. That guy's an awesome dude. For that to happen to him, it's unfair."

With the Titans trailing 25-10 late in the third quarter, Mariota was carted off with an air cast on his fractured fibula. Rookie Sheldon Day sacked Mariota as he scrambled on first down and grabbed him around the lower legs.

"We didn't protect him — offensive line, running backs — we didn't protect him all day," Titans running back DeMarco Murray said.

GIANTS IN: The Bucs' loss to the Saints clinched an NFC wild-card berth for the Giants, who lost Thursday night to the Eagles. It is New York's first postseason berth since its Super Bowl XLVI win over the Patriots after the 2011 season.

VIKES DEFY COACH: Vikings defensive backs decided to defend Packers receiver Jordy Nelson differently than what coach Mike Zimmer had mapped out, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported. The plan called for top cornerback Xavier Rhodes to shadow Nelson. The former Florida State standout instead stayed on his side of the field throughout the first half. "Us as DBs felt like we could handle him," Rhodes said.

BOWLES OKAY: Jets coach Todd Bowles arrived in New England a day later than planned, saying gallstones and kidney stones kept him from taking the team flight. Bowles flew up the morning of the game after spending time in the hospital. Also, former Bucs tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins left with a hamstring injury during the first half and did not return.

JAGUARS SEARCH: Tom Coughlin will interview with Jacksonville this week, the NFL Network reported, but it might be for a front office job rather than head coach.

BENGALS: Receiver A.J. Green was unhappy with the decision to keep him out of Saturday night's game against the Texans, ESPN reported. Green, who had been recovering from a right hamstring injury and was optimistic all week that he would play, was pulled from a team meeting and told he would sit out. An irate Green did not return to the meeting, according to ESPN.

CARDINALS: David Johnson broke the team's single-season mark for rushing touchdowns with three, giving him 16.

PACKERS: Linebacker Clay Matthews looked like his big-play self for the first time in weeks. Matthews, who has been limited since hurting his left shoulder in late November, had a strip sack of Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford late in the second quarter along with two key pass deflections and another pressure early in the third.

PANTHERS: Greg Olsen has become the first tight end in history to record three straight 1,000-yard seasons.

PATRIOTS: Bill Belichick earned his 200th victory in New England, making him the fifth coach to reach the milestone with one team. He joined George Halas (318 with Bears), Don Shula (257 with Dolphins), Tom Landry (250 with Cowboys) and Curly Lambeau (209 with Green Bay).

RAMS: Kenny Britt became the team's first receiver to top 1,000 yards since Torry Holt in 2007.

Titans' Mariota breaks leg 12/24/16 [Last modified: Saturday, December 24, 2016 8:53pm]
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