Titans score 21 straight points in 3rd, beat Seahawks 33-27
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By TERESA M. WALKER
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) The Tennessee Titans are proving they can put on quite an offensive show.
Just wait for the second half.
This time, Marcus Mariota threw for 225 yards and two touchdowns as Tennessee scored 24 points after halftime in rallying to beat the Seattle Seahawks 33-27 Sunday.
Running back DeMarco Murray rushed for 115 yards, including a 75-yard TD run . Ryan Succop also kicked four field goals as Tennessee (2-1) scored at least 30 points for a second straight week. The Titans scored 31 points in the second half last week in beating Jacksonville 37-16.
Titans coach Mike Mularkey had a simple explanation for the difference after halftime.
"Just patience and just playing," Mularkey said.
Then the Titans took control with Mariota answering with TDs on the next two drives for Tennessee.
Mariota tossed a screen pass to Rishard Matthews, who ran 55 yards to the end zone for a 16-14 lead midway through the third. Matthews and tight end Jonnu Smith celebrated taking pretend selfies in the end zone.
On the next possession, Mariota found a wide-open Jonnu Smith for a 24-yard TD and a 23-14 lead.
Murray's TD gave Tennessee a 30-14 lead late in the quarter, and Tennessee finished with 195 yards rushing.
The Seahawks had one last chance with the Titans lined up to punt on fourth-and-3 with 11 seconds left. Then officials flagged the Seahawks for 12 men on the field, Tennessee the clinching first down.
"We've got a big challenge, and we've got to get together," Seattle coach Pete Carroll said.
Both teams talked and agreed not to take the field for the national anthem on a day of protests around the NFL, and Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk joined her players in the locker room. Meghan Linsey, a runner-up in "The Voice," took a knee when she finished singing.
Then each quarterback locked arms with at least one teammate and walked onto the field. Titans linebacker Brian Orakpo said both teams wanted to keep from exposing a few players from being attacked like Colin Kaepernick and others.
"It's unity. We're going to do this together ...," Orakpo said. "We're a team. We need to respect everybody's wishes. And that's why both sides agreed to stay inside with the anthem and protest in a positive way."
The Seahawks finished with 11 penalties for 98 yards, with a trio of penalties on separate plays in the first quarter. The second came when three-time All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman was flagged three times on a play erasing Kam Chancellor's interception. Sherman was flagged for pass interference and holding on Titans veteran wide receiver Eric Decker, and unsportsmanlike conduct. Sherman later was flagged for unnecessary roughness for hitting Mariota on the sideline, setting off a scrum that wound up with offsetting penalties.
Sherman explained how he drew the first unsportsmanlike penalty for talking to an official about a flag thrown after the interception only to be told to get away. "You flagged me for taking my helmet off and asking you a question," Sherman said. "I thought that was a poor call."
Titans rookie Adoree Jackson had an 80-yard punt return late in the second quarter erased by an illegal block in the back.
PRE-LEGION OF DOOM
Murray's TD was the longest allowed by the Seattle defense since Frank Gore had an 80-yarder against the Seahawks in 2009. That was before Carroll was hired in January 2010. It was the eighth-most yards rushing allowed by Seattle under Carroll.
Seattle wide receiver Doug Baldwin, who caught 10 passes for 105 yards and a TD, left in the fourth quarter with an injured groin. ... Seattle lost linebacker Dewey McDonald to a knee injury on the opening kickoff. He did not return, and Carroll said there are concerns the ACL is involved.
Titans rookie LB Jayon Brown was cleared of a concussion after going through the protocol.
Seahawks: Host Indianapolis next Sunday.
Titans: Visit Texans next Sunday.
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Follow Teresa M. Walker at www.twitter.com/teresamwalker
Updated September 24, 2017