Titans beat Ravens for Homecoming

QB Marcus Mariota led Titans to a 23-20 win over the Ravens. (photo: Donn Jones courtesy titansonline.com)

QB Marcus Mariota led Titans to a 23-20 win over the Ravens. (photo: Donn Jones courtesy titansonline.com)

The Tennessee Titans won their third straight game on Sunday with a 23-20 win over the visiting Baltimore Ravens. The current Titans also welcomed back former players on “Homecoming Weekend.”

“Those guys set the tone, and set the standard around here,” Titans linebacker Brian Orakpo said of the Titans Alumni. “We didn’t want to disappoint them, and let them down. We didn’t want them flying from all across the country to watch us take an L. We wanted to go out there and represent with the Titans blue and get the job done.”

The players had gathered for an event on Friday night, visited practice on Saturday at Baptist Sports Park, and were recognized at Sunday’s game in Nissan Stadium. Former Titans quarterback Vince Young, receiver Kevin Dyson, linebacker Keith Bulluck, tackle Brad Hopkins, tight end Frank Wycheck, cornerback Samari Rolle, receiver Nate Washington and safety Lance Schulters were among dozens of former players.

Young said it was “cool” being back. “A lot of memories, man,” said Young on Saturday, decked out in a Houston Astros hat and t–shirt, his wife, his son, and some of his old teammates by his side. “It is like a big family here, and it is good to see everybody, some of the faces that were here when I was here. It is good to be back.

“It’s just a great opportunity, being here with my brothers. Sitting back and talking to friends about old memories, it is always good. It makes me think about Titans football. I have a lot of great memories from those days.”

Young, the third overall pick of the 2006 NFL Draft who played from 2006-2010 with the team, met Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota, and other current Titans like defensive lineman Jurrell Casey and linebacker Avery Williamson, who came up and hugged Young. So did former Titans safety Blaine Bishop and Titans owner Amy Adams Strunk, who said it’s one of her favorite weekends of the year.

“I am so excited to see everybody,” Strunk said. “It is a family, and that’s what it is about. And we want them to know they are always going to be a part of this family. And I am so excited to have Vince back. He was a big part of our team. So to have him back, and have him excited to be here and be a part of it, it means a lot to me.”

Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota completed 19-of-28 passes for 218 yards and two touchdowns in the contest, along with a passer rating of 100.0.

“You’re not going to win games by 20 points every week,” Mariota said. “When you can pull these tough ones out, especially against a good team like Baltimore, it builds confidence. It builds momentum. It builds what’s going to be needed in December. I thought this was a big win and we’re looking forward to next week.”

The Titans face the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday at Nissan Stadium at Noon. The Titans improved to 5-3 with the win, and remain tied with the Jaguars atop the AFC South. The 5-3 mark is the team’s best record at the halfway point since the 2010 season, Young’s last season with the team.