LONDON–The London experience was a memorable one for Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota.
He’d only change the very end.
The Titans lost 20-19 to the Los Angeles Chargers here on Sunday after a two-point try failed in the final minute. Mariota guided a 13-play, 89-yard drive to put his team in a position to win it.
But his pass to Taywan Taylor was tipped, and it sailed over his receiver’s head with 31 seconds left.
While the Chargers celebrated, the Titans left Wembley Stadium – packed with 84,301 fans — crushed.
Mariota said he loved Titans coach Mike Vrabel’s decision to go for two, and win the game.
“I loved the call, and I love (Vrabel) has the confidence in us,” Mariota said. “We just didn’t execute. They did a great job covering it, and I probably should have done a better job extending the play, knowing it’s the last play.
“There’s definitely more I wish I could have done.”
Mariota completed 24-of-32 passes for 237 yards and a touchdown in the game. At the end of the first half, Mariota threw his first career interception in the red zone, which he called “a big mistake.”
The Titans had other drives that stalled on the day, in part because of dropped passes.
“We just didn’t do enough to score, and to win, really,” Mariota said. “I thought we did a good job of moving the ball, and we got in the red zone … but when you kick field goals, these teams are too good, man. … We have to be more efficient in the red zone, and make the most of our opportunities.”
With pressure on him, Mariota orchestrated the final drive, and put the Titans in a position to win. His one-yard touchdown pass to tight end Luke Stocker had Titans fans inside the giant stadium roaring.
Yet the team — similar to the Titans in Super Bowl XXXIV – came up one-yard short.
“It was a great experience,” Mariota said of the London trip. “It is a privilege to come out here and play, and to be able to expand the game, and be able to share the game we love. … I had a blast. The travel and all that, it is what it is, but at the same time we got to come in and experience another country, another city, and it was a lot of fun. The fans were great, they were out in full force.
“So it was a special experience and one that I will remember for sure.”
Now, the Titans must find a way to get back on track. Sunday’s loss was the team’s third straight after a 3-1 start.
Following a bye week, next up for the Titans (3-4) is a Monday Night Football game against the Cowboys in Arlington, Texas.
“We have a lot of season left,” Mariota said. “We just have to move forward from this. … We have to stick to our process, and not let the past influence what is going to happen in the future.
“We can’t worry about what the scenarios are, and what is going on in our division. We just have to focus on getting better and doing our job, and not worrying about others.”