Mariota leads Titans past Bears 27-21


Barkley made it too close for comfort.

The Bears then had a big opportunity after the Titans' LeShaun Sims got called for a 45-yard pass-interference penalty.

Short-term, though, him serving as a functional quarterback will allow the Bears to evaluate their spate of young players: tight ends Daniel Brown and Ben Braunecker, receiver Marquess Wilson running back Jordan Howard - and even the offensive line.

But the Titans hung on - something Derrick Morgan says wouldn't have happened in previous seasons. All they have to do is perform in a winnable game.

The Titans move to 6-6 heading into the bye week. The drive ended up stalling out at the end, as Logan Paulsen couldn't convert on a play-action pass on fourth down.

The Chicago Bears were just a couple dropped passes away from claiming an unprecedented comeback win in Week 12 against the Tennessee Titans.

"Like I said, a lot of these games are like a whitewater". "But that doesn't matter if we don't win games".

From the Bears' shorthanded perspective, they had a taller task than most would expect from an National Football League team on any given Sunday.

Matt Barkley-to-Bellamy would have been the answer that settled some discussion in a Wicker Park bar years from now, maybe when the Bears are relevant again. We're excited to see what he does with us in another week. Matt understands the game plan this week. "That was the first time we ever came out and performed like that". "I think it's a testament to him and all the work he's put in". You saw what Chicago was missing in his sparkling and deft touch on passes downfield to Titans receivers. He tried to body catch the ball instead of using his hands, and the ball bounced off his chest. He would have done better if he had been throwing to Allstate insurance agents.

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Cox yielded to rookie LeShaun Sims every other series, while Valentino Blake got some of McCourty's time before McCourty was knocked out late with a bone bruise on his left knee.

I would advise General Manager Jon Robinson to replace both of them before they undo the good this team has established.

Just before the snap, Titans safety Kevin Byard started to blitz. Those are clear signs he is nowhere near a starter in this league.

Unless, that is, you're just rooting for a higher draft pick. The guy doesn't speak often so when he does it speaks volumes.

"At this point, it appears to be real serious", Bears coach John Fox said.

Meanwhile, Marcus Mariota and the Titans can tear it up at their best. Mariota completed 15 of 23 passes for 226 yards with two touchdowns and a 126.4 passer rating.

Tennessee evened the score at 7 on Henry's 11-yard rushing touchdown with four seconds to play in the first quarter. The Alabama product had five carries for 46 yards including a 17-yard run.

"They didn't want to make it too hard for him", said Brian Orakpo, the Titans' most productive pass-rusher.