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Marcus Mariota knows he's got to help protect himself from Von Miller

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- To have a chance to pull the upset of the Broncos on Sunday, the Tennessee Titans need to keep Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware off of Marcus Mariota.

The Titans are seventh in sacks per play allowed. Mariota's only been sacked 18 times this season while Denver had taken down quarterbacks twice that many times.

"Our O-line has done well," coach Mike Mularkey said. "Again, I've got to give credit to the backs, as well. They've done a good job of helping in the protection. I think our coaching staff has done a good job with how we've schemed to help our O-line, our backs.

"And again, as much as I've been on our receivers, our receivers in the last six to eight weeks have helped our O-line by doing things the right way. Everybody's involved when the protection is good, not just the O-line, but the O-line has played well."

Mariota praised the offensive line Wednesday, as he does weekly. He was sacked 38 times in just 12 games as a rookie, so life has gotten much less difficult.

The quarterback, too, needs to be a part of slowing down Miller, who leads Denver with 12.5 sacks.

"He's the Super Bowl MVP," Mariota said. "He's one of those types of players that can change the outcome of the game with one play. He's done it numerous times this year, whether it's getting the strip-sack, forcing a turnover by the quarterback -- I mean, he's one of those types of players that can just be a huge difference.

"We've got to do a good job of handling that. I can do a good job of getting the ball out quick, throwing the ball away when things aren't there. Yeah, he's that type of player."

Rookie right tackle Jack Conklin will deal with Miller the most. Conklin's been great, but he's likely to need help.

Mularkey was unwilling to pledge extra protection, but the Titans have done what's been needed all season to protect their QB.

He said he's not seen teams doubling or chipping Miller on every play.

"Not on what I've watched on tape," he said. "No, there's a lot of times he's still singled up out there. Teams are getting some chips on him, but it's hard to do every play. It's hard to do, but he's that good. He should be."