DENVER (AP) — The Denver Broncos’ swarming defense sent Marcus Mariota to the bench and the Tennessee Titans (2-4) to their fourth loss in five games with a 16-0 win Sunday. The Broncos (2-4) had seven sacks in a game for the first time since their 2015 Super Bowl season and they picked off three passes. They also got their first win at Mile High since Nov. 25, 2018.

Defensive back Kareem Jackson celebrates in the end zone with the rest of the Denver Broncos defense on Oct. 13, 2019.

Defensive back Kareem Jackson of the Denver Broncos celebrates in the end zone with the rest of the defense after an interception late in the fourth quarter. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

Chris Harris Jr. and Justin Simmons intercepted Mariota, who was sacked three times and was replaced by Ryan Tannehill after Simmons’ interception led to a 2-yard touchdown run by Phillip Lindsay that made it 13-0. Tannehill was sacked four times and picked off by Kareem Jackson on Tennessee’s final drive, which reached the Denver 5-yard line before two offensive penalties and a sack pushed the Titans back to the 30-yard line.

The Broncos, who haven’t allowed a touchdown in nine quarters, host Kansas City (4-2) on Thursday night with the chance to get back into the AFC West race after starting the Vic Fangio era with four frustrating losses.

Mariota came into the game as the NFL’s only QB who had started every game and hadn’t lost a fumble or been intercepted — although he had been sacked 22 times.

PHOTO GALLERY: Broncos 16, Titans 0

Both Denver and Tennessee were 2 of 14 on third down, leading to 17 punts.

The first half featured more flags (10) and punts (11) than points (six).

Linebacker A.J. Johnson #45 of the Denver Broncos tackles running back Dion Lewis #33 of the Tennessee Titans at Empower Field at Mile High on October 13, 2019.

Linebacker A.J. Johnson #45 of the Denver Broncos tackles running back Dion Lewis #33 of the Tennessee Titans at Empower Field at Mile High. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

The Broncos took a shutout into the locker room for the second straight week. Last time, it was a 17-0 cushion against the Chargers; this time it was just 6-0 on a pair of Brandon McManus field goals, one of which snapped his streak of seven consecutive misses from 50 yards or more.

Both teams bungled their way through the first two quarters.

The Broncos were whistled for eight penalties and being forced to call two timeouts on special teams. The first was with 10 men on a punt by the Titans and the second one was because the play clock was at 1 second just before McManus’ 53-yarder.

Mariota threw his first interception of the season — to Harris, the 20th of his career but first this season. On Harris’ runback, Denver defensive end Derek Wolfe was flagged for an illegal block.

Mariota’s second interception came when he stepped up to avoid another sack and lofted a pass down the middle to Darius Jennings that was picked off by safety Justin Simmons at midfield.


Titans ILB Jayon Brown (groin) left the game on Tennessee’s second defensive snap.

Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders sat out the second half with a knee injury.

Kareem Jackson

Kareem Jackson of the Denver Broncos and Ben Jones of the Tennessee Titans have a word on the field after the Denver Broncos 16-0 win at Empower Field at Mile High on Oct. 13, 2019. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)


Titans: Host the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday.

Broncos: Host the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday night.

By ARNIE STAPLETON, AP Pro Football Writer

(© Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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