Marcus Mariota Remains Questionable For Game 4


The Tennessee Titans are close to 48 hours from taking on the Minnesota Vikings in the final preseason game of the year, and head coach Ken Whisenhunt has not made a decision if Marcus Mariota will play. In his Tuesday press conference after practice, he indicated he will make a decision in the next 24 hours.

More at Titan Sized: Position Reviews for all positions by Will Lomas

The Titans franchise quarterback has looked pretty good in his three outing since the fumble, sack and interception in game one against the Falcons, and has not committed a turnover since.

He has passed all the tests that were in question before they drafted him with the second pick in the 2015 draft, and I’m not sure there is anything to prove going forward other than risking the possibility of getting him hurt before the regular season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on September 13th.

He has managed the huddle with efficiency, has stood in against the pass rush and found his receivers, and been able on most occasions, to recognize what the defense is giving him.

All things that were questions on draft day.

In fact, John Glennon at the Tennessean filed a report on Sunday that could be used as the “tale of the tape” pointing how Mariota has out-performed Jameis Winston in the preseason.

Winston was touted as the more-ready NFL quarterback in the draft, and quite frankly, hasn’t looked as good as Mariota in all phases of the game.

After the shaky start in Atlanta, Mariota has shown the poise of a second-year NFL quarterback, and Winston has appeared to digress. Glennon compared these points:

  • Mariota has been the steadier of the two quarterbacks
  • Mariota hasn’t been under as much pressure
  • Mariota has fared better against the blitz

"Mariota drove his offense to two scores in four possessions against the Chiefs, and has guided it to four scores in 10 possessions overall. Winston, meanwhile, led his offense to just one score in eight possessions against the Browns, and has guided it to four scores in 20 possessions overall.Mariota’s overall numbers through three games19-of-27 (70.4 percent), 252 yards, 0 touchdowns, 1 interception, one fumble (lost), two sacks and a passer rating of 84.2.Winston’s overall numbers through three games23-of-47 (49 percent), 311 yards, 0 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, one fumble (recovered), seven sacks and a passer rating of 52.7. Winston has also run for two touchdowns."

The only knock I see on Marcus Mariota at this point, is his penchant for starting slow. He doesn’t seem to get fired up and on track until he’s down a couple of scores.

In all three games so far, he has not panicked when he’s been behind, and has mounted drives that took the team down the field and scored.

He is still struggling at times with his footwork, that almost caused an interception in the game against Kansas City of Friday night, and caused him to throw short to Delanie Walker when pass interference should have been called against the rookie corner Marcus Peters.

The near interception was a result of getting his feet tangled up with a lineman, and not resetting before he threw.

A problem that he will get better with.

I think coach Whisenhunt has seen enough and said before the draft that if drafted, Marcus Mariota would be the week-one starter. So what is left to prove in a game on Thursday night that won’t change that decision.

Game four is to decide which 22 players will be looking for work on Saturday evening when the final roster is set. One of those will not be Marcus Mariota.

It would also be a good time to teach the defense how to tackle!

Next: Tennessee Titans position review: QB

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