Marcus Mariota’s playing status should remain unknown


Earlier today, Titan Sized editor Les Bailey discussed Marcus Mariota‘s knee injury, a grade 2 sprain of his MCL. As of this release, it is unknown whether or not Mariota will suit up Sunday. The team resumes practice Wednesday, where they will continue preparation for the visiting Falcons this Sunday.

For all of the things that the Titans front office has gotten wrong , keeping qb Zach Mettenberger on the roster after drafting Mariota was a smart move. Mettenberger has three qualities that you want out of your backup qb…he’s familiar with the system, he’s confident, and he wants to be the starter.

But if the Titans have to go with the Mett Show this weekend, then they should not reveal that until game day.

Having to prepare for two quarterbacks already puts the defense at a competitive disadvantage. But having to prepare for two different styles of play is a totally different nightmare.

Marcus Mariota plays the percentages. He goes through his progressions, he takes what the defense gives him, and he keeps the action primarily between the numbers. Evidenced by the Titans rookie leading the league in passes to tight ends.

Mariota’s game predicates on rhythm and timing routs, working the play action, and using his athleticism on designed bootleg plays. There is more of a “trickery” feel to the offense when he is under center.

Zach Mettenberger, on the other hand, is a prototypical gun-slinger. He likes to throw the ball outside the numbers, from sideline to sideline. He has a cannon for an arm, and loves to throw the ball deep.

Mettenberger is more likely to forgo the check-down play, in exchange for a momentum changing big play. The Mett Show is all about hight risk, high reward. Coach Whisenhunt can open up the playbook, and show some looks that haven’t been captured on film this season.

A completely different approach with Mettenberger under center.

If Marcus Mariota can go without exposing himself to further risk, then of course he should start. He’s the face of the franchise. But if Mettenberger gets the nod this week, then he’ll be looking to make a statemement.

All the more reason to tune in Sunday.

However it plays out, no one outside the Titans’ locker room should know until the last possible minute.

By not tipping their hand, the Titans would force the Falcons’ defensive staff to prepare for essentially two different teams this week. A ball control, play action team…and an empty set, wing it all over the lot team.

Tennessee is trying to halt a four game losing streak against one of the best teams in the NFL so far this season. You take any competitive advantage you can get.

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