The Tennessee Titans haven’t always made the best picks, and in weak drafts they have struggled to be one of the few teams that come out with gems. However, at this point I don’t know how you can doubt Marcus Mariota.
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Let’s start with his on the field stats. I know everyone is heaping dirt on him, but let’s actually look at the numbers. Keep in mind when you are looking at these that people will give Titans fans a lot of grief about the win loss column, but if you have quarterback play like this then the wins will come in time.
YPA: Marcus Mariota is 8th in yards per pass attempt right now among all quarterbacks who have started every game for their team. He is at a very solid 7.7, which would have been 7th in the league among the same qualified list of quarterbacks.
Completion percentage: Mariota is hitting a very solid 64% of his passes which makes him 11th among quarterbacks that have started every game this season. He is doing that in spite of Harry Douglas dropping 10% of his targets, Justin Hunter dropping 8.3% of his andKendall Wright dropping 4.7% of his, according to PFF.
With a good completion percentage and a solid YPA comes wins, with more emphasis on completion percentage where Mariota is really doing well. Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger and Tony Romo are three of the top four quarterbacks in that category and have gone a combined 9-1, the one loss was a game where two of these quarterbacks played each other.
This is the inspiration for the article, and that is in large part because while everyone and their mother decided that Marcus Mariota was going to miss a huge chunk of time over the next month after a dirty, late hit from Olivier Vernon last week, a “not so fast” is in order.
Marcus Mariota said today in a press conference that he is feeling alright and that he is prepping like he is going to play. Today everyone at the practice was falling over themselves to say how tough he was, and rightfully so. This is a Big Ben-like showing of toughness that most quarterbacks never attempt. Not only that, but he was quickly labeled an injury risk coming out of college because of his style of play, but you could argue no one has been tougher this season especially when you consider how many times the offensive line has let him get sacked.
Whether or not Marcus Mariota ends up playing has no bearing on how you should think of him, because by all accounts the only way he sits this week is if ownership, front office people and the coaching staff forces him to. He is ready to dust himself off and get back out there because he is hungry for a win in a way that some players around the league just aren’t.
We should all take today to just be impressed with how good the rookie quarterback is in every phase of his job, and if you are a Titans fan you have to be excited what an improved roster (and probably coaching staff) will be able to do with some stability at quarterback.