ESPN predicting Marcus Mariota to be a top-5 QB?

JACKSONVILLE, FL - DECEMBER 24: Marcus Mariota /

Did ESPN just set the bar high for Marcus Mariota.

I love Marcus Mariota and apparently so does ESPN.

In a recent article they were doing over/under’s on specific numbers that QBs could hit. Mariota’s number was 29.

The question was would the Tennessee Titans 3rd year QB pass for more than 29 TDs this year, here was the response:

“Over. Mariota had 28 touchdowns through 15 games last season. If healthy, and that’s an important caveat, Mariota is in a great position to surpass that mark. He has stronger red zone receiving weapons with Eric Decker and Corey Davis to go along with the consistency of Delanie Walker and Rishard Matthews. “

Cameron Wolfe

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So the quote means that he believes that Mariota will hit at least 30 TDs this year. It doesn’t specify how he will get them.

If Wolfe believes that Mariota can top that mark with his passes alone (which makes sense he had 26 pass TDs in 2016) then that would put him in rarefied air.

Last year, only 5 QBs had more than 30 TD passes: Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, Drew Brees, Philip Rivers, and Andrew Luck.

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With Luck potentially missing time at the beginning of the season, that could mean that Marcus Mariota ends up being a top-5 QB in terms of passing touchdowns.

To do that in your third year is astounding and he was dangerously close to doing it in his second year. It reminds you just how good Mariota is and how a small step forward would move him from a top-10 QB to a top-5 QB.

The question is, can Marcus Mariota stay healthy and continue to thrive with the Tennessee Titans offense.