Tennessee Titans need a big season from Marcus Mariota, could this be his marquee moment?
The Tennessee Titans have faced the Carolina Panthers twice during Cam Newton‘s career.
In 2011 the Titans defense dominated the game and won 31-3. Cam Newton was held to less than 275 total yards, 0 TDs, an interception, and five sacks. It was the only game all season where Newton was held without a touchdown and it was the worst he looked.
He got his revenge in 2015 when he came to Nashville and beat the Titans in a 27-10 beatdown of his own, missing just 4 of his 25 pass attempts. While his numbers weren’t gaudy the teams were clearly going in different directions as the Titans walked out at 2-7 and the Panthers were in route to a Super Bowl loss at 9-0.
So now in 2019 the teams will face off for the third time, an event that Athlon Sports called the QB matchup of the week for Week 9. On Cam Newton vs Marcus Mariota:
"“Their playing styles are similar, and when healthy, the dual threats are a handful for defenses. Unfortunately, injuries have limited both players in recent years. This is going to be a game where both signal-callers need to prove their worth.”"
This really is a great point. If you look at the games when Marcus Mariota was even mostly healthy (Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, New England Patriots) he looked dominant against playoff caliber teams.
However, those games just didn’t come up often enough due to holding the ball to long, bad play calling, and shaky protection on the offensive line.
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Similarly, ever since the 2015 season where Newton ran through nearly every team he faced, his career hasn’t been quite the same. He has been frequently frustrated and often injured thanks to a lack of commitment by the Panthers to protect him and the lack of calls he gets because he is built like a defensive end instead of a quarterback.
If both of these quarterbacks enter the Week 9 game healthy, then this could truly be one of the more exciting games to watch. However in the more likely even that both are hurt, it will be interesting to see which team has the talent to overcome a less than 100% quarterback.
In a series that has historically gone the Titans way, can Marcus Mariota get his revenge on the Panthers just like Cam got his revenge on the Titans? This matchup between two playoff hopefuls has ever right to intrigue the NFL as November football kicks off.