A New York Jets beat reporter threw some shade at Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota on Monday.
It’s not exactly surprising at this point that Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota isn’t getting the benefit of the doubt, and a New York Jets beat reporter is just the latest to pile on top.
As was the case with this website and several other outlets, the Madden NFL 20 ratings set off a firestorm of controversy around the league for just about every fanbase.
The Jets were no different, as the New York Daily News’ Manish Mehta wasn’t too thrilled that quarterback Sam Darnold received a 74 rating, which was lower than Mariota’s 79, and a handful of other starting quarterbacks he predicts will have a worse season than the Jets QB.
We get it, Mariota has some proving to do before people can give him credit. However, it’s not like Darnold’s first year in the NFL was anything special. He completed 57.7 percent of his passes and threw for 2,865 yards, with 17 touchdowns to 15 picks.
Sound familiar? Well, it should because Mariota’s rookie numbers—2,818 yards, 19 touchdowns, 10 interceptions and 62.9 completion percentage—were similar, but better overall.
Even playing hurt for a lot of last season and missing two games, Mariota still completed a career-high 68.9 percent of his passes, en route to 2,528 yards and 11 touchdowns to eight picks. Not great, but not that far off, either.
So, it isn’t outrageous to think that Mariota and Darnold would be around the same rating, and that Mariota, who has a bit more of a track record here, would get the nod as the higher-rated player.
What the Jets reporter should be concerned with is the fact that the team hasn’t done much to surround Darnold with more talent than last season.
Aside from the free agent acquisition of running back Le’Veon Bell and the hopeful 16-game return of an injury-prone receiver in Quincy Enunwa, the Jets’ skill position players are nothing special.
As compared to Mariota’s that have seen the additions of second-round pick A.J. Brown, slot receiver Adam Humphries, and the healthy return of tight end Delanie Walker—and that’s on top of wideout Corey Davis, who had his best year as a pro during his sophomore campaign.
Let’s see how yet another negative Mariota prediction ages, shall we?