The 2017 season
Head coach: Mike Mularkey
Offensive coordinator: Terry Robiskie
Team record: 9-7
Total games missed: 1
Playoff appearance: Yes
Marcus Mariota passing stats: 3,232 YDS, 13 TD, 15 INT, 62.0 CMP%
Marcus Mariota had the worst statistical season of his career in 2017 following an offseason in which Mariota was forced to spend his time rehabbing, as opposed to practicing, training, etc.
Despite the below average individual numbers in 2017, Mariota still found a way to help lead his team to their first playoff appearance since 2008, and their first playoff victory since 2003. Although he played in 15 of 16 regular season games, Mariota was never physically or statistically the quarterback that we saw the previous two years.
The talent along the offense completely fell apart just as the defensive side of the ball started to improve. The rushing attack that was dominant in 2016 became inconsistent, as the team tried to figure out whether Derrick Henry or Demarco Murray should carry the load. Neither running back reached the 800 rushing yard mark in 2017.
What was once known as ‘exotic smash-mouth’ had become anything but that due to the coaching staff’s inability to adapt their scheme to fit the modern times, to go along with a lack of creativity in play designs.
The Titans’ offensive play-calling was beyond abysmal in 2017. The amount of times that Robiskie ran that jet sweep to Taywan Taylor for an average of one to three yards was astounding — and not in a good way.
It was not much better on the receiving end, either. Walker was Mariota’s top target with 807 yards on 74 catches. Mathews was once again the top wide receiver on the team, however he failed to eclipse the 800-yard mark in 2017.
The Team drafted wide receiver Corey Davis out of Western Michigan with the No. 5 overall pick, but he struggled with lingering hamstring injuries that severely limited him in his rookie year. Davis finished his rookie campaign with 34 catches for 375 yards and no touchdowns.
This limited production threw a damper on the teams plans the entire year. The Titans had planned for their top-five pick to be a vital part of their offense in 2017, but unfortunately that was never the case.
During the Week 4 matchup against the Houston Texans, Mariota suffered a hamstring injury that sidelined him for a week, his third lower-body injury in as many years.
That injury seemed to linger, as Mariota was never as mobile the rest of the year. Forcing a mobile quarterback like Mariota to turn into strictly a pocket passer, along with the lack of training in the offseason, severely hurt him.
Even while being limited, He was able to perform huge in big moments down the stretch. He helped stiff arm his team to their first playoff appearance since 2008 by beating the Jaguars in a win-and-in Week 17 game at Nissan Stadium.
He then went on to help the Titans complete the greatest road comeback in NFL playoff history by defeating the Chiefs, 22-21, inside Arrowhead stadium on Wild Card weekend. Mariota was a huge part of those team accomplishments in 2017.
However, those were still team accomplishments. Mariota isn’t able to ball out and complete the playoff comeback against the Chiefs if the Titans defense doesn’t pitch a second-half shutout.
Individually, having a 13 touchdown to 15 interception season in the NFL is simply unacceptable, especially in today’s NFL where you have top-end quarterbacks throwing for over 30 touchdowns and 4,000 yards on a consistent basis.
If Mariota is going to be the franchise quarterback of the Titans, his numbers from 2017 must be an anomaly for the rest of his career.