Mariota is an O-line away from playing really well
Quarterback Marcus Mariota has been the main focal point of many Titans fans debates over the last couple of years, and rightfully so. Mariota has been the definition of inconsistent ever since he broke his leg on December 24th, 2016.
However, the Oregon product has begun to look like his old self over the last few weeks. Mariota showed everyone the type of quarterback he is still capable of being whenever he has legitimate protection like he did in the team’s Week 4 victory in Atlanta.
However, that’s a lot easier said than done in Tennessee apparently. Despite the lack of pass protection, Mariota has played solid for the most part this season. Thus far, he has completed 87-of-141 passes (61.7%) for 1,116 yards, with seven touchdowns and zero interceptions. Good enough for a passer rating of 103.
He is not exactly lighting the stat sheet on fire, but he does just enough to have his team in position to win every week. That is, if his offensive line gives him the chance. Whether we like it or not, the Mariota debate is going to be around for awhile — at least for the remainder of this season.
But if we are ever going to find out what we really have in Mariota, the Titans have to find a way to stop getting him metaphorically killed out there like they have through five games.
Against the Bills, Mariota finished with 183 yards on 13 completions. His numbers don’t tell the whole story as he was held back by terrible offensive line play. When given the chance, the former No. 2 overall pick was making plays.
Unfortunately, a lot of them got called back due to penalties and/or seem meaningless in hindsight because the o-line would eventually allow a drive ending sack to ruin any type of momentum he would start building.
The former Heisman Trophy winner has been sacked 22 times in 5 games. For perspective, the Colts allowed 18 sacks in 16 games last season. The lack of protection has to stop as soon as possible if this 2019 season is going to be anything more than a disappointment.