Entries in NFL (18)
Before the Titans drafted Marcus Mariota there was so much hype whether he could play under center after playing in shotgun his entire career, and whether he had the "leadership personality" needed to guide men at this level. His first season was a struggle to stay upright and a struggle in an inept offense, but now he appears to be one of the hottest QBs in the league. This gave me an idea, I need to compare his first 24 regular season starts against some of the NFL's greatest QBs (in the modern era). After some deliberating I decided to compare him against the following QBs (past and present):
- Dan Marino
- John Elway
- Tom Brady
- Joe Montana
- Brett Favre
- Aaron Rodgers
- Steve Young
- Peyton Manning
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that Marcus Mariota is destined for Canton and the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but these numbers do show very good news for the Titans faithful that have had very little to remain faithful about over the last several seasons.
The 3 statistics that I really find interestingly positive are the completion percentage (63.24%), the touchdown-to-interception ratio (2.44), and touchdowns (44). The completion percentage tells me that he is more accurate than most or that the coaching staff has worked extra hard to assimilate his particular skills into an NFL offense. Either way, he has very healthy relationships with his receivers that should prove a continuation of his improving numbers.
His 44 touchdowns and 2.44 touchdown-to-interception ratio shows me that he will continue to drive this offense to higher and higher scores. The number of times he has been sacked is a huge concern that I believe has already been successfully addressed with the reworking of the offensive line this season.
There are a few other numbers that are not shown here. On the positive side, Mariota is quite possibly the fastest QB in the league and has shown he is a real threat as a runner. On the negative side, he has shown an unfortunate lack of ball protection, fumbling on many inopportune occasions. He has worked very hard as of late on protecting the ball.
Again, these numbers comparisons are just an interesting way to prove where you've been as a team and not a true measurement of where you might go. That being said, Marcus Mariota is in very good company amongst the QB historical elite.
Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans came into Thursday night's game against the Jacksonville Jaguars reeling from a recent disappointing home loss to the Indianapolis Colts, and show the home fans what they've been waiting to see for more than a season. The offense ran up 27 first half points and 354 yards (more than any other team this season for a half of football). The defense held the Jags to zero points and only 60 yards in the first half. Even the special teams didn't make any first half mistakes.
In the last 4 games, the offense has been scoring the number of points this team needs to win (30, 28, 34, and 36). Mariota has thrown 10 TDs with only 1 interception and 949 yards, Murray has rushed for 406 yards and 3 TDs, Walker has 146 yards receiving and 2 TDs, Matthews has 177 yards receiving and 3 TDs, and Wright has 229 yards and 2 TDs. In the game against the Jaguars, Mariota was particularly sharp and now seems to be in complete sync with Offensive Coordinator Terry Robiskie. The offensive line has been especially strong in their part of the "Exotic Smashmouth" scheme. Although both Murray and Derrick Henry are slow starters in each game, they finish with a kick, and in most cases have had strong performances. Although there isn't a huge stand out in our receiving corps, there are a cohesive unit without huge egos to get in the way.
The defense has been cranking up the pressure on the QB too. Although the secondary has shown some definite cracks and the linebackers have had trouble covering the running backs and tight ends, the defense as a whole has kept the team close enough to win every game. Derrick Morgan has 5 1/2 sacks, and Brian Orakpo and Jurrell Casey have 3 sacks each in the last 4 games. They have only allowed 220 total rushing yards as well, with Avery Williamson getting 28 tackles alone.
The only piece of this team that seems to be seriously lagging behind is the Special Teams unit. They have allowed returns for touchdowns, missed extra points, failed to recover onside kicks, and received critical penalties. All of this has actually cost the team points and very likely cost the team at least one win. In all likelihood, this team could be sitting in first place if this unit were to stop making so many mistakes. It has already cost one job on the team. It might cost more before the end of the season if things don't get better.
Even with one of these units not pulling their weight, this team looks poised to take over the AFC South.