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The Marcus Mariota Report: A career-high four interceptions stymie Titans vs Steelers, 40-17

Pittsburgh was too much for Tennessee on TNF

Tennessee Titans v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Tennessee quarterback Marcus Mariota threw a career-high four interceptions in the 40-17 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday from Heinz Field. Nevertheless, the former Duck somehow amassed over 300 passing yards and two total touchdowns.

Most had an opportunity to watch the 2014 Heisman Trophy recipient on the national stage last week. In a meeting of two first place teams from the AFC, only one showed up and showed out.

Prior to TNF in Pittsburgh, Mariota had never thrown for more than two interceptions at the professional or collegiate level.

During his storied college career in Eugene, the most he was intercepted in a game was twice, which happened on three separate occasions.

During his fifth career appearance of his freshman year, Mariota was picked twice against Washington State in Pullman.

Tennessee Titans v Pittsburgh Steelers
Marcus Mariota hands the ball off to DeMarco Murray in the first half against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Overall, the Titans rushed a for a putrid 52 yards on 21 carries as a team. Without the threat of a running attack, the Steelers could focus on slowing down the passing game.
Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Fast forward to the final three games of his sophomore campaign. He was intercepted twice in back-to-back weeks, only to never have multiple turnovers in a game until he was drafted. If you were wondering, those two games were against Arizona and Oregon State coincidently.

Mariota completed 23-of-33 attempts for a game-high 306 passing yards with a touchdown. He added five yards on five carries plus a score. Alongside the four interceptions, he was sacked five times for a loss of 42 yards total.

He concluded his evening with a QBR of 44.9 and a quarterback rating of 66.8 total.

No. 8 connected with Rishard Matthews for a 75-yard scoring strike in the second quarter of the contest. The longest completion of the year for Mariota cut Pittsburgh’s lead to just 16-14. Following a Titan FG later in the second, they never scored again.

Nevertheless, his most impressive runs of the night came after his turnovers. Usually, when a cornerback intercepts a QB, it’s an easy pick-six. Yet, Mariota ran down his assailant each time, as he illustrated his remarkable wheels.

Marcus Mariota Season Stats

176-of-281 pass completions (+23-of-33)

62.6 percent completion percentage (+0.5%)

2,089 passing yards (+306)

8 passing touchdowns (+1)

10 interceptions (+4)

7.43 yards per pass (+0.23)

75 yards season-long completion (+20)

58.3 QBR (-1.6)

79.9 Rating (-3.2)

37 rush attempts (+5)

186 rushing yards (+5)

4 rushing touchdowns (+1)

0 fumbles

5.0 yards per carry (-0.7)

34 yards (season-long rush)

0 red zone interceptions


Week 11: Titans vs Steelers

Next up for the second-place Titans (6-4) is an AFC South meeting with the Indianapolis Colts (3-7) on Sunday. Kickoff is slated for 10:00 a.m. PT from Lucas Oil Stadium. The game will be broadcast live on FOX in local areas.

Stay tuned, if you want to; Twitter @TheQuackFiend Gram @eugene_levys_eyebrows