Another week, another win for Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans (5-3). With their 23-20 victory against the Baltimore Ravens at Nissan Stadium on Sunday, the Titans reside in a two-way tie for first place in the AFC South.
After dismantling the blazing Jaguars (5-3) during Week 2 this year, 37-16, the Titans currently hold the tiebreaker over Jacksonville. If the season were to end today, you would be looking at the starting quarterback of the AFC South Division Champions.
Mariota continues to round back into form after a hamstring injury forced him to miss the Dolphins game. Against a Top 5 Baltimore secondary, Mariota completed 19-of-28 passes for 218 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
He rushed for six yards on three carries. The running plays are set to increase in the Tennessee offense, now that their centerpiece has returned to full health.
Mariota’s hamstring issue is indeed behind him, which is why head coach Mike Mularkey said there will be “more runs for Mariota going forward.” In turn, the offense and his weapons will only become more dangerous.
He’s not having the season he envisioned, yet. Most Seahawks’ fans already forgot how poorly Russell Wilson played last year, as he’s lighting up the NFL this year. Most don’t understand how badly his injuries set him back last season, fully limiting his abilities.
The same can be said for Mariota, who runs more often and quite possibly better than Wilson. When his legs are not 100 percent, it’s often difficult for the organization to push him with the fear of doing further damage. Now that he’s good to go, watch out.
With that said, Mariota’s overall numbers will rise steadily. Just like the run game, passing is predicated on health. If your legs aren’t under you, passing efficiently and accurately is not easy.
Tennessee’s signal-caller seems poised for another monster second half, similar to his 2016 version.
Marcus Mariota Season Stats
129-of-204 pass completions
63.2 percent completion percentage
1,519 passing yards
6 passing touchdowns
7.45 yards per pass
55 yards (season-long pass completion)
26 rush attempts
130 rushing yards
3 rushing touchdowns
5.0 yards per carry
34 yards (season-long rush)
0 red zone interceptions
Next for up the Titans (5-3) are the struggling Cincinnati Bengals (3-5) on Sunday. Kickoff is slated for 10:00 a.m. PT at Nissan Stadium from Nashville. Currently, Tennessee is 3-1 from their friendly confines.