This week’s edition of Keeping Up With Marcus Mariota is a little late [b][url=http://www.tennesseetitansteamonline.com/customized]Customized Tennessee Titans Jerseys[/url][/b] , but that’s okay considering the Titans have a bye this week. After riding a three-game winning streak, Tennessee is on a three-game losing streak that leaves fans with more questions than answers going into the bye.Marcus Mariota completed 75% of his passes (24/32) against the Chargers for 237 yards, a touchdown, an interception, and a 92.8 passer rating. While he’s been taking heat from across the NFL circle—even from Titans fans—I don’t think he’s generally been the problem for this offense in 2018. Sure he’s had his bad moments, but in a conservative passing game with no consistent threat at receiver, it’s been a rough grind for the fourth-year starter.Let’s take a look at a few “highlight” moments from Sunday’s game:A red zone interception. This season is officially over.gamepass.nfl.comMariota’s streak of zero red zone interceptions came to an end in London (the streak in America is still alive), as Melvin Ingram tipped this pass into Denzel Perryman’s arms for the pick. Mariota releases this pass just as he gets his head up from the jet sweep fake, so my guess here is that he’s expecting Ingram to rush instead of hesitate and play the pass. He got lucky earlier in the game when Ingram dropped a line drive pass into his chest, but couldn’t get away with it twice.Either way, this pass is picked off on a rare red zone interception from Mariota. Outside of that, however, Mariota was pretty accurate throughout the game and suffered with two massive drops on the same drive.Probably should’ve signed a receiver in free agency.gamepass.nfl.comThe first massive drop came from Taywan Taylor, who has become a complete liability as a pass catcher anywhere but underneath on a screen. Mariota does a great job reacting to the edge pressure in time [b][url=http://www.authenticstennesseetitans.com]www.authenticstennesseetitans.com[/url][/b] , climbing up, resetting himself and firing a great throw to Taylor only to watch it go through his hands for an incomplete pass. The Titans receivers, much like the Colts with Andrew Luck, owe Mariota for a lot of drops that have occurred this season. Another example comes from Corey Davis a few plays after Taylor’s drop.Good God why would you attack this ball with one hand what’s the pointgamepass.nfl.comCorey Davis is easily one of the most frustrating #1 wide receivers in the league. Creating separation is no problem from here, as shown here where he runs a nice route. It’s his lack oftiming and failure to be on the same page with Mariota that have made him so bad in his sophomore season. What Davis does here on 3rd and 7 is inexcusable. For reasons only known to Davis, he tries catching this ball with one hand despite it not being close to being warranted. The Titans are down 20-13 with 8:30 left in regulation as this occurs, and managed to get zero points on this drive as Ryan Succop’s ensuing field goal attempt went wide right.I’m getting flashbacks of Dorial Green-Beckham. Don’t give me flashbacks of Dorial Green-Beckham.gamepass.nfl.comAgain the route by Davis is great, but his timing is horrendous. Davis had a rough rookie year, but I expected him to flash a lot more this season due to his talent. It only happened once against the Eagles and has never popped up again.It’s easy to blame Mariota for the struggles on Tennessee’s offense with his low placement in both raw stats and analytics. I happen to be a heavy investor in analytics, as they are a phenomenal tool to use to figure out the best and worst at the statistic for players at said position.With that said, the problem with the use of analytics isn’t the tool itself, but how people use it. Like I said, analytics are a phenomenal tool, but the criticism of Mariota for low yards per attempt and more touchdowns than interceptions [b][url=http://www.authenticstennesseetitans.com/cheap-t-shirts]Tennessee Titans T-Shirt[/url][/b] , to me, comes without much context. Not a lot is mentioned of how Mariota is playing and instead the criticism becomes how he’s playing statistically. To me, these analytics need to be combined with context in order to get it, though I respect people’s opinions on the matter regardless. [img]http://www.thetrippers.com/public/album_photo/a8/17/6c9bed3fb31eb0833aab3ae905653034.jpg[/img]From my perspective, what was supposed to be a friendlier offense from new coordinator Matt LaFleur has turned into a conservative, weak attack without much of a plan. The guard play has been pretty poor this season, and the lack of consistent threats at wide receiver (hopefully Tajae Sharpe changes that) makes it extremely easy for defenses to attack Tennessee without fear.But Mariota has been accurate this season in a bad situation over the Titans’ last three games. Outside of the Ravens game where he was sacked 11 times, he’s been a poised pocket passer and has been consistently sharp with his throws. If someone happens to feel otherwise, that’s fine. I’m just offering my perspective on the matter.Going into the bye, the Titans face far more problems than solutions on offense, but Marcus Mariota is not one of their problems. Titans QB Marcus Mariota continue to rehabilitate an ulnar nerve injury that contributed to a missed game this season. Although Mariota was active, he spent Sunday on the sidelines with a baseball cap. It’s unknown at this point if Mariota’s absence will be for one game or multiple games due to uncertainty surrounding the status of his progress. Some fans are using the late Steve McNair’s ability to play through injuries as a means of questioning Mariota’s overall toughness. This is where people are wrong. The ulnar nerve injury isn’t about pain. Mariota is not experiencing pain associated with an injury. He is experiencing numbness that is effecting his ability to grip the football. If he cannot grip the football, he cannot be effective as his touch and accuracy will be greatly impacted. Playing Through Pain?As mentioned above, the thought that “Mariota needs to play through the pain” is inaccurate and off base. HC Mike Vrabel cited in practice that Mariota’s progress hasn’t really made any significant changes since he was last evaluated. Simply put - there are throws he can make and throws he cannot. Vrabel is of the mindset that the offense will be more limited with Mariota in his current health than it already is with Blaine Gabbert fully healthy. That alone speaks volumes. A takeaway from Vrabel’s statement could indicate the Titans offense could try to stretch the field in Mariota’s absence - and Gabbert has the arm to do so. His accuracy has been the real issue he’s struggled with throughout his career. Vrabel doesn’t want to takeaway the potential deep pass from the offense. Because of that fact [b][url=http://www.authenticstennesseetitans.com/cheap-hats]Tennessee Titans Hats[/url][/b] , Mariota will likely remain sidelined until he can make those throws OR until the offense becomes more limited/less effective with a healthy Gabbert.Value Defining SeasonMariota’s ulnar nerve injury could not have happened at a worse time. Primed to run an offense tailor fit to his strengths, Mariota is now forced to watch and wait. Mariota’s is losing money the longer he is not on the field. This season was potentially a value-defining year in which he could’ve earned a contract extension early and become one of the top paid quarterbacks in football.Now, the Titans and GM Jon Robinson can chose to wait out on signing Mariota to a long-term deal until they have assurances the injury will not linger or have a detrimental effect on the longevity of his career. Robinson would much rather be in the opposite position, surely. He would much rather his franchise quarterback be healthy and put in the position to grow into a new offense. But the fact is, he’s not healthy. The season is still salvageable for Mariota in terms of increasing his value, but missing games will not help his cause. He’s clearly not missing by choice, but due to hampering the team’s overall efficiency. If Mariota’s health is restored and the time spent on the sidelines helps him advance mentally in finding comfort with the offense, he could still produce just enough to earn a deal - assuming he overcomes the ulnar nerve injury. This would completely absolve any concerns Robinson may have.If terms like “career-altering”, “lasting long-term concerns”, or the dreaded “residual damage” begin to start circulating - hit the panic button.
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