The Titans drafted Marcus Mariota in 2015, hoping to have landed their franchise guy. Five years later, they find themselves counting their days together.
The Tennessee Titans came into the season with a plethora of questions. The biggest question was if their franchise guy, Marcus Mariota, can stay healthy and help this team take the leap from, ahem, “good to great.”
It has been a roller-coaster season so far, with some weeks showing promise and others reminding us who Mariota and what this offense really is: inconsistent and a liability at best.
Now, the Titans find themselves at 2-4, with the two division leaders, Colts and Texans, both getting impressive wins over the Kansas City Chiefs and don’t look to be slowing down soon.
Who do we blame? Well, that question can be answered in many different ways. It is not all on the quarterback, though. He is playing behind an offensive line which has allowed the most sacks in the NFL with 29. They are on pace for 77 sacks, which would set an NFL record.
The Titans are now on a two-game losing streak. They went into Denver on Sunday and looked less than promising a week after putting up a dud of a game versus the Buffalo Bills at home, which felt like an away game.
In Denver, Mariota threw two interceptions, hesitated on his reads, and was sacked three times before being taken out of the game and replaced by Ryan Tannehill. It goes without saying: Mariota being benched is a sign of what’s to come for the Titans’ future.
Mariota hasn’t had a bad season, but he hasn’t had a good one either. On the bright side, the two interceptions he threw on Sunday were the first he has thrown all season. But, the downside is it is becoming painfully obvious that Mariota’s confidence is very, very low.
Mariota doesn’t seem confident anymore. Back in 2016, we saw Mariota get the ball out of his hands and go on a huge touchdown streak in weeks five through twelve. This Mariota, however, seems to be more of a game-managing guy who’s just trying not to turn the ball over.
It almost seems as if the coaching staff is telling him to take care of the ball instead of telling him to go out there and be the playmaker he can be.
That, combined with a bad offensive line and offensive coordinator, are reasons why the Titans need to save the $20+ million a season it would cost to keep Mariota around.
The Titans have key players to sign this offseason, including defensive back Logan Ryan and running back Derrick Henry. They also obviously need to fix their offensive line woes, in case you didn’t notice that by now, whether that means trading for a difference-maker or drafting some.
It makes sense to end the Mariota-Titans marriage and go a different direction at quarterback. Mariota doesn’t seem confident anymore, and the fanbase’s confidence in him is also dropping. A change of scenery for both sides is what’s needed. His time in Tennessee is just about done.