Is Marcus Mariota Regressing?

PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 16: Marcus Mariota
PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 16: Marcus Mariota /

The Tennessee Titans were hoping that this was the year that Marcus Mariota took the next step in his development, but so far that hasn’t occurred.

Entering the season, Marcus Mariota was seen as a candidate to raise his level of play and lead the Tennessee Titans to a playoff berth. The Titans have quietly collected a nice array of talent around Mariota and expected him to take advantage.

That plan has not panned out with Mariota struggling to find a rhythm. The biggest issue right now is the turnovers. His 4 interceptions last night against the Pittsburgh Steelers put his season total at 10.

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Those 10 interceptions look worse when you factor in that Mariota has only threw 8 touchdowns. For the season, Tennessee ranks 21st in the NFL averaging only 210 yard per game. This stat also includes a start for Matt Cassel who filled in when Mariota was injured.

The injury situation is something that has to be at least a minor concern for the Titans. Mariota has had his share of injuries which can be tied to his style of play. He will always be at his best when he is able to use his legs as a weapon. If you take that out of his game it changes who he is.

It’s far to early for the Titans to pull the plug on Mariota, but it isn’t crazy to think some questions about his future are starting to arise.

The Titans roster as a whole is very talented and on paper should be a team ready to make a playoff appearance. Their offensive line is very effective and the running game is one of the best in the league.

Tennesse’s pass catchers are also a group that has talent. Rishard Matthews has developed into a very reliable target with some big-play ability. Delanie Walker is a major mismatch at the tight end position. The veteran Eric Decker has also been an underrated addition.

This group also features young players like Corey Davis and Taywan Taylor who have shown flashes of their potential.

It all boils down to the fact that Mariota needs to start playing better. There are no more excuses for his lack of development. He is just about out of time to really establish himself as one of the top young quarterbacks in the league.