Titans waste near-perfect passing effort by Marcus Mariota

Titans waste near-perfect passing effort by Marcus Mariota

HOUSTON _ In the end, the only numbers that meant anything to Marcus Mariota were 34-17. And with the Tennessee Titans on the short end of those numbers, Mariota was not a happy quarterback.
But from a statistical standpoint, Mariota turned in one of the best performances of his four-year career, and one of the best completion percentages in NFL history, despite a 17-point loss.
Mariota completed his first 19 passes in the game, on the way to a 22 of 23 game for 303 yards and a pair of long touchdown passes.
Those scores included a 61-yarder to tight end Jonnu Smith, who turned a short pass over the middle into a long catch and run in the first quarter.
And then in the second half, with the Titans desperately trying to get back in the game, Mariota found Corey Davis for a 48-yard score.
Mariota’s statistical effort is the second best performance in NFL history in terms of completion percentage (95.7 percent), bettered only by a 28 of 29 performance just yesterday by Los Angeles Chargers QB Philip Rivers against the Arizona Cardinals.
Asked about being in a good rhythm, Mariota acknowledged that it pretty good, but bemoaned the fact that he was sacked six times by the Texans defense.
“Not too bad. I can do a better job, though. I didn’t help our guys up front. I held on to the ball a little too long. I got us into some negative situations, with those sacks. I’ll look back at the film and get better from it,” Mariota said.
Likewise, Mariota’s Titans teammates were upset about wasting such a good outing from their quarterback.
“It’s tough,” Davis said. “Obviously, we were completing the ball, but not enough plays were being made. That’s really what it comes down to.”
Mariota acknowledged that despite his solid performance, the Titans spottiness on third downs was a key factor in their downfall. Tennessee was just 4 of 12 on third downs, and several times hurt themselves by being in long yardage situations, usually via sack or penalty.
“They did a good job on third down against us,” Mariota said. “To be able to continue to sustain drives, continue to sustain momentum, we’ve got to be able to be efficient on third down. And I think there were times where they came out, we might have had a big play, but we kind of got stalled. For us, if we can be the offense we want to be, we’ve got to improve in that area and continue to get in a rhythm, and continue to sustain drives and score points.”

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