QB Marcus Mariota - Tennessee Titans
|6-4, 222||Born: 10-30-1993||College: Oregon||Drafted: Round 1, pick 2015|
Week 20: at Kansas City Chiefs
FBG says: Neutral matchup. The Titans low-volume passing attack squeaked by on the heels of their dominant ground game and defense last week. There is no question that Ryan Tannehill has been a very strong starter and one of the top offseason acquisitions for any team in football, but he certainly has not been lighting up the scoreboard for this passing offense as of last. Tannehill has passed for fewer than 90 yards while completing fewer than nine passes in each of his two postseason games, completing season-lows of 53.3 and 50 percent of his passes in both games. While he hasn't looked particularly bad by any means, Tannehill has made big throws when it counts--which has been his calling card all season. He had fewer than 20 pass attempts in five of the last eight regular season games, but he still managed to lead the league in both yards per attempt and yards per completion on the season while passing for multiple touchdowns in all but one game started. A.J. Brown ended the season vying for offensive rookie of the year honors, but he has been absolutely shut out of both postseason games in the midst of tough cornerback matchups and the overall low production of this passing offense. The same can be said from most weapons in this passing offense, but Brown still remains the clear front-runner for a bounceback in what should be a more desirable matchup this week. The Chiefs passing defense finished the regular season as one of the top units in football, allowing just 6.1 yards per attempt and 224 passing yards per game with only 10 passing touchdowns given up over the last eight weeks of the season. Last week's performance painted a slightly different picture though, as three Texans receivers finished with 80 or more receiving yards with DeAndre Hopkins dominating the game on most of his routes. Cornerback Charvarius Ward is their top option and should see most snaps against A.J. Brown, who caught just one pass for 17 yards in their last matchup. Brown has struggled in recent weeks against tough coverage, but Ward is no match for the talent Brown has faced in recent weeks, so look for Brown to have the edge here. However, Brown's primary calling card has been big plays, which the Chiefs have done an excellent job against this season by holding offenses to just 46 passing plays of 20 or more yards (8th-fewest). A big reason for that has been their strong pass rush, which comes into this game with a big question mark due to the lingering calf injury of Chris Jones. Jones leads the Chiefs in sacks (9) and racked up a couple of sacks the last time these two teams faced each other. Kansas City still managed to be effective in rushing the quarterback without Jones last week though, sacking DeShaun Watson four times. They also finished the regular season with 45 sacks (11th-most) while the Titans allowed the third-most sacks in the league (56). However, this Titans offensive line has played their best football of the season over these past two games, giving up just two sacks while keeping a relatively clean pocket for Tannehill's few dropbacks. The Jones storyline will be one to watch here, as his absence would tilt this matchup in the trenches to much more of a neutral one than otherwise. If Jones does suit up, however, the advantage goes to the Chiefs.
Recent Stats and Projections
Weekly Performance vs QB 1, QB 12, QB 24
Marcus Mariota's percentile rank in each category, among QB with more than 50 fantasy points.
Recent Game Summaries
2019 Week 6 vs DEN (7 / 18 / 63 / 0 / 2 pass, 2 / 4 / 0 rush)
Marcus Mariota had an abysmal outing that ultimately led to him being benched in the third quarter. He was routinely missing open receivers while holding on to the ball far too long, which in part led to the three sacks he took in the first half. Mariota would throw two interceptions before being benched--the first being an off-target pass that landed in the hands of Chris Harris Jr. just before halftime. The second was midway through the third quarter as Mariota lofted a prayer on the run into tight coverage and was picked off by Justin Simmons. It was that terrible decision that would ultimately cost him his job for the day as Mariota did not play another snap.
2019 Week 5 vs BUF (13 / 22 / 183 / 0 / 0 pass, 5 / 13 / 0 rush)
Marcus Mariota was under constant pressure despite the return of his Pro-Bowl left tackle Taylor Lewan. The poor offensive line play led to numerous hurried throws along with five sacks on the day. Mariota did stand in there and make some decent passes, including 23-yarder to Corey Davis just before halftime. Mariota was taking heavy pressure, again, but made the throw despite taking an illegal hit to the legs at the time of his release. He can't take much credit for his longest pass of the day, as it was a mere dump-off behind the line of scrimmage to Jonnu Smith. Smith did all the legwork as he rumbled to a 51-yard gain. Mariota Mariota nearly rushed for a touchdown midway through the third quarter, but the call was reversed on the basis that Mariota was down just before the goal line. Later in the second half, he made a great would-be touchdown throw on the run to A.J. Brown, but Mariota ended up being over the line of scrimmage as the touchdown was called back and ultimately led to yet another missed field goal. This marked the second touchdown of the day nullified due to penalties for the Titans. Between the sacks and penalties, Mariota finished with yet another dismal showing.
2019 Week 4 vs ATL (18 / 27 / 227 / 3 / 0 pass, 3 / 22 / 0 rush)
Mariota had an incredible start to last week as he completed 14 of 19 passes for 189 yards and three touchdowns in the first half alone. The vast majority of his throws were on target while Mariota looked poised in the pocket. His first touchdown came off play-action where Mariota threw a strike over midfield to A.J. Brown, setting up Brown to make a play as he took it to the end zone from 55 yards out. Mariota put an incredibly delicate touch on the second touchdown pass as he lofted the ball only where Brown could get it on the right side of the end zone, allowing Brown to haul in his second touchdown of the day. Mariota would complete another deep ball to Brown before hooking up with Corey Davis for his third touchdown of the day. The throw to Davis was well done, leading him perfectly towards the left sideline for Davis to make a move back to the right and power into the end zone. Mariota had a very quiet second half as the Titans leaned on Derrick Henry to protect a big lead.
2019 Week 3 vs JAX (23 / 40 / 304 / 0 / 0 pass, 6 / 34 / 0 rush)
Marcus Mariota had a terrible showing in Week 3. He would break the 300-yard mark while making a handful of nice throws, but for the most part, he showed little confidence while struggling to get the ball out quick enough before the Jaguars defense got to him for a whopping nine sacks. The Titans offensive line play was very poor while the weather also didn't help his chances at success. Mariota would make a nice throw off play action to find Tajae Sharpe in stride for a 23-yard gain on their second drive of the game. He made another nice throw on the next drive as he lofted the ball just enough for Adam Humphries to make the over-the-shoulder grab for a 30-yard gain. His inaccuracy was on display more than once again in this game. As an example, Mariota would miss a couple of touchdown opportunities to start the second half as he was off-target on back-to-back passes to Delanie Walker in the red zone. While the first one was tipped, the second was simply underthrown as Walker would have had an easy touchdown reception with just a little more loft on the pass. He did finish with 34 rushing yards, but it is hard to say too many positive things about what really was a bench-worthy performance.
2019 Week 2 vs IND (19 / 28 / 154 / 1 / 0 pass, 5 / 32 / 0 rush)
Marcus Mariota has an efficient start to this game, completing 8-of-10 pass attempts for 68 yards and a touchdown in the first quarter. His touchdown came from the goal line on a well-designed play that allowed for an eligible tackle lined up at tight end to leak out and be left wide open in the end zone. Mariota decided to tuck and run to convert a third-down near the end of the first half as he questionably vaulted himself in the air to get the needed yardage. Unfortunately for Mariota, the play was called back due to a holding penalty. On the very next play, Mariota was then sacked and fumbled with one of his linemen recovering it. The offensive line would prove to be problematic for Mariota throughout the game, as he was given shoddy protection which led to five hits and four sacks. Mariota led off the second half strong, though, as he marched the Titans downfield to a touchdown. This drive was highlighted by a big throw for 21 yards to Corey Davis, set up well by Mariota via play fake. Mariota would use his legs again on the next drive to help pick up seven yards on a long third down to get the Titans into field goal range.
2019 Week 1 vs CLE (14 / 24 / 248 / 3 / 0 pass, 3 / 24 / 0 rush)
Marcus Mariota had a great game on paper, but overall, he struggled to make the difficult throws for most of this contest as his stat line was padded by excellent after-the-catch play from his receivers. He was inaccurate throughout the first half, including overthrowing A.J. Brown in the end zone midway through the second quarter and missing Corey Davis on all three of his targets. Mariota did connect with A.J. Brown on a couple of occasions for deep balls of 47 and 51 yards. The first came off play-action on the first drive of the game as Mariota lofted the ball deep to a wide-open Brown who fought his way for a few extra yards. The second also came off play action, but Mariota threw it just 12 yards before Brown took it downfield for the 51-yard gain. Neither of the Brown catches would be Mariota's longest pass of the game though, as Derrick Henry took a simple screen pass 75 yards to the house for a touchdown to mark Mariota's first touchdown pass of the season. The next drive to start the fourth quarter led to Mariota flashing his speed as he tucked it on third-and-four to not only convert but pick up 13 yards as he sprinted down the left sideline. Mariota would follow up on the very next play with a strike to Delanie Walker for the 11-yard touchdown. The throw was a little high, but he led Walker perfectly in stride with a defender on his heels. The next drive would start in the red zone based on a Baker Mayfield interception, and Mariota would find Walker yet again on his very next throw for an easy touchdown from seven yards out.
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