2019 Is Marcus Mariota’s Make Or Break Year

2019 Is Marcus Mariota’s Make Or Break Year

The career of Marcus Mariota has had it’s fair share of ups and downs. It began with being selected second overall by the Tennessee Titans after winning the Heisman trophy at Oregon. His rookie campaign showed some promise. He threw for 2818 yards, 19 TDs and 10 interceptions in 12 games played. Also rushing for 252 yards and two scores. The big play potential was there and Mariota seemed like somebody that could be built upon and maybe looked at as a franchise QB in the future.

His sophomore campaign showed significant improvement. In 15 games played he improved on all of his previous statistics posting 3426 yards, 26 TDs to just nine interceptions. A broken leg would end his season early, but he didn’t have that sophomore slump some QBs worry about. He struggled in his return though, ending the season with more interceptions than touchdowns (13:15 TD-INT ratio) and just 3232 yards. But this campaign brought something that the previous seasons didn’t, playoff contention.  In the post season the Titans marched to the divisional round after completing a major comeback in the wild card round against the Chiefs where in that game, Mariota threw a TD pass to himself! Unfortunately they were quickly bounced by the eventual AFC Champions New England Patriots the following round. Though he didn’t’ disappoint throwing for 459 yards, four touchdowns and a interception with a completion percentage of 60.3%.

Image result for marcus mariota associated press
Photo Source : Ed Zurga / Associated Press

One would think that this momentum would carry over to the next season. That’s not what happened to Mariota. Playing just 14 games he passed for 2528 yards 11 TDs and eight interceptions missing the playoffs by one game. His health is obviously a concern and his ability to stay on the field is less than ideal as he has yet to play an entire season. Along with that his stats haven’t been all that impressive either. Leaving us to ask is he the future of this Titans franchise?

In hopes of lighting a fire under the 25 year old,  the Titans made a trade for QB Ryan Tannehill early in the off-season. Tannehill hasn’t been a backup his entire career in Miami, so I wouldn’t expect him to just concede the starting position to Mariota. To add to the pressure Mariota is facing, he is at the end of his rookie deal. He is really going to have to step up if he wants to get the big deals that players like Aaron Rodgers, Jimmy Garoppolo and Russell Wilson have gotten in recent memory.

He definitely has the team set up to succeed. With receivers like Corey Davis, newly signed Adam Humphries and Taywan Taylor, as well as an offensive line as stout as it is with Taylor Lewan and Jack Conklin. Out of the backfield he also has Derrick Henry and Dion Lewis who has proven to be a capable receiver. All of the pieces are there for Mariota to succeed, at this point it’s on him to succeed.

If he can’t take that next step, I think it could be time for the Titans to move on from Mariota. With that fifth year option in his rookie deal, I could see him being kept and traded if he doesn’t succeed. He for sure has the big play potential, we’ve seen it through the first few years of his career. He just hasn’t shown consistency and it’s something you absolutely have to have if you are going to succeed in this league.

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Photo Source : AP Photo/James Kenney

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