Mariota's outlook for the 2018 season received a major boost following the Titans' hiring of offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur, Jason Wolf of The Tennessean reports. LaFleur held the same job with the Rams this past season, but he'll now handle offensive play-calling duties with Tennessee after ceding those to head coach Sean McVay in Los Angeles. Tennessee's willingness to part with head coach Mike Mularkey and his staff after the season despite reaching the divisional round in the playoffs suggests the franchise believes getting Mariota back on track is the key to the team's future success. The 24-year-old quarterback regressed overall this past season despite an improved team context, though he led the league in passer rating (122.8) and yards per attempt (11.1) on play-action passes. It's no coincidence that LeFleur relied heavily on play-action passing in the past while tutoring Matt Ryan and Jared Goff.
A strained quad hampered Mariota's mobility for the bulk of the Titans' 35-14 playoff loss to the Patriots on Saturday, ESPN's Cameron Wolfe reports. The QB sustained the injury on a first-quarter run Saturday and the issue clearly had an impact on his ability to scramble, as well as avoid the Patriots' pass rush. Mariota, who was sacked eight times in the contest, ended up completing 22 of 37 passes for 254 yards and two TDs, while rushing four times for 37 yards. Mariota will now have the offseason to move past his current quad injury, as well as further distance himself from the hamstring, knee and shoulder woes that he contended with earlier in the 2017 campaign.
Mariota completed 19 of 31 passes for 205 yards, two touchdowns and an interception while adding a six-yard receiving score on a deflection and eight carries for 46 yards in Saturday's 22-21, wild-card round win at Kansas City. Mariota executed a fantasy owner's biggest fantasy in the third quarter, as his pass was batted in the air by a defender and went right back into the quarterback's hands for what counted as both a passing and a receiving score from six yards out. That play ignited a previously dormant Tennessee offense, which erased a 21-3 halftime deficit. Mariota completed the comeback with a go-ahead, 22-yard strike to Eric Decker with 6:06 remaining. His will to win and ability to persevere through adversity don't always come across in the stat sheet, but those qualities have earned the third-year quarterback a trip to the divisional round next week.
Mariota completed 12 of 21 passes for 134 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions in Sunday's 15-10 win over the Jaguars. He also rushed 10 times for 60 yards and lost a fumble. Mariota's final line was nothing to write home about, but he did just enough to help the Titans clinch a wild-card spot. The third-year signal caller could only help Tennessee produce three second-half points, and those came at the end of a modest eight-play, 23-yard drive. Moreover, nearly half of his passing yardage haul came on one play, a 66-yard catch-and run on a screen pass that Derrick Henry took to the house in the first half. However, what he failed to accomplish through the air he largely made up for with his legs, as Mariota's rushing attempts and yardage totals were both season highs. The 24-year-old also contributed a pivotal 13-yard scamper on third down with 2:13 remaining that essentially sealed the win. Having helped the franchise snap an eight-season playoff drought, Mariota will turn his attention to toppling the Chiefs in an AFC wild-card road tilt next Saturday afternoon.
Mariota completed 22 of 39 passes for 275 yards and an interception while adding 24 yards on three scrambles in Sunday's 27-23 loss to the Rams. Mariota's first pass of the game was picked off, but he drove the offense down inside the one-yard line on the ensuing possession before ultimately settling for a field goal after a false start and a near-interception in the end zone. While the mobile quarterback moved the ball pretty well despite his lack of touchdowns in this one, a third consecutive loss to an NFC West opponent has left Tennessee in a three-way tie with the Bills and Chargers for the second AFC wild-card spot heading into next week's home clash with the Jaguars. Given his 12:15 TD:INT ratio this season, Mariota won't be an advisable fantasy play for that matchup with the league's top pass defense.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
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