The Tennessee Titans think Marcus Mariota is “light years ahead” of where he was at the same time last year, according to The Tennessean. Mariota was the first overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, and he was immediately named a starter by the team.
Mariota posted a 3-9 record as starter for the Titans, a disappointing mark but he actually played quite well. He played incredibly in the team’s opening game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, his first ever regular season start, on top of that. In that game, he completed 13 of 15 passes for 209 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions.
In other words, it was relatively mistake-free football. Mariota went on to throw for 2,818 yards with 19 touchdowns against 10 interceptions. The Titans would like him to get out of double digit interceptions, but he only had two multiple-interception games last season, and hit the four touchdown mark a second time, when they played the New Orleans Saints in November.
The Titans believe Mariota is more well-equipped to handle anything thrown at him this season, but it’s worth noting how much different the team will look this season. They are only returning four starters on offense from last season, which could be good news for Mariota in the long run. DeMarcoMurray will be starting at running back and he could be a huge boon for Mariota by taking some of the pressure off him.
Tight end Delanie Walker, one of Mariota’s favorite targets, says he expects Mariota to have similar numbers in Sunday’s opener against the Minnesota Vikings to those he put up in his regular season debut. The Vikings are a better team than the Buccaneers were at the start of last season, so we’ll see if Walker’s belief holds true.