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Mata’utia Mariota – Negative Passing Film – Titans vs. Browns (Week 7)

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The Tennessee Titans barely won against the Cleveland Browns in week 7 of the NFL season, and this article breaks down the negative passes from Marcus Mariota.  While the offense didn’t score many points, it’s a relatively short article because I couldn’t find many blatant mistakes by the QB.   Please check out our other articles for the week, as well, and feel free to share with your friends.  And maybe Browns fans too, they might like the negative articles, although tell them to stay away from the KW Kneel for the Win article.   

Mata’utia Mariota:



On the outset, this is a negative play, but it’s not the fault of the QB (Mariota), nor the receiver (Walker).  Essentially, this is a shovel pass to Walker coming across the formation, and from the angle, it looks like a bad decision.  However, note the moment of decision for Mariota and the information presented to him.  The Browns have a defender poised to make a play in the backfield, but the read option renders him useless because he must react to where the ball is going, rather than being aggressive.  When Mariota makes his decision, he rightfully understands that this defensive player isn’t in a position to make a play on the receiver, and they have two blockers to block two defenders in the path of Walker.  This play should have gone for some yards, but Rishard Matthews doesn’t block Myles Garret effectively on this play, and the rookie defensive end makes a great spin move to run right into Walker.  This is more of a great play by Garret than anything else, but the Titans were set up for success on this play.  The play highlights one of the harder aspects of football and why it’s more of a team sport than many stars would lead you to believe.  The major aspects of this play were run perfectly, but one average block along with a great defensive play turned it into a one-yard gain. 



This is an extremely conservative decision by Mariota, and you can see why.  The Browns are playing well off the line of scrimmage on 3rd and 13, with two deep safeties.  Notice the left side of the formation, and how far back the defenders are playing.  Mariota has two legitimate shots for the first down here, and possibly a touchdown, but makes the easy throw for a chance to kick a long field goal.  The first shot is the slot receiver running down the middle.  Once he’s even with the linebacker, who is facing the line of scrimmage, he’s a sure bet to be open to the inside because the linebacker cannot keep up with him from that position.  Furthermore, the defender over the top is angled towards the outside, therefore cannot make a play on an inside route, thus it’s a wide-open chance for a TD.  Mariota should take the deep shot as soon as his receiver is even with the linebacker on this play.  These are the types of plays that separate the great ones from the above average ones.  Hopefully, as Mariota progresses in his career, he’ll learn to take advantage of these situations in which the defense is caught in a bad call.  The second shot is the set of receivers to the outside, since only one defender is near them by the first down marker.  The defender is caught in the middle, and Mariota could have chosen to throw to the inside receiver of the two players because the outside defender wouldn’t have a chance to close on the play in time.  It’s definitely a missed opportunity, and shows a lack of aggression from the offense.  



There is no excuse for this pass, this is a flat out miss by Mariota.  The Browns sell out for the run, so this play action call sets up the Titans perfectly for the TD.  However, Mariota makes a horrible throw to Delanie Walker on this play, and it ends in an incomplete pass.  Notice the feet here with Mariota, as he does not set his feet when he’s making this throw, which throws off the trajectory of the pass.  Power for the QB is derived from the legs, much like pitchers in baseball, so when a QB doesn’t set his feet properly, they should adjust the angle and power of their arms accordingly to make accurate throws.  It’s one of the more complicated adjustments to make on the fly, and many QBs struggle with this adjustment at first.  Mariota needed to put more air under this ball to compensate for the lack of power behind the throw, but he does not, and therefore it falls short of the receiver.  


This is one of the shortest articles you will read here, and your personal optometrist might be happy on your behalf.  There weren’t too many glaring mistakes to analyze here, so I only had three plays to dissect.  Please don’t worry, there are plenty of other articles to read for this week, so check them out with links below.  Also, you can check out the recent posts widget to the right side (unless on mobile, then all the way at the bottom) and enjoy reading.  As usual, I appreciate comments and feedback so feel free to express yourselves down below.   Also, help us grow by spreading the word to your friends and family.   

Other Articles From Week 7:

LeLei Mariota (Positive Passing Plays) – Week 7 – (Tennessee Titans vs. Cleveland Browns)

Positive Running Plays – Week 7 – (Tennessee Titans vs. Cleveland Browns)

Negative Running Plays – Week 7 – (Tennessee Titans vs. Cleveland Browns)

Positive Defensive Plays – Week 7 – (Tennessee Titans vs. Cleveland Browns)

Negative Defensive Plays – Week 7 – (Tennessee Titans vs. Cleveland Browns)

KW Kneel for the Win Play – Week 7 – (Tennessee Titans vs. Cleveland Browns)

Questions for Comments:

  1. Does the lack of aggression from this coaching staff bother you?

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