Welcome to the Negative Passing Plays: Titans vs. Eagles (Week 4) article, as we look at the negative plays from the QB in this game. While it was a great victory, it wasn’t without some issues.
This is an incomplete pass on the scorecard for Mariota, but this is actually a great pass from the QB. The team had just gotten good yards on a read option QB run, but this is exceptional play call. I want you to look at the options set up on this play, and remember it is 2nd and 3. The first option to worry about is the run to the right side with Derrick Henry. The second option is a QB run from Mariota (which had already happened on this drive). The third option is Jonnu Smith running a crossing route, but it depends on the middle linebacker. If the defender drifts back for Corey Davis, then Smith is the easy pass. The fourth option on this play is Dion Lewis out of the backfield if the middle linebacker drops back to Davis, and the other linebacker drifts to the middle to defend Jonnu Smith. However, the open receiver on this play happens to be Corey Davis, but the young receiver slows down on the route. If you notice on the play, Davis slows down right as Mariota is releasing the pass, which is why the ball was overthrown. The QB is expecting Davis to run full speed on this play, but since the receiver has slowed down, the timing is off. My best guess for why Davis slowed down is because he is so wide open that he wants to sit in the zone, while Mariota is going for the home run throw. This is a great throw by Mariota, but falls under the negatives because Davis slowed down.
Jonnu Smith, welcome to the negatives article. Mariota makes a great play to escape pressure and then makes a great read with a subsequently great throw, all for Smith to just flat out drop the ball. Taylor Lewan gets beat on this play, but Quinton Spain is also a hero on this play by mistake. Spain gets pushed back in the pocket, but he goes right into the path of the defender that beat Lewan, so he can now prevent the guy from chasing Mariota. I doubt it’s by plan, but Spain helps out the QB get some space, but Jonnu Smith has to catch this pass.
This pass is about 1 yard away from being in the positives article. It’s a deep route from Taywan Taylor, and he gets a step on the cornerback. Mariota throws this pass just one yard short, which allows the defender to come up and make a play on the ball. Could Taylor have made a great play on the ball? Sure, but this is just a good play by the defender and just falls short.
This play goes for an incomplete pass, and I wanted to highlight the reason why. The Titans are running a pick play for Taywan Taylor and it should work perfectly, but the Eagles counter with a switch on the defenders, which means both options are open. Mariota is assuming the defender will be out of position, so he throws a back shoulder pass to Taylor, but the young receiver doesn’t adjust in time. The other thing to notice is the tight end at the other end of the field running another chip block route and then being wide open for the pass. The Titans ran a large amount of these routes to keep defenders from guessing run or pass.
A clear miscommunication here between Davis and Mariota, and it seems to happen fairly often. In the weeks I’ve done these articles, I’ve seen Davis have some communication issues with the QB. On this play, Mariota expects Davis to run a deeper route, but the young receiver runs a shorter route and it ends in an interception. There isn’t much to analyze here because it’s a terrible throw.
I do not have much to say here. This is just a great pass from Marcus Mariota, but how in the world does Darius Jennings drop this pass? I don’t think a QB could place this ball better if they were two yards away, and it’s just flat out dropped. I don’t know what to say, this is just a terrible drop.
This is the incomplete pass two plays before the touchdown, but how is this not a penalty? Mariota makes this throw anticipating a clean route by Sharpe, but the defender completely pushes the receiver off track, yet doesn’t get called for the penalty. When I watched this play live, I thought Mariota missed the pass, but I was wrong. The linebacker throws off the receiver, otherwise this would have been a perfect pass.
The Titans won an exciting game against the Eagles, albeit it wasn’t without fault. The receivers are dropping way too many passes, which is holding back the offense from taking the next step. The Jennings drop might be one of the worst drops I’ve seen in a long time. I’m concerned about the communication issues between Corey Davis and the QBs, because there seems to be an issue every week. However, the Titans pulled out the game, so all is well that ends well.
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