As a result of his latest lackluster performance, many are calling for the Titans to bench Mariota in favor of Ryan Tannehill, whom Tennessee acquired in a trade during the offseason.
But would moving on from Mariota be the right move at the moment?
Well, it depends on what the Titans are going for this season. Are they trying to make the playoffs? Or are they trying to evaluate what they have for the future?
While Tennessee does have a chance to make the postseason in what is a wide open AFC South, let’s be honest: the Titans don’t even resemble a true contender.
It’s not just Mariota. The offensive line is horrendous, allowing Mariota to get sacked nine times against the Jaguars and 17 times over the first three games overall.
The receiving corps has some talent, but it’s still a work in progress overall.
The defense is definitely good, but it’s not elite at the level of the Chicago Bears where Tennessee can still win 12 games in spite of its less-than-stellar offense.
Really, the Titans’ 1-2 is not all Mariota’s fault, and I don’t think enough people are talking about the complete lack of protection his offensive line has given him. It’s a miracle he didn’t throw at least one interception on Thursday evening given the amount of pressure the Jaguars were able to apply.
And on the season thus far, Mariota has not been terrible, as he has thrown for 706 yards and four touchdowns without any picks. So, I think he deserves a bit more time before being hooked.
Let’s also keep in mind that Mariota is in the final year of his deal, so the Titans have a decision to make next offseason. But the only way they can make a genuinely informed decision is by seeing him play.
If I were Tennessee, I would prioritize the future ahead of a playoff pipe dream.
The Titans don’t have any other talented young quarterbacks on their roster. Again, his replacement would be Tannehill, and we have been there, done that when it comes to him.
Tennessee would be better served playing it out with Mariota and seeing if he is worth bringing back next year.