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Marcus Mariota’s quad injury forced Titans to change scheme vs. Patriots

Marcus Mariota, Titans

It was quite a sour end to the season for quarterback Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans in Saturday night’s AFC Divisional Round, with the defending-champion New England Patriots routing them 35-14 at Gillette Stadium.

According to Titans beat reporter Cameron Wolfe of ESPN, it was revealed that Mariota was hobbled by a strained quad injury that occurred late in the first quarter on a quarterback run. Titans head coach Mike Mularkey said that Mariota’s injury definitely had an impact on Tennessee’s playcalling.

“It had an impact, obviously,” coach Mularkey said after the loss. “We had to get out of some of our scheme we had with him, some of our zone scheme.”

Mariota, who was sacked a whopping eight times on Saturday night by the Pats, was simply not himself in terms of mobility.

“They did a good job with the line game,” Mularkey said. “Marcus was hampered. Tough to get away.”

Regardless, the second overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft wasn’t using his quad injury as an excuse and said he was frankly “embarrassed” by the Titans’ postseason exit.

“You don’t play to come and lose in the divisional playoff,” Mariota said. “You play to go win the whole thing.”

Mariota and the Titans, who made the playoffs for the first time since the 2008-09 season, are not content with a divisional round exit and plan to use this as motivation going forward.

“Hopefully, people use this as motivation,” Mariota said. “Yeah, it’s nice to get in the playoffs, but you don’t play just to get in.”

In Saturday night’s loss, Mariota ended his 2017-18 campaign with two touchdown passes on 22-of-37 completions for 254 yards against the Patriots. He also had four rushing attempts for 37 yards.