It’s put up or shut up time for Marcus Mariota. The Tennessee Titans quarterback is seen as one of the nicest guys in the league, but there’s no question that his career thus far has been a disappointment. Mariota has not lived up to his billing as the No. 2 pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, and he is entering the final season of his rookie contract after the Titans picked up the fifth-year option on his deal in 2018. If he doesn’t have a solid season in 2019, Mariota will likely be looking for work outside of Nashville next season.
Marcus Mariota 2019 Passing Yards
Over 3100.5: +187
Under 3100.5: -240
Marcus Mariota 2019 Touchdown Passes
Over 18.5: -115
Under 18.5: -115
One of the first things you’ll notice about Marcus Mariota is that he has been remarkably consistent. His numbers have been nearly identical throughout his career, other than a slight downturn where he threw more interceptions than touchdowns in 2017. His best season through the air came in 2016 when he threw for over 3,400 yards. He started 15 games that season and threw 451 passes, averaging 7.6 yards par attempt.
While this was seen as a great thing in his first two seasons, his failure to improve has been a cause for concern in recent years. During Mariota’s best campaign in 2016, the Titans were 11th in the league in total offense, but they have ranked in the bottom ten in total offense in each of the last two seasons. Tennessee has had a solid running game over that stretch, yet Mariota has not been able to help the offense take off.
Tennessee has tried to improve Mariota’s receiving corps through the draft in recent years. Early in the quarterback’s career, the Titans were trying to improve this position largely through free agency, but none of those signings panned out and all of those receivers have left.
Corey Davis is likely to be Mariota’s top option once again. Davis was the No. 5 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, and he put up decent numbers last season after an underwhelming rookie campaign. His emergence as a true No. 1 would really help Mariota in his development.
The team added two more options this offseason by signing Adam Humphries from Tampa Bay and drafting AJ Brown in the second round. Humphries is a possession receiver that Jameis Winston used to rely on in short yardage and red zone situations, while Brown was seen as the best wide receiver in this year’s draft by some analysts.
This is one of the big knocks on Marcus Mariota, and you have to account for it when capping this prop. Mariota has been injured in each of his previous four seasons. He missed four games as a rookie, one game in 2016, one game in 2017, and two games last season. That concerned the team enough that they brought in Ryan Tannehill in the offseason to be Mariota’s backup, and Tannehill is talented enough that if Mariota goes down, he might not relinquish the job.
No one is high on Mariota this season. This has been one of the most bet NFL player props thus far this offseason, and there are a lot of things going against him. He isn’t entrenched as the starting quarterback any longer, and Mike Vrabel is going to keep the ball on the ground and win with clock control and defense as much as possible.
I’m typically a contrarian and I like to go against the grain, but it’s hard to do that with this prop. The under in both yards and touchdowns is the play. Mariota’s yards per completion have dropped in each of the last two seasons, and he has just 24 touchdown passes in his last 28 starts.
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