The Tennessee Titans took care of business on the road yesterday beating a struggling Indianapolis Colts team but looked sloppy in their effort.
Mike Mularkey went to his running backs often but was unable to get much going through the air. It’s evident that Marcus Mariota needs to rediscover his pocket presence and make a conscious effort to cut down on his turnovers.
If the Titans can’t tighten it up offensively, this team is destined to crash and burn in the playoffs.
Titans Stagnant Offense Survives Ailing Colts
Winning Despite The Effort
Kudos to the Titans for leading a second-half comeback, but had it not been for Mariota’s two picks in the first half a comeback would not have been needed. Mariota seemed to be back on track after an early season hamstring injury but has struggled in recent weeks.
The Titans passing game has become stagnant in recent weeks and their rushing attack has become the most consistent part of the offense. DeMarco Murray and DerrickHenry saved the day, specifically Murray, who scored the go-ahead touchdown late in the fourth quarter.
The Source Of The Struggles
It isn’t clear if Mariota’s struggles are due to lingering injuries or poor play calling. What is clear is that the Mularkey is afraid to let Mariota air it out.
Mularkey coaches as though he’s afraid of being fired, that apprehension isn’t going to cut it if the Titans plan to ascend to the upper echelon in the AFC. His call to end the game with a kneel down is evidence of his unwillingness to take chances.
Mariota missed a pass and on third and seven, which led to the Titans opting to take a knee. Instead of taking a shot late in the game, Mularkey took a conservative approach against a bad Colts defense. It’s possible that he believed Mariota didn’t have it that day but it’s also possible he was afraid to find out.
This brand of meek play calling suggests he won’t gamble when the situation demands. The Titans simple routes are a source of Mariota’s turnover woes, and it’s clear he still needs to figure out how to take more command of the offense. The Titans should make the playoffs but won’t get very far if their stagnant pass offense can match its stellar running game.