What changed for Marcus Mariota between Weeks 1 and 2
After Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota’s excellent Week 1 performance in which he threw for four touchdowns and produced a perfect passer rating (even though he earned a more modest, but still impressive, +2.3 PFF game grade), he struggled in Tennessee’s loss to the Browns, recording a -5.7 grade – the third-lowest in the NFL for Week 2.
What was the difference in his performance? (And what can we expect for Week 3 versus the Colts?) Most likely, it had to do with playing from behind on the scoreboard instead of in front of it.
He was pressured only slightly more (41.3 percent of throws, versus 36 percent) against the Browns, but he apparently felt the need to force things more due to his team being down. In the first game he had eight positive throws and three negative throws out of 16 total (19 percent negative). Against the Browns, the ratio changed to 14 positive throws and 13 negatives throws out of 37 total (35 percent negative). It wasn’t an issue of him not making enough good throws – it’s just that he had too many poor ones.
One other note: In Week 1, Mariota never attempted a pass of 20-plus yards, while in Week 2 he went 0-for-7 on 20-plus-yard throws (although he did have on pass dropped).
In other words, his Week 1 victory probably looked a little more impressive in the box score than it was in reality, and his struggles in Week 2 were more a product of his having to force the issue with his team trailing.