Zach Mettenberger brings consistency to Titans’ QB role

While Marcus Mariota is certainly the Titans' first choice, PFF explains why Zach Mettenberger is a capable replacement.

| 2 years ago
(AP Photo/James Kenney)

(AP Photo/James Kenney)

Zach Mettenberger brings consistency to Titans’ QB role

After sitting out of practice all week with a left knee injury, Marcus Mariota has been ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Falcons. Following his four-touchdown debut, Mariota has had an up and down season, grading as low as -6.1 against the Browns, and high as +3.4 against the Colts a week later.

Zach Mettenberger will be inserted as the starter this week against the Falcons. Although this may seem like a major hit to the Titans’ chances against a 5-1 team, Mettenberger should bring a steadying presence to the QB position that Mariota has not found early into his rookie season. After the Titans’ Week 9 bye last year, Mettenberger graded out no higher than +2.1, and no lower than -1.8, through Week 14, before injuring his shoulder and missing the last three games.

Although Mettenberger showed that he is slightly less accurate over those four weeks than Mariota has been this season, he was more dynamic in the deep passing game than Mariota has been in 2015. With a very close sample size of pass attempts, Mettenberger threw for three touchdowns, no interceptions and completed 50 percent of his passes over 20 yards in 2014, while Mariota has only completed 14.3 of those passes this season, with no touchdowns and three interceptions.

Mettenberger surprisingly outshone Mariota in play-action, as well, posting a 127.9 QB rating in play action passes, ranking third among NFL quarterbacks those weeks. Mariota has been average in that category this season, with a 97.3 QB rating, ranking 18th out of 36 quarterbacks.

While Mettenberger is not the Titans’ first option at QB, he doesn’t make Tennessee worse at the QB position this early into Mariota’s career. Mettenberger brings a more stable passing game that Mariota has yet to show, and can actually be more dynamic in some areas—such as play action and in the deep passing game—which could help the Titans to steal one at home against the Falcons.

  • McGeorge

    If Mettenberger is as good as you say (do you say he’s a solid Tier 2 QB?), then why haven’t the Titans traded him for a 1st or 2nd round pick?

    Plenty of teams would be more than happy to have a completely average starting QB. The 49ers for one. The Jets. Maybe the Bills. The Redskins. And there are others.

    • David Jackson

      the bills have tyrod taylor

      • McGeorge

        The book is still out on him. Tyrod Taylor looks ok, but lets see how he does aver a full year.
        And I’d rather a Tier 2 QB than EJ Manuel.

  • Bill Doerr

    As a Cardinals fan I really, really like QB Zach Mettenberger. I actually wanted & thought Arizona was going to draft him in round 4-5 , instead we drafted Logan Thomas. I think Mettenberger can be a good starting QB if developed properly , which coming from a Cardinal fan , Ken Whisenhunt cannot do.
    Unless the Cardinals end up drafting a QB late in the 1st round or in the 2nd round of the upcoming 2016 draft , if they don’t draft a QB I wouldn’t mind sending say a 4th round pick to TEN for Zach Mettenberger. Once Bruce Arians & Tom Moore got their hands on him, they could mold him into a really good QB in Arians system that uses a lot of play action n deep passes which are Mettenbergers strengths. Mettenberger could sit behind Carson Palmer for the next 3 years or so until Palmer retires , and by the time Mettenberger took over he would be more than ready !!!