Marcus Mariota’s tenure as the starting QB in Atlanta is like ordering a large combo: sounds good in theory but makes you queasy when you try it.
Mariota is predictably average as a QB but when he showcases his extremes, the good is impressive and the bad is ugly.
Against the Carolina Panthers on Thursday night, things got ugly quickly: including a throw by Mariota that may be one of the worst pass attempts in NFL history.
In the second half, Mariota tried to make magic happen and heaved the ball toward the middle of the field as he went down on a sack, which ended up in the hands of a Panthers defender. A down-by-elbow call negated the interception by Mariota, but the memory of the terrible pass attempt was permanent. Falcons head coach Arthur Smith appeared dumbfounded on the sidelines.
Too much patience in the pocket, overthrows and plenty of ‘eff it’ decision-making showcased the worst of side of Mariota — in front of a primetime TNF audience.
Even Thursday Night Football analyst Richard Sherman called for Mariota to get relegated to backup duties after the atrocious showcase against Carolina. He finished with 19-of-30 passing for 186 yards, two touchdowns and an interception (two unofficial).
Unable to muster a spark of offense, Mariota and the offense trailed the entirety of the NFC South matchup and lost, 25-15, to open the path for the Tampa Bay Bucs to claim the division lead.
Mariota’s days as a starter may be numbered.