Thoughts on Marcus Mariota and more from Patriots 22, Titans 17

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Marcus Mariota was just fine Saturday evening in a 22-17 preseason Titans loss to the Patriots.

But it seemed Titans’ Twitter wanted to throw a parade for his six-of-nine, 63-yard, one TD effort with a 2-point conversion run that scared the hell out of everyone as it ended with a flip forced by Duron Harmon’s low hit to initiate the tackle.MariotaPatriots19

I think fans of the team and its starting quarterback have felt under siege lately and pounced on anything that might counter that.

The siege was uncalled for as was the celebration of a performance I’d hope for from any quality NFL starter in Week 2 of the preseason. [Unlocked]

He hit Darius Jennings for 5 yards and connected on a play-action pass with Delanie Walker in an in-breaking route into the middle of the field with a throw that was just a touch behind the sliding tight end.

Corey Davis dropped one on Mariota at the sideline but got open for him in the middle on this play that synced up with quality protection for a 20-yard gain.

Mariota connection with Dion Lewis for 9 yards on a pass the running back had to jump for but still gained 6 yards with after the catch. A pass to Jeremy McNichols yielded 3 yards.

The 11-yard touchdown pass to Delanie Walker took up back to a safe, familiar and productive place.

I’d prefer the get in at all-cost mentality be saved for when the payoff has some regular-season consequences.

Adam Humphries dressed but didn’t play. A.J. Brown played but didn’t have a catch, hit biggest moment resulting in a 27-yard pass interference penalty that set up Walker’s touchdown.

A solid QB effort. The variety I’d expect. Not the sort I’d be raving about.

A few other notes and thoughts:

1) Rodger Saffold’s first preseason moment of note came when he got completely bowled over by fifth-rounder Byron Coward out of Maryland, who then sacked Mariota.

2) Adoree’ Jackson let a punt bounce – shocking I know – and it gave away yards – shocking I know. Every time the topic is raised with him he’s so casual and unconcerned about it. He seems to think his approach is fine. I know one easy way to solve it, and it’s to stop thinking he’s the guy to gain the Titans yards instead of one who’s going to semi-regularly give away unseen yardage.

A fair catch there is a win.

3) I wondered how much things from practice would translate into the game. Mariota basically tossed away a screen the Pats had sniffed out. And I thought Logan Ryan recognized the route Braxton Berrios was running that the corner undercut for an early interception. Which he confirmed after the game.

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4) Why can’t Harold Landry play a couple of preseason snaps? He's practiced regularly so he stands out on the "did not play" list that is filled with guys who've been missing hurt (like Derrick Henry, David Fluellen and Nate Davis), who get a lot of veteran days off (Cam Wake) or are a combo platter (Jurrel Casey).

5) Mike Vrabel took a flier with a challenge on a non-pass interference call at the end of the Titans’ first series when Nashville’s own Joejuan Williams broke up a pass for Davis. The non-call on the field stood, as replay indicated it should have. He said he didn't have a chance to challenge in Philadelphia and needs to now to help educate everyone, including him, on the process.

6) The Titans got what they deserved from a backup punter when they had Austin Barnard attempt a 41-yard field goal in the third quarter. A miss.

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