Ranking AFC South Units: Quarterbacks
By Josh McSwain
Here is how the quarterbacks in the AFC South stack up against one another:
This is not an insult to Marcus Mariota, who played well last season despite not having much help from his offensive line; running for his life most of the time and thus not getting much from the running game. It also didn’t help he was missing almost all of his best receivers at one point or another last year. He showed himself to be accurate, at least in the short passing game last year.
While he had the highest completion percentage of the four presumptive starters in the division at 62.2% last season, he didn’t make many throws down the field; mainly because they had nobody to take the top off of the defense. When he came out of Oregon I was skeptical, thinking he was a product of a system. But he proved me wrong.
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He has a bright future in the NFL, and could very well be the next great dual threat quarterback. His 87 yard touchdown run against the Jaguars was the longest of the season in the NFL last year.
They released Zach Mettenberger this offseason and signed journeyman Matt Cassel, who failed last year in Dallas. Teams want to have “experienced backups” but that doesn’t always mean good ones. That is the case in Tennessee.
Considering Mariota runs around a lot, I would imagine there is a decent chance that he could miss a game or two. While he had a very good rookie year considering the lack of talent around him, as the saying goes your best ability is your availability. Their backup situation is not ideal should Mariota miss time, which lands them in the cellar here.