There’s a trend growing in Nashville, and it’s worth mentioning. This team is different from years past. This team has that next man up mentality that is necessary to be successful in the NFL. Sure, Marcus Mariota is the Titans franchise quarterback. Was he expecting to play this past game? I highly doubt it, but he came in, and he did his job. Which brings us to the star offensive Titan for week three.
Player of the Week
Come on, this one was obvious. Marcus Mariota is without a doubt the player of the week. Coming into the game, Mariota’s availability was unknown. Mariota has been suffering numbness and tingling in his hand and fingers, thus leading him to not being named the starter. That didn’t stop him from stepping up to the challenge and leading the Titans to a huge divisional road win. Mariota stepped in and completed 12 of 18 passes for 100 yards. Considering he has been dealing with numbness, that is a solid stat line. That isn’t even where Mariota was the most impactful though. Mariota took to the ground to do the damage on Sunday. Rushing the ball 7 times for 51 yards, Mariota completely changed the way the Jaguars were playing defense, and it certainly changed the outlook of the game.
A True Leader
If you had any questions about Mariota’s toughness, they should be answered now. Mariota answered the call, and then some. Perhaps his most significant run came with a 3rd and 1 run for 15 yards late in the fourth quarter. That conversion allowed the Titans to run out almost the entirety of the time remaining while clinging to a 9-6 lead. Mariota’s toughness didn’t go unnoticed. After the big win, teammates were quick to point out what Mariota’s play meant to them. Taylor Lewan was quoted saying “That’s just a wolf being a wolf….I’ll follow that man anywhere.” I’ll tell you what, if it’s one guy you want in your corner, it’s definitely Taylor Lewan. After the game, Mariota was presented the game ball by Mike Vrabel. Mariota’s toughness alone warranted the honor, let alone the fact that he led us to victory.
What Does This Mean?
This game meant a couple of things overall. Most importantly, the Titans own the Jaguars and have for a while now. That makes 3 straight victories over the Jaguars, and 5 of the last 6 as well. To be precise, it has been 639 days since the Jaguars last beat the Titans. Yeah, probably shouldn’t tell the FPC_Jaguars team that, they are a little sensitive. Secondly, the Titans are 7-1 in their last 8 divisional games played. The Titans need to find a way to muster that same performance against non-divisional foes as well. Lastly, where does this leave Mariota’s status for next weeks game? We’ve seen him play in a game now with his injury, can he suit up again and lead us? Indeed, something to keep a close eye on, especially with Gabbert suffering a concussion. The Titans are here to stay, whether people want to discuss them or not. They aren’t going anywhere, and they are demanding your attention. Maybe it’s time everyone else gets a little #TitanUp in their lives.