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The defining stat of 2014 for the Tennessee Titans

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Why Marcus Mariota was a necessity.

Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

So this one is ugly. This stat from PFF is probably the biggest indicator of why the Tennessee Titans 2014 season went so poorly.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Titans QBs were to blame for 45% of the team’s incomplete passes in 2014 (off-target throws, etc.), highest mark in the league.</p>&mdash; Pro Football Focus (@PFF) <a href="https://twitter.com/PFF/status/612312236372135937">June 20, 2015</a></blockquote>
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45%, that is a huge number by any metric. That sort of hole in an offense makes everything run much less smooth. When your quarterback is throwing like that, you have to simplify the offense to make it easier on him. The more simple the offense is, the easier it is for defenses to key in on what you are doing. In the NFL, if a defense can figure you out earlier, and you don't have elite players like Tom Brady or Peyton Manning executing the simple playbook perfectly then you are just out of luck.

Sam Morton brought up another interesting stat that not only explains why Zach Mettenberger and Charlie Whitehurst needed to be backups, perhaps even more than the previous one. Not only were the Titans quarterbacks throwing terrible passes to everyone, but one wide receiver in particular suffered more than the rest: Justin Hunter.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Justin Hunter not happy about Mariota? Hunter led NFL in uncatchable targets (40.3%) K.Wright is 12th <a href="http://t.co/U9jj40MfzZ">http://t.co/U9jj40MfzZ</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/jwyattsports">@jwyattsports</a></p>&mdash; Scott Kacsmar (@FO_ScottKacsmar) <a href="https://twitter.com/FO_ScottKacsmar/status/596763759722508288">May 8, 2015</a></blockquote>
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That means that Justin Hunter caught 28 passes on 68 targets in 2014, which is a 41% success rate. However, if you include the 40.3% or his targets that were uncatchable, it means that he caught 28 of 41 "catchable" passes which shoots his rate of success way up from 41% to 68%.

While 68% doesn't seem like a great number, you have to remember that Justin Hunter will likely never be a true #1 receiver in the NFL. However, his skill set lends itself to being a very good deep target. With Hunter going deep, and Kendall Wright over the middle (whose adjusted catch rate is 88%), this offense should have some options all over the field if Marcus Mariota is as accurate as everyone believes.

Not only will those two be much more effective, but Delanie Walker (82% adjusted catch rate) and Dorial Green-Beckham should also add some punch to this offense.

While there are several reasons that the Tennessee Titans struggled in 2014, but maybe the biggest was inaccuracy at the quarterback position. If the Titans can get that problem fixed, don't be surprised if a lot of the other issues don't snap into place as well.