I don't think anyone was too excited about the hire of Mike Mularkey. To be fair, how could you? He was a twice failed head coach taking over a bad football team and was now responsible for the development of Marcus Mariota. Most of us wrote him off immediately, myself included. But now, here we are -- middle of Novemeber -- and the Titans are in contention for a playoff spot, fresh off a blowout of the Green Bay Packers.
What's been the difference? It's simple. The Titans offense is one of the best in the NFL.
The Tennessee Titans led by Mike Mularkey are 2nd in the NFL in total yards and 4th in total points.— Ian Kenyon (@IanKenyonNFL) November 14, 2016
Since the Miami game, the offense has been cookin'. Marcus Mariota is playing lights out. Many in the national media felt like Mularkey and offensive coordinator Terry Robiskie would "ruin" Mariota with their throwback approach. It's been just the opposite.
The staff has adapted and is dialing up big plays based off the threat of the outstanding rushing attack. They're letting Marcus attack down the field with one on one coverage created by the defense's fear of the Titans rushing attack. They're letting Mariota work from the gun. They're letting him work in the no-huddle. They're allowing him to use his athletic ability. It's been fun and surprising to watch them adapt so well.
Instead of ruining Mariota, this staff has actually maximized Mariota.
Over the last 6 weeks, Mariota is 1st in TD passes, 2nd in QB rating (119.0), 4th in completion %, and 5th in Y/A.— Superhorn (@Super_Horn) November 14, 2016
Can this wave of offense last? We'll see. But Mike Mularkey -- along with some help from Jon Robinson -- has this team competitive again. A top flight NFL quarterback certainly doesn't hurt.
Is Mularkey the final answer? Again, we'll see. This is easily the best situation that he's ever been placed in as a head coach. He's got his quarterback and a top shelf offensive line. A couple more blue chippers on defense and the Titans could actually be set up for a nice little run over the next decade -- thanks to Marcus Mariota and this offensive coaching staff.