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Both Marcus Mariota and Corey Davis excelled at 3rd down conversions in 2018

Bet you didn’t see this coming, right?

NFL: New York Jets at Tennessee Titans Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

While we all want for the Super Bowl, there’s only so much news to pass around during the break. Fortunately, there’s a lot of unique stats out there to break down that deserve their own articles, like this one.

Not every Titans fan may know this, but Marcus Mariota and Corey Davis were both superb at converting 3rd downs. 3rd down, as we know, is generally the most critical, intense down, deciding if you’re punting the ball away, kicking a field goal, or keeping the drive alive (Then again, everyone’s going for it on fourth down now).

Mariota finished fifth in 3rd down conversion percentage on pass plays in 2018, converting 45 of 97 3rd down passing opportunities. His 46.4% conversion percentage on 3rd down only trailed Patrick Mahomes (51.6% on 64/124 attempts), James Winston (50.6% on 42/83 attempts), Andrew Luck (49.3% on 80/162 attempts), and Matt Ryan (48.6% on 72/148 attempts). Mariota’s sample size is smaller than the rest of the QBs in the top five due to an injury shortened season, but his ability to convert pass plays on critical downs was essential in keeping the Titans’ playoff hopes alive.

On the receiving side of things, Corey Davis also excelled in moving the chains, finished tied for eighth with Mike Evans in first down catches on 3rd down with 20 of those. Davis finished behind Julio Jones (24), Michael Thomas (23), Tyler Boyd and DeAndre Hopkins (22), and TY Hilton, Travis Kelce and Adam Thielen (21). That’s elite company to trail, and that shows the growth Davis displayed in his second season in the league.

Incredibly, Mariota also finished second in 3rd and long conversion percentage (8 yards or more), converting on 47.2% (17/36) of his 3rd and long pass plays, trailing Winston (50.0, 19/38). Despite a year where his raw stats were pedestrian, Mariota’s ability to convert 3rd downs and keep drives going was as good as any other QB in 2018.

You can find and customize the stats mentioned in this piece here. If you want to see all of Mariota’s drop backs on 3rd and 4th down, Music City Miracles’ very own Justin Graver went into complete detail and released a video of that that you can find here.