This is part 2 of my breakdown of every deep throw from Marcus Mariota in 2018. You can see part 1 here.
What happened: Batson is well covered with the safety help over the top on this throw. Mariota does a good job throwing the ball closer to the sideline to avoid the safety, but he just overthrows Batson.
What happened: Look at the way Marcus goes through his progressions on this play. He starts on the right side of the field and quickly works his way back to Corey Davis on the left side. He also steps up in the pocket and scrambles to find more time. Great ball placement while throwing on the run and nice awareness to throw the ball before passing the line of scrimmage.
Result: 24 yard completion to Corey Davis.
What happened: This is an excellent throw outside the numbers by Mariota. Look at what he is able to do with some time in the pocket. He hits Tajae out and away from the cornerback on this out and up route. It doesn’t get much better than this with ball placement, as he gives Tajae a chance to make a play on the ball. However, Tajae is unable to come down with it.
Result: Incompletion dropped by Tajae Sharpe.
What happened: This is Mariota’s second best deep ball pass of the season. He gets some nice touch on the ball to loft it over Stephon Gilmore. Corey Davis creates separation on his route and fights through the pass interference from Stephon Gilmore to catch the touchdown pass.
Result: 23 yard touchdown to Corey Davis.
What happened: Mariota overthrows Davis on this attempt. However, it does look like Stephon Gilmore was grabbing onto Davis at the end of his route that may have slowed Davis down and caused the overthrow.
What happened: Excellent throw outside the numbers again from Mariota. Great placement by Marcus to fit this ball away from the safety, but still inside the boundary. Batson has the awareness to tap his toes and make sure he stays in bounds.
Result: 25 yard completion to Cameron Batson.
What happened: On this attempt, Marcus throws with great anticipation and timing. Notice how the ball is already out of his hands before Corey Davis makes his break towards the sideline. This is a sign of great QB-WR chemistry.
Result: 21 yard completion to Corey Davis.
What happened: After setting up the out route in the previous attempt, Corey Davis is then able to burn his defender with the second move by running a crisp out and up route. Another great ball placement from Marcus here. Places it above the corner, but out and away from the middle safety. Then after the catch, Davis makes one cut and takes it to the house for a touchdown.
Result: 48 yard touchdown to Corey Davis.
What happened: Marcus overthrows Taywan Taylor on this deep post route. This is similar to his miss against the Ravens earlier in the season. Taywan had his man beat for a touchdown on this attempt.
What happened: Marcus finally connects with Taywan on this long bomb to redeem himself for the previous miss. Taylor uses his speed to burst right past the corner on this “go” route. Taylor then does a nice job to stack on top of the corner and track the ball over his shoulder. This time Marcus is able to drop it right into Taylor’s hands.
Result: 44 yard completion to Taywan Taylor.
What happened: Mariota finds Taywan again streaking across the field. Marcus shuffles to the right to evade the pressure, resets his feet, and fires an accurate pass to Taylor for a huge gain. Again, Taywan uses his tremendous speed to run right past the safety.
Result: 55 yard completion to Taywan Taylor.
What happened: On this attempt, you can see Marcus scrambles away to escape the pressure from the interior. However unlike the previous attempt, he fails to reset his feet and throws off his back foot. This leads to the ball being underthrown to a well covered Tajae Sharpe.
What happened: Another Taywan drop. Taywan did everything perfectly here, except make the catch. He burns Jalen Ramsey with his route and deep speed. Although Marcus slightly underthrew this ball, I still thought Taylor should have came down with this one. It is hard to determine the accuracy of this throw, but ultimately if the ball is able to touch both hands of the receiver, I think that it should be considered an accurate throw.
Result: Incompletion dropped by Taywan Taylor.
What happened: Marcus avoids the pass rush and steps up in the pocket, but again overthrows a double covered Taywan Taylor in the endzone.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised at how good Marcus was at throwing the deep ball this past season. Early on in the season, his receivers struggled mightily with drops, as we saw 6 dropped passes on these attempts. However despite his injuries and the drops, Marcus was very efficient throwing the deep ball.
According to my charting, Marcus was accurate on 18/28 (64.3%) of his deep ball attempts. However, he was only able to complete 11/28 (39.3%) of the attempts. His deep ball attempts accounted for 387 passing yards, 2 touchdowns, and only 1 interception (blame it on the injury) this past season.
Looking forward, I hope that Arthur Smith will be able to maximize Mariota’s strength of throwing the deep ball and that we will be able to see more attempts, especially as he gets healthy. With the additions of Adam Humphries, AJ Brown, and a healthy Delanie Walker to catch passes underneath, this should in theory open up more opportunities down the field for Taywan Taylor and Corey Davis. According to an article from Jim Wyatt, it seems like Marcus is already connecting on the deep ball during the OTA.
Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota started practice off with a bang, connecting with receiver Taywan Taylor on a 50-yard bomb right out of the gate in a team period. Taylor managed to get past cornerback Malcolm Butler on the play.
Hopefully, the revitalization of Derrick Henry and the running game, the plethora of new receiving options, and a new and improved offensive line will lead to a much more explosive and well-rounded offense next season. Let’s just hope that Marcus can finally stays healthy.
If you guys want to watch each deep ball attempt again, I’ve compiled them all into this Youtube video. Enjoy!