It’s been a bittersweet ending for Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans. The team made the AFC Championship for the first time since 2000, but Mariota played a part in this at the expense of Ryan Tannehill, who took over for good after the first six games of the season.
And since Mariota will no doubt find a new team in the offseason with the expiration of his rookie contract, I thought we’d have time for one last article on the former 2015 second overall pick. If you are familiar with my work, you probably know that I am the creator of The Deep Ball Project, which takes a look at the downfield accuracy of all quarterbacks on throws of at least 21 yards or more in the air.
Like previous years I was able to chart Mariota’s deep passing accuracy. In 2017 he ranked in the top five in accuracy percentage, while ranking seventh in 2018. The accuracy numbers for all quarterbacks aren’t up yet, but it doesn’t matter anyway since Mariota doesn’t have enough deep attempts (11 this season) to qualify.
What I can do, however, is compare his stats from 2018 to his stats from 2019, so let’s get down to it.
Mariota’s total deep accuracy in 2018 was 53.57% (15/28), good enough for 7th among all quarterbacks that year. In 2019 it actually climbed slightly to 54.55% (6/11). but with 17 less deep passes than in all of 2018. As he only played in six games this makes sense, but again makes it look less impressive.
In 2018, Mariota’s yardage total came to 387 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception. That total in 2019 was 175 yards, 0 touchdowns and 1 interception.
Now let’s compare his accuracy on all distances (21-25, 26-30, 31-35, 36-40, 41+)
21-25: (2018, 4/7, 57.14%) (2019, 3/5, 60.0%)
26-30: (2018, 3/8, 37.5%) (2019, 2/3, 60.0%)
31-35: (2018, 2/3, 66.67%) (2019, 0/1, 0.0%)
36-40: (2018, 0/1, 0.0%) (2019, 1/2, 50.0%)
41+: (2018, 6/9, 66.67%), 2019, N/A)
As you can see some of Mariota’s distance accuracy numbers actually improved in 2019, but at the cost of smaller sample sizes. And yes, Mariota threw zero passes of 41+ yards this season as well, as the limited number of games he started never gave him a chance to.
Next, let’s measure his accuracy to certain areas of the field (Left, Middle, And Right).
Left: (2018, 6/14, 42.86%) (2019, 2/3, 66.67%)
Middle: (2018, 6/7, 85.71%) (2019, 1/4, 25.0%)
Right: (2018, 3/7, 42.86%) (2019, 3/4, 75.0%)
As with the distance numbers, Mariota’s accuracy throwing to his left and right improved over his 2018 numbers, but his middle accuracy actually got worse despite less attempts. Or is it because of less attempts?
Next let’s look at how Mariota’s accuracy fared in clean pockets and under pressure.
Clean: (2018, 12/20, 60.0%) (2019, 5/9, 55.56%)
Pressure: (2018, 3/8, 37.5%) (2019, 1/2, 50.0%)
If anything this is why Mariota will not qualify for the 2019-20 Deep Ball Project. He only attempted 2 passes out of 11 total under pressure, so the sample size is way too small.
Finally, let’s look at how Mariota compared throwing to both Open Windows and Tight Windows
Open Windows: (2018, 7/12, 58.33%) (2019, 5/7, 71.43%)
Tight Windows: (2018, 8/16, 50.0%) (2019, 1/4, 25.0%)
There actually is enough of a sample size for Mariota’s open window throws to compare his accuracy from 2019 to 2018. And this was an area where Mariota improved in. He had his struggles hitting open receivers in shorter areas of the field, but surprisingly that was not the case for deep passes. Unfortunately his accuracy into tight windows was cut in half.
Overall, there were areas where Mariota improved and regressed in terms of accuracy, but with only 11 total passes he will not qualify for deep charting. With that said, how do you feel about the numbers? Do they surprise you in terms of quantity available or were they expected? Give us your thoughts in the comment section below!