June 21, 2024

Mariota Monday: Don’t be rude while I’m asleep

Marcus Mariota is the future of the Titans, right? Maybe it was all just a dream.

The best thing about living by myself? I can go to bed whenever I want and can wake up anytime I want. Sure, there are times where I sleep in a little too much, leaving me with only a few precious moments to get myself ready for class. And by getting ready, I mean realizing how awful my hair is, putting on a shirt I have worn four days in a row, hiding my hair underneath a beanie, and roaming like a zombie to campus.

Those are the moments where my mom really came in handy.

However, after a long week of classes, I just want to sleep and stay asleep as long as I possibly can to put off reality.

I feel like I can relate to the average 2014 Tennessee Titan football fan in this regard. After a 2-14 season, reality was a nightmare for Titan fans; a nightmare full of inept quarterback play, zero blocking and a defense with more holes than Camp Green Lake. If I were a fan, I would have slept through the season.

After last week’s 42-14 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the nightmare appeared to be over.

Marcus Mariota’s debut was historic. 13 completions on 16 attempts. 209 passing yards. Four first-half touchdowns. A perfect passer rating. This is Tennessee’s dream quarterback in the flesh! No way the Johnny Manziel-led Cleveland Browns could bring the team down.

Yet, what the Browns did to Mariota during the Titans’ 28-14 loss was a rude awakening, an awakening that proved that Titan Nation might have been dreaming when they proclaimed they have found their guy.

It was a nightmare on offense, especially for the offensive line, who let the Browns defense chase Mariota like monsters. After a week in which Mariota displayed such poise in the pocket, he was often horrified of the swirling chaos, resulting in seven sacks and three fumbles, two of which were lost. Mariota was often inaccurate, completing 21 of his 37 passes. These performances are not abnormal for rookies, but it brings up an interesting question:

Was week one an indication of things to come, or did week two prove that it was simply a good dream?

While I do appreciate a good dream and a good night’s sleep, I also know that eventually I must awake to reality, and the unfortunate reality for the Titans is that Mariota has plenty of work to do before he can be proclaimed as the Titans’ dream quarterback.

I know it sucks to be awoken from a good dream where everything is going perfectly, especially in such a rude manner. But Titan Nation, if you thought that Mariota was the definitive savior of the franchise based solely off of one game, you were dreaming.

Edited by Cody McClure

“Mariota Monday” is a Titans opinion column written by Tennessee Journalist sports writer David Bradford. The Tennessee Journalist does not necessarily agree with the viewpoints expressed in this column.