It’s safe to say we all have jumped fully on board with the Marcus Mariota era in Tennessee, and have thoroughly enjoyed his performances. So it was a great shame to see him go down in Week 15 to another MCL sprain, which has already kept him out of two games this year. The rookie missed weeks seven and eight to that same injury he suffered in the home blow-out vs the Miami Dolphins
Although there are conflicting reports as to whether Mariota is done for the season, it would be surprising if the Tennessee Titans risk their franchise quarterback for the last game of the season. Some Titans fans are unhappy with Mettenberger being the starter to close out the season, but it may not be all that bad. Let’s take a look at how Mettenberger has performed so far this season, and what this might mean for the remainder of a Titans season that started with so much promise.
Zach Mettenberger played at Nissan Stadium vs the Atlanta Falcons, and down in Houston vs the Texans. In the 10-7 loss to Atlanta, Zach threw for 187 yards. He had the only TD for the Titans, but however, he tossed two picks. He struggled to move the offense, compared to how Mariota showed he could, and never seemed comfortable, even when facing a rather underwhelming defense. He still had a chance to win the game, but unfortunately threw his second interception on the final drive, which ended all hope in Nashville. In his second start of the season, he threw 171 yards, one interception, and lost a fumble. Once again Mettenberger struggled. He was sacked seven times, constantly humiliated by his on-field rival J.J. Watt.
Yet, Mettenberger seemed like a different man when he took the field against the New England Patriots. A man with the weight of a team on his shoulders. He played more aggressively and showed more confidence with the offense. That allowed the team to move up the field more regularly, which was a stark contrast from earlier this season. He finished with a completion percentage of 71.4%, and passed for 242 yards and 2 touchdowns. Mettenberger did throw two interceptions, but it could have been so many more as there were several inexcusable throws, which could have ended a lot worse for the Titans.
In the final two games, it would be great to see exactly what we saw from Mettenberger in week 15: aggressive and relaxed play with some confidence. He should go out on the field and be patient and go for plays. He needs to play like he deserves to be the starting quarterback for an NFL team. He is bound to make mistakes. The Titans have nothing to play for but pride and hope to take into 2016