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Preseason Week 1: Titans @ Eagles Game Thread

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6 minutes ago, abc2330 said:

Matthews was definitely better than you're giving him credit for.  He averaged close to 60 YPG and 15 YPC over a 3 year period with our current two QBs.  We'd take that in a heartbeat now.

 

But something happened to Mariota in 17, and when it did, every single position group looked worse.  You can't tell me that he was in a better position to put up good numbers in 15 than he was in 17 .  He declined significantly, and that has nothing to do with his supporting cast.

I buy that he seems to have declined some which is why I don't put all the blame on his supporting cast but  they certainly should shoulder a good bit of it. On way too many snaps there is simply nowhere to go with the ball. Whether you blame the passing scheme or the receivers, either way there is no excuse for consistently failing to get open against a defense that 8/10 times is loading up vs the run and daring you to beat them through the air.  

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30 minutes ago, Mythos27 said:

I buy that he seems to have declined some which is why I don't put all the blame on his supporting cast but  they certainly should shoulder a good bit of it. On way too many snaps there is simply nowhere to go with the ball. Whether you blame the passing scheme or the receivers, either way there is no excuse for consistently failing to get open against a defense that 8/10 times is loading up vs the run and daring you to beat them through the air.  

We're talking about a guy who hasn't even beaten the franchise season single passing yardage record of 3,500 yards.  I'm sorry if I don't buy that there was nowhere to put the ball.  It's the NFL, windows are small, and the ball often has to come out before they open.  If Brady or Big Ben are hesitating and being unproductive, then that speaks volumes about the players around them.  But for a risk-adverse, see-it spot thrower who has a tendency to bail at the threat of pressure, I assume it's because the average Joe couldn't spot an open receiver, so neither could he.

Edited by abc2330

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1 minute ago, abc2330 said:

We're talking about a guy who hasn't even beaten the franchise season single passing yardage record of 3,500 yards.  I'm sorry if I don't buy that there was nowhere to put the ball.  It's the NFL, windows are small, and the ball often has to come out before they open.  If Brady or Big Ben are hesitating and being unproductive, then that speaks volumes about the players around them.  But for a risk-adverse, see-it spot thrower, I assume it's because the average Joe couldn't spot an open receiver, so neither could he.

I do. Go watch the cut-ups that @nine posted that includes ALL-22. Sure there are a few missed opportunities but overall our receivers were getting smothered. It was bad. This idea that there were just butt naked receivers running around out there is completely false. I remember watching Jake Locker cut-ups where he'd have like two legit options and the dummy would opt to take off an run. This isn't what we have here.  

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21 minutes ago, Mythos27 said:

I do. Go watch the cut-ups that @nine posted that includes ALL-22. Sure there are a few missed opportunities but overall our receivers were getting smothered. It was bad. This idea that there were just butt naked receivers running around out there is completely false. I remember watching Jake Locker cut-ups where he'd have like two legit options and the dummy would opt to take off an run. This isn't what we have here.  

That sounds like a straw man argument to me.  And just excuses.  Mariota can exist in the league now given how soft and pro-offense that it has become.  A few decades ago, he would have been converted to WR.  He's not an NFL QB.  He can't throw into tight coverage or take a hit, like at all.

Edited by abc2330

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1 hour ago, abc2330 said:

That sounds like a straw man argument to me.  And just excuses.  Mariota can exist in the league now given how soft and pro-offense that it has become.  A few decades ago, he would have been converted to WR.  He's not an NFL QB.  He can't throw into tight coverage or take a hit, like at all.

I mean that's a nice opinion and all but I watched the plays and the receivers weren't getting open. J-Rob must have agreed because he spent good money early in FA on a receiver and then spent a 2nd rounder on another. You don't do that when your weapons are fine. The idea that Mariota's receivers have been sub par is a fact and unless you're about to do a deep dive and breakdown every passing play from the 2018 season where you believe Mariota missed an open receiver you don't really have anywhere else to go with this. 

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We always hear about great QBs "throwing a receiver open"...which obviously does happen.    But we rarely get any context with it;  we'll see clips of isolated plays and examples, but nobody really goes any further or goes into detail as to how it works.   So to educate myself,  I watched game film on some of the masters:   Brady, Rodgers, Brees.    After watching the best of the best, here are a few takeaways:

 

First....it doesn't happen very often.  Pundits would have us believe that good QBs are throwing guys open all day long and can do so at will in any situation against any coverage.....but the fact is, even the elite QBs rarely do it more than a couple times a game.     If a guy has 35-40+ attempts in.a game,  there might be 2-3 plays that qualify as "throwing the receiver open";  the other 90-95% are relatively routine throws to an open receiver.   These high-level throws happen far less often than we're led to believe.

 

One thing that jumped out at me:   when throwing a guy open, 90% of those throws target a receiver the QB knows and trusts....so rapport is obviously critical.   For example:  on plays where Brady threw a receiver open, it was almost always either Edelman or Gronk.   With Rodgers,  it was usually Davante Adams...and Brees clearly has a rapport with Michael Thomas.    

 

Now granted, we're talking about the team's top receiver.....of course they're targeted more than other receivers.    But in most cases, a true #1 WR  accounts for maybe 25-30% of his QB's overall targets.....but on plays where the QB throws the receiver open,  only 1-2 guys account for 90% of the targets.    Trust is obviously a huge factor.... it only works if the QB and receiver are on the exact same page.   (If the QB makes the throw but his receiver turns the other way...then it just looks like a bad throw.)

 

Also, there's a very, very thin line between throwing a receiver open /  throwing to a covered receiver and trusting him to make a play /  throwing into coverage.   I suspect this isn't so much about decision making....it's more about accuracy and the QB's ability to place the ball in an exact spot.   If he puts it over one shoulder, he's throwing the receiver open;   if the ball comes in over the other shoulder,  it becomes a contested catch situation.....and if the throw is way off,  the receiver has no chance.    

 

But again, the receiver plays a critical role as well.   If the QB anticipates his receiver will run a certain  route or be in a certain spot and that receiver does something different....things get real ugly, real fast.

 

The QB is obviously the most critical and visible piece, but there are several components to these plays and a ton of chemistry....everything has to fit together.   If any one piece of it breaks down, none of it works.

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2 minutes ago, nine said:

We always hear about great QBs "throwing a receiver open"...which obviously does happen.    

We also see the spare QBs "throw the receiver out of bounds". Which obviously also happens, we saw it a week ago. 

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34 minutes ago, Justafan said:

You would have to be a complete moron to believe the receivers have been good in Tennessee.  PK beats them up every single year about it.  It's a running joke at this point.  

Yea and it's a separate issue from MM's poor mechanics and inability to consistently pass the ball on routine throws. 

 

Both can be problems, one of the problems is way more of an issue 

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PSG1 was obviously a disappointment.  We all hoped to see Mariota improve on the flaws that have been issues in the past....but he obviously reinforced them.

 

Again, I’m not drawing any conclusions from a single series in a meaningless preseason game....but after having a full, healthy offseason to address those issues, his performance last week gave very little reason to be optimistic about his progress.

 

IMO, the biggest takeaway from last week is that perhaps this year’s receiving corps will help the QB out on less-than-perfect throws...not just the easy, routine catches.  

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The difference in the debate to upgrade a team is that a WR2 and WR3 can be signed easily in free agency. A QB1 is a scarce resource that rarely comes available. 

 

Titans would have been a playoff team if they signed a competent WR2 last season.  

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5 minutes ago, Downtown said:

The difference in the debate to upgrade a team is that a WR2 and WR3 can be signed easily in free agency. A QB1 is a scarce resource that rarely comes available. 

 

Titans would have been a playoff team is they signed a competent WR2 last season.  

Or a QB who wasn't nearly dead last in the red zone.

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10 hours ago, OILERMAN said:

Yea and it's a separate issue from MM's poor mechanics and inability to consistently pass the ball on routine throws. 

 

Both can be problems, one of the problems is way more of an issue 

You don't have to convince me.  If MM isn't significantly better, I'm ready to move on.  Unfortunately, camp reports sound like he's just as up and down as ever but why jump to conclusions when the honest truth is it doesn't matter what any of us think.  I'll hold out hope until I see a couple of regular-season games.  I imagine by week two at the latest I'll either be on the new QB train or I'll have reason to be optimistic because it will be very obvious.  

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7 hours ago, Justafan said:

You don't have to convince me.  If MM isn't significantly better, I'm ready to move on.  Unfortunately, camp reports sound like he's just as up and down as ever but why jump to conclusions when the honest truth is it doesn't matter what any of us think.  I'll hold out hope until I see a couple of regular-season games.  I imagine by week two at the latest I'll either be on the new QB train or I'll have reason to be optimistic because it will be very obvious.  

I think Scotty is just upset not everyone is lambasting Mariota like he is. My guess is it’s lonely when you’ve already made up your mind about a player. 

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