2. Second half Marcus Mariota
It is important to note here that Marcus Mariota has been objectively bad for most of the season. Missing throws high and consistently turning the ball over. However, after falling behind 21-0 Atlanta called the run game and screens to help get Mariota going and it worked. A touchdown pass to Olamide and big plays in the second half helped the Atlanta offense wake up and pull within six late in the fourth.
While this team still needs to see what they have in rookie Desmond Ridder sooner than later Mariota likely bought himself another start or two with his second-half surge. Making big-time throws to Drake London and Olamide, Mariota did enough to give Atlanta a chance to win this game.
If not for the aforementioned call on Grady Jarrett it wouldn’t have been shocking to see Mariota complete the comeback and continue his improved second half. If the Mariota that showed up in the second half can play at that level every week Atlanta is going to have a chance to win every week not because of their quarterback but simply because he isn’t hurting them as Mariota has done in the second half of each of Atlanta’s first four games.