3 Things the Atlanta Falcons learned about Mariota in blowout loss
By Nick Halden
1. Arthur Smith doesn’t trust Marcus Mariota
Whether or not Arthur Smith is ready to make a change at the quarterback position doesn’t indicate whether or not he fully trusts his veteran quarterback. Down three scores with Kyle Pitts and Drake London on the roster and your best running back injured what does Atlanta choose to do? Predictably they ran the ball showing zero faith in Mariota to run a passing attack and keeping their complete focus on the ground game mixing in occasional passes to keep the defense honest.
Mariota finished 8/13 for 124-yards and a touchdown in a game in which his team was often behind by at least three scores. In a game in which the defense was daring Atlanta to throw the ball and they were behind the entire game, Mariota managed to throw the ball for 124-yards with 75-yards coming on one deep shot to Byrd.
If you don’t count the one end of half deep shot Mariota was unable to get to 50-yards passing in a game in which the defense was begging Arthur Smith to take shots and trust his receivers. The problem wasn’t the Atlanta receivers who had no problem finding open space but the veteran quarterback who obviously is unable to run a college passing offense with Atlanta’s only path to victory clearly in their ground game and defense.