3 Things the Atlanta Falcons learned about Mariota in blowout loss
By Nick Halden
2. Mariota cannot pass from the pocket
There were two plays in particular that stood out for Mariota on Sunday with both ending with the quarterback being sacked. The Bengals’ defense clearly was bringing the blitz and Mariota stepped up to his line to make adjustments clearly seeing what anyone at home was able to the Bengals were coming after the Atlanta quarterback.
With this in mind, Mariota took the snap and stood in the pocket staring at his receivers unable to make a quick decision of forcing the issue with Atlanta down big or simply deciding to throw the ball away. Instead, Mariota stood in the pocket staring his receivers down until the rush got home and put him on the turf.
This is something that repeated itself within the game and has happened far too often for the Atlanta quarterback this season. Mariota isn’t a pocket passer or anything close unable to make quick decisions or to feel the rush and throw the ball away. He stands far too long in the pocket even when his receivers are open allowing the coverage to catch up or the pass rush to end the play. As great of an athlete as Mariota is he lacks the most important trait for a quarterback and that is elite decision-making.