1. Why Marcus Mariota opted to leave the team before season's end
When Arthur Smith benched Mariota and made it clear the team was moving forward with Desmond Ridder, Marcus cited an injury and left the team never returning to the field. The way that Mariota left the team was an offense to some fans that believed the veteran quarterback should have done a better job sticking with the team that gave him a chance and support Ridder.
While Mariota clearly made an odd decision there are two factors here that likely played into the veteran leaving the team. The first is the birth of Mariota's child and the obvious want to spend time with family during a very important time. The second is Mariota dealing with the blow of his career as a starter likely being over.
Third chances as a starting quarterback after a poor level of play in this league are beyond rare. While these are valid reasons it is still not a great look for Mariota to walk away from Arthur Smith and the team that gave him a second chance. Perhaps this series will give us an inside look into the reasoning behind it and ease Atlanta Falcons fans on how Mariota's time with the team ended.