Marcus Mariota Won’t Be Dropped For Poor Falcons Run
Atlanta Falcons head coach Arthur Smith deflected attention away from embattled quarterback Marcus Mariota after Thursday night’s loss to Carolina.
The 25-15 defeat was their second straight after falling to the Los Angeles Chargers the previous week.
Marcus Mariota visibly struggled as the Falcons got off to a bad start on Thursday. His sloppy interception to Jaycee Horn was the catalyst for the Panthers’ 13-0 start.
Atlanta and Marcus Mariota never recovered. The signal caller finished with 19-of-30 passing for 186 yards, two touchdowns and a 89.0 rating.
Want $250 to bet on NFL Week 10?
Not horrible numbers, but Mariota admits he got himself into trouble by trying too hard.
“I was just trying to create a spark, and I think looking throughout my career, that’s when I give myself the most trouble, you know, ill-advised throws, forcing things down the field,” he said. “So just maybe scrambling, gain a few yards, and keep the chains moving.”
Mariota’s woes have led to calls for rookie Desmond Ridder to replace him under center. Arthur Smith, though, thinks scapegoating the quarterback position would be missing the point.
“I know that’s a popular narrative, those are the easy questions to ask,” Smith said. “But as a whole team, we’ve got to do a better job, starting with myself. So, we look every week to make sure we’ve got the right guys in the right spots.”
“You can make it about the quarterback, how ’bout about the team?” Smith said. “We had an opportunity at the end of the fourth quarter the last two weeks, and a lot of different ways, and a lot of different phases where we’ve got to get better. And we’ve got an opportunity to do that with seven games left.”