Whenever he's back in action, Marcus Mariota's got to be better

mdi construction barHOUSTON – When Marcus Mariota returns from his hamstring injury, whether it’s Sunday in Miami or later, he’s simply got to play better.

The mechanical issues have been too frequent and through four games he’s hit 60 percent of his throws with three touchdown passes and three interceptions.

On the two picks to Andre Hal in Sunday’s 57-14 drubbing by the Texans, he didn’t step into either throw and saw the bail sail high – a common problem this season and one he and the Titans seem unable to address and get fixed from series to series or game to game.

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Fun responding to overreactive Titans' Tweets

mdi construction barHOUSTON – Fun with overreaction tweets.

PK: Take away his rookie year when Matt Hasselbeck was the starter, and Jake Locker started 52 percent of his games. Marcus Mariota has started 86 percent. Not close to the same Not close.

PK: Ridiculous. He’s not the world’s greatest coach by any means. He’s done a good job with this team. You want not just the coach but his staff fired? So who exactly would coach the team? All those great coaches out on the street unemployed.MDI 2

PK: They were coming off consecutive wins. You think he’s lost the locker room over one game? Really?

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Titans should have had Logan Ryan on DeAndre Hopkins

mdi construction barHOUSTON – Rather than anticipating, adjusting and dictating a key element of Sunday’s game, the Titans stuck with a plan they found sufficient through three games.


The result of their approach to covering Houston’s DeAndre Hopkins was a disaster that symbolized their horrific day and a 57-14 loss.

After they revamped their starting cornerbacks by signing free agent Logan Ryan and drafting Adoree’ Jackson in the first round, Mike Mularkey said he expected there to be times when the team used Ryan on a bigger, mo

re physical guy and Jackson on a smaller, quicker receiver.

This was the first game for the Titans this season where the starting wideouts so clearly fit that sort of size/style split.

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With pitiful performance, Titans raise major doubts

mdi construction barHOUSTON – The Titans can give us some context starting in about 10 minutes when Mike Mularkey talks to the press and locker room doors open for reporters.MDI 2

But they can’t say anything that steers us away from the obvious: Sunday at NRG Stadium was a complete disaster, with failures on every imaginable level.

The 57-14 beat down by Houston leaves the Titans at 2-2 a quarter into the season, same as the Texans who have the same record and a leg up thanks to the head-to-head result.

Tennessee beat Jacksonville and Seattle; Houston beat Cincinnati and Tennessee and lost to Jacksonville.

It’s a bit circular.

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Marcus Mariota out with a hamstring injury

mdi construction barHOUSTON – A miserable game took a bad turn when the Titans suffered yet another hamstring injury, this one to Marcus Mariota.

With 6:51 on the clock in the third period and the Titans down 23 points, Matt Cassel entered the game at quarterback, replacing Mariota who was announced as questionable to return.

It was the first possession the Titans had in the second half. Mariota went to the locker room during the Texans long drive to open the third quarter.MDI 2

He and the passing game were horrible while he was in.

He connected on just six of 10 passes with two interceptions to safety Andre Hall. The completions got the Titans 96 yards and Mariota earned a 52.5 passer rating, Again, he looked off mechanically, throwing sailing passes after failing to step into them.

He ran four times for 39 yards including a 34-yard sprint up the middle and a 2-yard dive to the pylon for the team’s two touchdowns.

The Titans have been hurt by hamstring injuries this season. Johnathan Cyprien and Corey Davis remained out Sunday with hamstring issues. DeMarco Murray also missed a good share of the preseason because of one.

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Mailbag: Do the Titans have a playoff-caliber defense?

Happy Saturday. First if you missed the Friday Periscope/ Facebook Live you are forgiven and may catch up here.

On to some mail:

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Personnel people: Quick view of Titans and Texans

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – I texted this week with two personnel men from other teams asking if they rate the Titans as better than the Texans at this point and to what degree.Together

“It's going to come down to can TEN OL win vs HST DL/ which QB plays the best,” wrote the first. “Can HST OL give their QB time may be the biggest question of them all. I lean TEN.”

Said the second: “Titans playing more consistently on defense & have offensive identity established. Obviously when u know who ur qb is, you progress more quickly. Ten ol significantly better.”

They are saying just what you’d expect going into this game.

The question is will they be saying the same after it.

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