Mariota takes heat for mixed performance in NFL preseason debut

Marcus Mariota / AP

As could be expected of any rookie quarterback, Marcus Mariota’s NFL preseason debut against the Falcons Friday was a mixed bag.

Despite throwing 186 passes without an interception in Tennessee Titans training camp, the Saint Louis graduate was picked off on just his third pass of the game.

The interception wasn’t his only turnover. On the next possession, Mariota was stripped, and his fumble was returned for a touchdown by the Falcons’ defense.

Outside of the two turnovers, Mariota was excellent. Overall, he completed 7 of 8 passes for 94 yards, bouncing back to lead the Titans to an 80-yard touchdown drive on his final possession of the game.

As is standard procedure, Mariota only played the first quarter and two minutes into the second frame.

Though the game doesn’t count in the standings, Mariota didn’t shy away from taking blame for handing his team an early deficit.

“Again you lose games because of turnovers and I was upset with myself because both of those I could’ve controlled.” Mariota said. “I think battling through some adversity is going to make us a better team, so for us as an offense to be able to go through that it will only make us better. We look forward to next week and we will do a better job of taking care of the football.”

The Titans will continue their preseason Sunday, Aug. 23, against the St. Louis Rams. The game will air LIVE on KHON2 at 2 p.m. HST.

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