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Marcus Mariota was sacked 11 times vs. Ravens. Here’s who deserves the blame for each one

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The Titans’ loss to the Ravens was as ugly as it gets. But who came out looking the worst on the 11 sacks allowed?

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Tennessee Titans Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans offense had a miserable day against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 6. Mariota completed 10 of 15 passes for just 117 yards with no touchdowns, and his team rushed for just 55 yards, 25 of which came from Mariota. Worst of all, the Titans allowed Mariota to be sacked 11 times for a loss of 66 yards, giving him a net 51 yards passing in the 21-0 shutout.

But credit where credit is due — it wasn’t just a shoddy performance from the Titans. It was a masterful, record-setting performance from the Baltimore defense. The Ravens consistently boxed Mariota in and overwhelmed the offensive line, leading to more and more sacks as Mariota got less and less comfortable. They blitzed just about every player on defense at least once and controlled field position, and therefore, the game.

But which Titans players were really responsible for letting Mariota get sacked 11 times? As my colleague and former NFL lineman Geoff Schwartz pointed out, the blame — or credit — should really be spread around, and Mariota gets his fair share of it. After doing some extensive film study, I’ve determined the same.

Below, we’re going to go through all 11 sacks and assign blame, which we all know is the favorite pastime of any sports fan.

Sack 1: 12:01 of 1st Q, 2nd-and-6 BLT 37: Mariota sacked,-6 yards (Chris Wormley)

The first sack is pretty simple and it’s hard to pin it on anyone — Mariota was running a play action boot, and Terrell Suggs was left unblocked. Chris Wormley wound up getting the sack, but Suggs was chasing Mariota down before the quarterback could even begin to get set.

Who was at fault: Play call/design/offensive line communication

Sack 2: 11:25 of 1st Q, 3rd-and-12 BLT 43: Mariota sacked, -7 yards (Za’Darius Smith)

This is supposed to be a deeper play, but Mariota has some men running free right off the snap and if he fires one, he has a good pickup. But he doesn’t like something he sees downfield, hesitates on his throw, and then immediately has Za’Darius Smith in his face for the sack. The right guard, Josh Kline, was beat on the play, but Mariota could have done more to get the ball out faster.

Who was at fault: Mariota

Sack 3 0:08 of 1st Q, 3rd-and-18 TEN 15: Mariota sacked, -2 yards (Anthony Levine Sr.)

On this one, Mariota runs out of bounds behind the line of scrimmage to take the sack. It’s not so much that it was the wrong call, but it was very predictable. He generally prefers to roll out to that side of the field, and it caught him more than once on Sunday. His pocket was collapsing, but it was a steady collapse, and he probably could have stepped up or tried to go the other direction.

Who was at fault: Mariota

Sack 4: 9:19 of 2nd Q, 1st-and-10 BLT 37: Mariota sacked, -7 yards (Patrick Onwuasor)

The Ravens rush five on this play, and while I don’t like Mariota’s inability to make a quick decision — he looks very uncomfortable in that pocket — right tackle Jack Conklin misjudged the delayed blitz. The blame has to be on him.

Who was at fault: Conklin

Sack 5: 7:52 of 2nd Q, 3rd-and-14 BLT 40: Mariota sacked, -7 yards (Smith)

This one has to either be offensive line miscommunication or the left guard, Quinton Spain, simply being destroyed by Smith. The guard seemed to be looking at running back Dion Lewis after the snap, as though he was supposed to pick up that blitz. Mariota had no time to do anything, and fortunately for him, he managed to recover his own fumble.

Who was at fault: Offensive line miscommunication

Sack 6: 5:00 of 2nd Q, 3rd-and-10 TEN 35: Mariota sacked, -8 yards (Terrell Suggs)

Here we have another instance when Mariota is leaving the pocket too early, and running, predictably, to his right. This time he runs right into a sack. I understand not wanting to go to the dump-off option on third-and-10, but he has much more room to step to his left given the protection at the time.

Who was at fault: Mariota

Sack 7: 6:30 of 3rd Q, 3rd-and-6 TEN 29: Mariota sacked, -7 yards (Tony Jefferson)

The Ravens rush three, with two slightly delayed. Mariota, after taking six sacks, is completely uncomfortable in the pocket now. He stops looking downfield alarmingly quickly, tucks the ball and sort of stumbles around before being dropped for a loss by Tony Jefferson. It looks like the coverage was good , but the Titans had to know what defensive front they were facing on the play.

Who was at fault: Mariota

Sack 8: 1:29 of 3rd Q, 3rd-and-5 BLT 49: Mariota sacked, -3 yards (Kenny Young)

This was just an ill-advised decision by Mariota. He thinks he has room, but it’s clear he has none, and instead of stepping up and delivering the ball, he hangs onto it. He had a receiver with room deep down the middle, which you can’t see in the picture above, but the safety was several yards away. A good pass is nearly guaranteed to be caught.

Who was at fault: Mariota

Sack 9: 13:44 of 4th Q, 1st-and-10 TEN 28: Mariota sacked, -8 yards (Matthew Judon)

This one is a little strange. Mariota shouldn’t have held the ball for so long, and the running back did well to at least get a piece of Judon, but it wasn’t enough to stop him from getting to the quarterback. Mariota sets his feet and is looking to his right. It feels like he begins to tuck and stop looking downfield a little too quickly, though.

Who was at fault: Mariota and Lewis

Sack 10: 5:35 of 4th Q, 1st-and-10 TEN 11: Mariota sacked, -7 yards (Onwuasor)

Corey Levin and Taylor Lewan both give up pressure on this play, though for Levin it seems closer to miscommunication than anything else. Lewan, however, was soundly beaten on the play. Mariota once again probably held the ball too long, but it’s hard to attribute a sack like the one above to anything other than the offensive line.

Who was at fault: Lewan and Levin

Sack 11 4:11 of 4th Q, 3rd-and-11 TEN 10: Mariota sacked, -4 yards (Smith)

This one broke down just about everywhere it could. Lewan was beaten soundly off the line, and that caused Mariota to step up (to get away from safety range), and he runs into the guy that Anthony Firkser was blocking. It’s unclear if Firkser was supposed to leave his man and try to get open, but even then, another Ravens defender was still closing on Mariota.

Who was at fault: Lewan, but also pretty much everyone


To sum up, I have the offensive line being at fault for five of the sacks allowed (with play design/play-calling taking a hit on one of them). As for Mariota, he’s responsible for five of them as well, with a sixth I’ve deemed him as partially at fault for. Few Titans players came out of Sunday’s game looking good, but it was clear that, even when the offensive line blocked well, Mariota was still uncomfortable in the pocket.