Atlanta Falcons quarterback Marcus Mariota rose the highest on the latest QB Index from NFL.com.
That news will be little solace to Mariota and Falcons fans who saw two costly mistakes from Mariota contribute to a(nother) 4th-quarter collapse… this time against the Saints.
To be fair, fewer quarterbacks could move higher than Mariota considering he started 29th on the initial index, a spot we predicted he wouldn’t hold for long…
Overall Mariota played well including 215-yards passing and another 72-yards rushing with a touchdown. His failure to drive the ball downfield is an early concern, but we have just a one-game sample size to go on.
Mariota didn’t look like a bottom-five quarterback against the Saints, and he is no longer listed as one by NFL.com. He rose eight spots to 21st on the list, sandwiched between Detroit’s Jared Goff and Chicago’s Justin Field (and only five spots behind Matt Ryan).
Mariota piled up 72 yards on the ground and went without a pick. Still, his fumbled snap on third-and-1 in Saints territory with 1:40 to go was a killer. It forced a punt and allowed New Orleans to rip down the field for a game-winning field goal. “That’s completely on me,” said Mariota. Peering beyond Atlanta’s crumble job against the Saints, one of the bigger developments for the offense was proof that rookie wideout Drake London will be an immediate contributor. Mariota leaned on him for 74 yards off five grabs – but where was Kyle Pitts? – Mark Sessler, NFL.com
London was highlighted as one of the top rookies by the NFL Network after his big performance.
For Mariota to continue climbing up this list, and for the Falcons to start exchanging L’s for W’s, it’s pretty obvious that Pitts must be more involved after just two catches for 19 yards against the Saints.
Mariota will need to continue to climb up the list if he’s going to hold off rookie Desmond Ridder.