How the Seahawks can contain Titans’ dual-threat QB Marcus Mariota

SEATTLE, WA - NOVEMBER 15: Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright of the Seahawks. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - NOVEMBER 15: Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright of the Seahawks. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) /

As the Seattle Seahawks travel to Tennessee to face the Tennessee Titans, there are different match-ups to look for all over the field. The Titans are a team with a young, dynamic and multi-dimensional offense, maybe one of the best in the AFC.

At the core of Tennessee’s offense is quarterback Marcus Mariota, a dual-threat quarterback, one of the NFL’s most intriguing up-and-coming players. A versatile quarterback, who can become a nightmare for opposing defenses. At any moment, he can beat a team utilizing his arm or wheels.

Seahawks Front Seven vs Quarterback Marcus Mariota

To be able to play fast and on instinct, rather than thinking, is the way Seattle plays. Although, the Titans’ Mariota will exploit anything you give to him and take advantage of it.

Many of the ways Tennessee is utilizing Mariota is similar to how the Seahawks used Russell Wilson when he first began his tenure. In week one, it was first and goal from the ten, Mariota ran a QB read perfectly, pulling the ball from Murray and ran to the left for a ten-yard touchdown.

Now, the reason why the play worked so well is because of the threat Mariota brings to their offense. As the play progresses, the linebackers and defensive ends for Oakland collapse down on the read, giving the play-caller an easy jog to the front left pylon.

Mariota can change the tide of a game on one play. His ability to make third down more manageable is impressive. For example, against Jacksonville the Titans offense faced a second and 12, he had nothing downfield and felt pressure, he was able to run for seven yards.

Instead of 3rd and 12 or worse, Mariota turned the play into a more manageable 3rd and 5.

Seahawks Concerns

Comparatively, the Seahawks have played a “dual-threat” quarterback already this year in Aaron Rodgers. If you remember, on a 3rd and long situation late in the fourth quarter, Rodgers ran for a first down, which sealed the victory for Green Bay.

But I am not saying Rodgers can hit the same gear as Mariota.

There is no discrediting Seattle’s defense. Furthermore, Seattle’s secondary is arguably the best in the league. Coupled with a menacing defensive line which can apply pressure and stop the run.

As great as they are, the defensive front needs to keep Mariota in front of them. In other words, Avril and Bennett cannot extend too far up field, because the opposition will take advantage of it while running through the lane.

Now, Sheldon Richardson and Jarran Reed can plug up any holes Mariota might create so the rest of the defense and can corral the quarterback.

This game should be when Richardson records his first sack as a Seahawk.

One of the ways I hope to see Seattle make the Titan’s offense try to beat the Seahawks in the air is to shadow Mariota.

Provided that Bobby Wagner can play freely, he should be able to cfreate a QB-spy approach. He can be aware of the crossing patterns and running backs in front of him, but mimic the actions taken by Mariota.

As tough as dual-threat quarterbacks are to gameplan for, there is no other group more trustworthy to keep them contained than the Seahawks defense.

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Some Seahawks facts heading into Tennessee

  • The Seahawks are 2-10 when travelling in September under Pete Carroll.
  • Seahawks have not played in Nashville since 2005, they won 28-24
  • These two have not played each other since 2013. Titans travelled to Seattle with Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback, Seahawks won 20-13.
  • Like Russell Wilson, Marcus Mariota comes into this game with one passing touchdown in 2017.