Marcus Mariota Has NFL's Highest Red Zone Passer Rating


NASHVILLE, Tenn. —The red zone has looked like a green light to Marcus Mariota.

Heading into Week 13 of the NFL season, the Titans rookie quarterback has the highest red zone passer rating in the NFL inside the red zone – from the opponents' 1-19 yard lines.

Mariota has completed 23-of-35 passes (65.7 percent) for 162 yards, 13 touchdowns and zero interceptions in the red zone, for a passer rating of 115.7. Detroit's Matt Stafford is second in the league with a 114.5 rating.

"Accuracy is really imperative, especially down there," Titans interim coach Mike Mularkey said. "It says a lot about (Mariota), not forcing things down there.

"… If you make good decisions, and you're an accurate passer, and the scheme is going to allow you to get the ball out of your hands into some tight places, then you're going to have some success. He's doing that."

Titans offensive coordinator Jason Michael said Mariota's quick decision making has also been key.

"The field gets tighter, the throws have to come out on time, you don't have as much time to see things,'' Michael said. "And that is what he has done, going all the way back to college. One of the things he's always been able to do is get the ball out quick and in that area you have to be able to do that."

Mariota's overall passer rating is 92.8.

Since 1991, the highest single-season passer rating for a Titans quarterback in the red zone is 110.5, and that was recorded by Ryan Fitzpatrick in 2013.

Over the same time period, the NFL's top single-season passer rating in the red zone is 122.4 by Philadelphia's Nick Foles in 2013.

"Sometimes when you get down (in the red zone) and the field gets tighter, sometimes the anxiety gets higher," Mularkey said. "I've been around some quarterbacks like that, that their percentages outside the red zone are much, much higher as far as completions down there.

"And I think a lot of that is the pressure they put on themselves and maybe their comfort zone is not as good as it can be. (But) I don't think there's a place on the field that Marcus is affected by where he's at."

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