Titans to start Ryan Tannehill over Mariota vs. Bolts

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  • By Around The NFL staff NFL.com
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The Tennessee Titans are making a change at quarterback.

Ryan Tannehill will start Sunday's game against the Los Angeles Chargers instead of former No. 2 overall pick Marcus Mariota, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero reported Tuesday night.

The decision by Mike Vrabel to roll with Tannehill over Mariota, once viewed as the franchise's answer under center, doesn't come as a huge surprise for those who watched the Titans' offense sputter these past two weeks.

Mariota failed to lead Tennessee past midfield in nine drives last Sunday against the Broncos, completing just 7 of 18 passes for a paltry 63 yard with two interceptions before being yanked in favor of Tannehill. In a loss the week before, Mariota took five sacks while leading an offensive group that produced just 252 yards of offense and went 4-of-14 on third downs with six three-and-outs.

The Titans have plateaued under Mariota, who has yet to live up to his early career promise. It seems hard-pressed to imagine the Titans opting to keep Mariota (currently on the final year of his rookie deal) beyond this season. Mariota likely will have to resurrect his career with a new team in a new city following next March's free agency.

Tannehill provided a slight spark for the Titans when he came in for Mariota. He succeeded in advancing the ball past midfield and threw for 144 yards. But he shared Mariota's propensity for sacks with four of his own and threw a red-zone interception.

The Dolphins traded Tannehill to the Titans this past offseason as Tennessee sought a capable backup for Mariota.

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