Titans pull Marcus Mariota after three quarters

AP

If someone said before Sunday’s game that Zach Mettenberger would be quarterbacking the Titans in the fourth quarter of their game against the Buccaneers, your first thought probably wouldn’t be that things went well for Marcus Mariota.

Mettenberger is in the game in Tampa, but it isn’t injury or ineffectiveness that caused the change. In a move we usually see in college games, the Titans have so thoroughly trounced their opening opponent of the season that they’ve decided to give the first-string quarterback the rest of the day off.

Mariota’s day ends with 13 completions in 16 tries for 209 yards and four touchdowns, which is a pretty good way to introduce yourself to the NFL. The Titans added scores on a Coty Sensabaugh interception and a Bishop Sankey run as well and lead the Bucs 42-7 in the fourth quarter.

Mettenberger may not be doing much throwing given how lopsided the score is at this point in the game, but any passes he does throw could help build his value as a trade chip down the road. With Mariota getting established as the starter in Tennessee, a trade involving Mettenberger could be on the offseason agenda.