Marcus Mariota wins NFC Player of the Week

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The NFL announced Wednesday morning that Marcus Mariota was the NFC Offensive Player of the Week for his efforts in Atlanta’s biggest win of Arthur Smith’s tenure.

The Falcons dominated the 49ers 28-14, despite being out-matched in nearly every facet on paper. Mariota completed 13-of-14 (93%) of his passes, and his only incompletion came late in the fourth quarter. The veteran signal caller passed for 129 yards and two touchdowns while adding another 50 yards and a score on the ground., finishing with a passer rating of 144.6 — his best as a starter since the 2018 season.

Mariota’s mobility was often the reason the Falcons continued to move the ball in this one, extending drives and converting third downs. “My goal was to be efficient during the day and give our guys opportunities to make plays,” Mariota said after the game.

Moreover, Mariota’s performance came against a Niners’ team that ranked No. 1 in total defense that was allowing an average of 71.4 rush yards per game. Mariota nearly eclipsed that by himself.

“I truly believe when we’re able to run the ball that way that we do and make some plays in the pass game, we tough to defend,” Mariota said after the game. “The more that we can show our versatility, I think it’s going to be beneficial for us the rest of the year.”

Marcus Mariota has all but silenced the calls for rookie Desmond Ridder to see the field as the team continues to stack wins, and if you’re still talking about draft picks, then you’re missing the entire point.

Photographer: Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire

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