Falcons’ Marcus Mariota Addresses Kyle Pitts Lack of Targets


Getty Kyle Pitts of the Atlanta Falcons.

It’s no secret that the Atlanta Falcons are a run-heavy offense.

And while it’s been working out quite well in their favor, they (quarterback Marcus Mariota) have been leaving star tight end Kyle Pitts out to dry.

Through eight games in this season, the second-year TE has logged just 23 receptions for just 285 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Those stats don’t compare to his 2021 rookie season, where Pitts saw 36 receptions for 546 yards with a score in his first eight games.

Marcus Mariota Takes Responsibility for Pitts’s Lack of Targets

The drop in Pitts’ overall production is mainly in part due to the fact that the Falcons don’t have pocket passer, Matt Ryan, as their quarterback anymore. Instead, it’s Marcus Mariota, who works better as a running QB.

However, Mariota believes he can change that and give Pitts plenty of opportunities.

“First and foremost, I can do a better job of giving Kyle more opportunities with the ball,” Mariota said on Tuesday, November 8. “I think sometimes I’ve been a little too safe, a little too conservative where I’m putting the football, so giving him a chance to go get it. I think that’ll help some of his target numbers.”

Heading into Week 10, Mariota has completed 124 of 201 passes for 1561 yards and 10 touchdowns to six interceptions. He has also rushed for an additional 304 yards and three scores on 60 carries.

But Pitts isn’t the only one who isn’t getting the ball.

“I think it comes down to me, I just got to give those guys a chance,” Mariota said. “Guys are finding a way to get open and sometimes it’s not necessarily the perfect throw. I think coming back in this season I’ve kind of tried to flush that perfectionist in me, that’s probably what my last hurdle is.

“I think some of those deep shots have always been — the kind of guy that wants the guy to just kind of catch it on the run, but with the guys that we have, the players that we have sometimes it’s giving those guys just a chance to go up and get it. I’m working on those things, those are things that we go out there and practice, so hopefully, that will transcend onto the field.”

Why Not Desmond Ridder?

The Falcons (4-5), who are tied with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, are on tap for a must-win divisional matchup against the Panthers tomorrow.

Many fans and critics are asking why not give rookie quarterback Desmond Ridder a starting shot if Mariota isn’t cutting it.

Falcons’ team analyst and insider, Scott Bair, recently addressed this topic

“In terms of Ridder, it’s the great unknown, which is what makes him so intriguing to some,” Bair wrote in his mailbag. “What if you’re wrong, and the Falcons are worse with Ridder right now, it costs them some more winnable games and the team falls out of the playoff race. Is that a risk you’re willing to take? I’m not.”

If they can find ways to win, the Falcons have a legitimate chance to come out on top in the NFC South and make the playoffs for the first time since 2017.

And Mariota has the experience and skills to get the team there if he wants to.



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