Whatever "Exotic Smashmouth" turned into in Tennessee this season isn't getting the job done for the Titans' offense.
After falling to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, Titans receiver Rishard Matthews requested quarterback Marcus Mariota be given control of the offense, calling for the team to employ more no-huddle. On Monday, the wideout doubled-down on his request.
"I feel more comfortable with Marcus calling the shots. That's just what it is right now," Matthews said, via Terry McCormick of Titan Insider. "Because anything goes. Marcus is back there reading the defense, you don't know what he's going to call, and it's shown over the time that when he's doing that we've moved the ball pretty well and done it pretty easy. And I like doing it."
Matthews was asked if the Titans' offense was too predictable.
"Yeah, I believe so," the sixth-year pro said.
He later added: "We're there. We've just got to have some more creativity, study going in to set up matchups week to week. We can't be repetitive and doing the same thing over and over. The guys on the other side get paid too. We've just got to do a better job of creating matchups. That's all it is."
Matthews believes utilizing more up-tempo will help jumpstart an offense that has been stagnant all season. His request comes after some positive evidence on Sunday.
After going no-huddle to end the first half with a touchdown, the Titans employed a quickened pace the rest of the game. Despite the loss, Mariota earned a season-high 110.8 passer rating. The third-year pro had gone the previous three games tossing for fewer than 200 yards in each tilt with an average passer rating of 66.1. Of course, Mariota's best game also came against a decimated 49ers defense that has been among the worst in the NFL this year.
Despite Sunday's outing and a not-so-subtle request from his veteran receiver, coach Mike Mularkey pumped the breaks on no-huddle being a magic elixir for the offense.
"We had run it this year, but it has not been effective when we've ran it so we got out of it and got back into play calling," the coach said. "It just depends on who we're playing and the defensive scheme and if we feel like it's a good way to attack, it'll be in."
The Titans sit in line for a playoff berth if they can win tilts versus the Los Angeles Rams and Jacksonville Jaguars to close the season. There is no chance of that happening if the offense remains in neutral.