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Despite 0-2 Start, Marcus Mariota 'Operating Pretty Well', Says Coach

The Atlanta Falcons are winless after losses to the New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams. However, Arthur Smith is pleased with Marcus Mariota so far.

The Atlanta Falcons are waking up Monday morning as one of four winless teams in the NFL after falling 31-27 to the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium on Sunday.

While many teams would hit the panic button after a rough start, that doesn't appear to be the case in Atlanta. The team has lost its two games by a combined five points and could be 2-0 if a few things zigged instead of zagged.

Quarterback Marcus Mariota has led the ship so far, and he would be an easy scapegoat to blame for the team's slow start. However, head coach Arthur Smith doesn't point the finger at his signal-caller.

“Well, take it in context. I mean some of the stuff, wasn't necessarily his fault," Smith said. "He made enough plays and gave us a chance, right? He have two touchdown passes today? The one interception, I mean the way the ball bounced off CP, and then the one at the end…it's (CB) Jalen (Ramsey) over the top, you got a chance on that. There's things we'll look at and clean up, but he's operating pretty well for us right now.”

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Mariota completed 17 of 26 passes for 196 yards, two touchdowns in two interceptions in yesterday's loss, but as Smith mentioned, the turnovers were part of unlucky plays. Against the New Orleans Saints in Week 1, Mariota fumbled a ball inside the red zone that could have given the Falcons the score they needed to win the game.

Regardless of how the turnovers came about, someone needs to take responsibility. And if Smith isn't pointing the finger at Mariota, it'll likely point in his direction if the losing continues on a larger, more consistent pattern.

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