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Backup QB Marcus Mariota Showed His Value to the Raiders

With his performance on Thursday night, backup quarterback Marcus Mariota made a case to be used in run-pass option situations

Backup quarterback Marcus Mariota showed his value to the Las Vegas Raiders on Thursday night against the Los Angeles Chargers.

After Raiders starting quarterback Derek Carr injured his left groin on the second possession, Mariota took over quarterback duties.

Mariota showed that he still has what it takes to play meaningful minutes in an NFL game.

After taking over for Carr, Mariota went 17-for-28 and 226 passing yards. He threw for one touchdown and one interception. Mariota led his team in rushing with 88 yards on nine attempts and one rushing touchdown.

A fairly obvious difference Mariota brought to the field tonight is the active use of the run-pass option.

It caught the Chargers off-guard the first couple of drives, moving the chains, opening up the pocket.

Mariota even scrambled enough for a first down on fourth and two.

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That particular drive resulted in a one-yard touchdown run by running back Josh Jacobs.

Mariota made another fourth-down situation work, this time early in the fourth quarter after he threw the football to wide receiver Nelson Agholor.

Later on the same drive, on fourth and one in the red zone, he escaped the pocket and threw a light floater to tight end Darren Waller.

While Mariota threw an interception late in the game, he made a statement for himself tonight, showcasing what a true run-pass option can look like when implemented well in a game.

When Carr returns, he will take over quarterback duties. However, Mariota made an argument for Gruden and company to use him during situational plays, such as when a run-pass option can work effectively.

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