Jacob Tuioti-Mariner has been a quietly effective player all season, making plays on limited snaps and generally looking like an effective player for a surprisingly effective defensive line in 2020. It was only on Sunday against the Raiders, when JTM played more than 50% of the snaps for the first time all year, that he was able to ramp up the volume on that quiet effectiveness.
Boy, did he ever.
Tuioti-Mariner picked up a sack, forced a fumble, recovered two fumbles, and picked up six combined tackles on a day when the defense’s smothering play completely shut down what had been a potent Raiders offense. JTM was one of the team’s most active and disruptive players all day long, and his stat line and play earned him the NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors.
Tuioti-Mariner’s done great work to climb his way up from undrafted free agent to useful player on a defensive line headed for a reset in 2021, and his play and versatility is likely to get him a very long look from the next coaching staff. He’ll head into the 2021 offseason as a 25-year-old exclusive rights free agent, making him an affordable re-signing if the team is interested. They should be.
This is the second time in 2020 that a Falcon has won NFC Defensive Player of the Week, joining Foye Oluokun after his dominant performance in Week 9. This is also the first time since 2017 that more than one Falcon has won the award in a single season, as Deion Jones, Adrian Clayborn, and Desmond Trufant all did that year.
Congratulations to Tuioti-Mariner, and may he have a similar performance against Taysom Hill and the Saints this Sunday.