Marcus Mariota had a great debut for the Tennessee Titans in Week 1. Mariota led the Titans to a decisive 42-14 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and rookie quarterback Jameis Winston. Mariota finished the game completing 13-of-16 passes for 209 yards and four touchdowns. It was everything that Titans fans wanted to see from the mobile quarterback, and suddenly the team is 1-0 and alone in first place in the AFC South.
Most of the second half of this game was Mariota going through the motions, as the Titans had a 35-7 lead by halftime. Four different receivers had a touchdown catch for the team (Kendall Wright, Delanie Walker, Harry Douglas, and Bishop Sankey) showing how well he was spreading the ball around. Wright had the most individual success, catching four passes for 101 yards and that touchdown. Those are numbers that any fantasy football owner would love to have.
On the other side of the ball, Jameis Winston had a game that was anything but clean. He completed 16-of-33 passes for 210 yards and two touchdowns, but Winston also threw two interception. The first interception was taken back for a touchdown early in the first quarter.
Marcus Mariota certainly came out ahead in this battle of the rookie quarterbacks. Getting selected after Winston in the 2015 NFL Draft, this win was certainly a way to show the NFL analysts that many wrong predictions had been made. Very quickly, Mariota has staked a claim that he wants to win that Offensive Rookie of the Year Award.
Mariota and the Titans get to play the struggling Cleveland Browns in Week 2, giving the team a great shot to open the season 2-0. It’s another road game that is set to take place on September 20, but it is also a good challenge, as Mariota will have to figure out how to work around Joe Haden. Getting another sub-par opponent before the meat of the schedule gets started should also help Mariota to further develop for the 2015 NFL season.
It’s Week 3 that the Titans have to worry about, as the team will host the Indianapolis Colts on September 27. It’s the first of four consecutive home games for the Titans and an opportunity to make a fast start out of the gate this season. Not having to travel for five weeks (Titans have a bye in Week 4) will certainly help the development of Marcus Mariota so that the team can be ready for a strong second half push toward the postseason.
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