The highly-anticipated matchup between first overall pick Jameis Winston and second overall pick Marcus Mariota was a little bit one-sided. The Titans went up 42-7 at the start of the 4th quarter and Mariota was pulled for Zach Mettenberger, but not before the rookie put up the best first half of any QB’s debut game ever. He ended with more touchdowns than incompletions.
Mariota’s stats for his debut:
158.3 Passer rating
That’s a perfect passer rating. Mariota didn’t sling the ball often (16 attempts is pretty low in the modern NFL) but when he did he made it count. His first TD was a 52-yard pass on the first drive of the game to Kendall Wright, his second came just a drive later on a 12-yard strike to Bishop Sankey.
In the second quarter he threw a four-yarder to Douglas, and then a one-yard TD to Delanie Walker. He slowed down in the second half as the run game was working, and then was pulled so Mettenberger could come in and finish the slaughter. The Bucs are still pretty much hot garbage so take Mariota’s success with a grain of salt, but for a debut you really can’t ask for a better game.
The most recent QB to post a perfect passer rating was Geno Smith (Yes. Geno Smith.) against the Dolphins last season, and the last Rookie QB to have a debut game as good as Mariota’s was RGIII against the Saints back in 2012. Not exactly elite company there, but still, Titans fans have to be excited for the future now.
As for Jameis Winston…well his first pass was a touchdown, but to the wrong team. His debut was incredibly shaky, even with a few TDs to his stat line. As of right now, going back to his years at Florida State, Jameis will have only lost two games: both To Marcus Mariota.