Tennessee Titans look like Oregon in Mariota’s debut


The Tennessee Titans continued their dominance of Tampa Bay, defeating the Bucs 42-14 in front of a stunned crowd at Raymond James Stadium.

Tennessee moves to 5-1 in the series. They also snapped a seven game road losing streak, and ten game losing streak overall. At the conclusion of the game, the Titans found themselves in sole possession of first place in the AFC South.

They also have found themselves a quarterback.

Rookie qb Marcus Mariota made history today…twice. He was the first rookie qb in franchise history to start week 1. And when he did, he became the first rookie qb in NFL history to throw 4 first half touchdowns in his debut.

In fact, it seemed like Mariota was back in Eugene Oregon today…and his high flying Ducks were wearing Titan blue uniforms.

For starters, the score. Tennessee didn’t score more than 28 points in any game last season. They had 35 by halftime…thanks to the former Ducks’ 4 tds.

Tennessee featured Mariota’s legs for the first time, as well as some elements of the spread-option attack that made him a legend at Oregon…

On the game’s first possession, the Titans showed a spread-option look out of the shotgun formation. Mariota faked an inside hand off, and found receiver Kendall Wright streaking across the field for a 52 yard touchdown.

The threat of Mariota pulling the ball back and taking off froze the Bucs’ defense, and that opened up the middle of the field for Wright.

The Titans were explosive on offense with Mariota today, something that hasn’t been said about them since CJ’s 2K season.

Kendall Wright, who excelled as a spread-option receiver at Baylor, looked extremely explosive and comfortable with Mariota today. His 100 plus yard, td performance was a far cry from his struggles in last year’s system.

Running back Bishop Sankey also looked explosive, something we’ve rarely seen out of him. He had two tds today, equalling his season total for all of 2014.

And with the offense scoring points at a rapid pace, the defense was then able to “pin their ears back” and focus only on the pass. The Titans D sacked Jameis Winston four times, and picked him off twice…taking one to the house early in the first quarter.

Mariota executed the game plan with razor sharp precision today. Tennessee spread the ball around (4 tds to 4 different receivers), and kept the Bucs’ defense on their heels with an excellent mix of run and pass plays.

Mariota even sat the fourth quarter, something that he routinely did in his season opening non-conference blowout wins at Oregon.

Quick scoring plays…lots of points..an entertaining game from start to finish.

For a day, Titans fans know what it feels like to be an Oregon Ducks fan.

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