Marcus Mariota 101 Jameis Winston 34


48. 42. 35. Final. 14

Bucs rookie quarterback, Jameis Winston has had two run-ins with the Tennessee Titans’ Marcus Mariota since New Year Day, and both encounters did not turn out well for the former Florida State signal caller.

Mariota and the Ducks beat Winston and the Seminoles 52-20 on January 2nd at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.

Fast forward to opening day for the 2015 NFL  season and Mariota got the best of Winston again in a 42-14 Titans win at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.

Touted as the more pro-ready quarterback, Winston was taken ahead of Marcus Mariota in the April 30th draft, but on Sunday afternoon Mariota looked like the veteran NFL quarterback and Jameis Winston the flustered rookie.

If you didn’t see this coming, you probably haven’t been reading my columns here at Titan Sized. I predicted a 24-17 victory for Mariota and the Titans on Sunday but thanks to Jameis playing like a rookie, this one was over by halftime.

Not only did Marcus Mariota tie a 1961 record set by Fran Tarkenton when he threw four touchdown passes in his NFL debut, but the entire Titans team turned in a workman performance to help secure the teams first win in the 2015 season.

The television coverage praised the performance by Marcus Mariota on Sunday afternoon in Tampa, but not a lot was said about how well Ken Whisenhunt had his team prepared for this game, and likeways, not much was said about how badly Whisenhunt out-coached Lovie Smith.

Let’s get inside the numbers, and take a look at why the Titans rolled over the Bucs in game one.

Mariota was 13 of 16 for 209 yards and four touchdown passes. He had a passer rating that was almost perfect at 158.3. His passer rating does not qualify for a record because he didn’t throw the ball 20 times.

He also ran the ball twice for six yards.

The rookie found six different receivers for the day throwing touchdown passes to Kendall Wright, Harry Douglass, Delanie Walker and Bishop Sankey.

Wright led all receivers catching four passes for 101 yards and the one touchdown.

Bishop Sankey not only caught two passes, he led all Titans rushers with 74 yards on 12 carries. Newly acquired running back, Terrance West carried the ball 13 times for 41 yards.

The defense stepped up on Sunday as well, putting constant pressure on Jameis Winston and forcing two interceptions and sacking the rookie four times.

Coty Sensabaugh got the first interception and took the pick six to the house. Diontrez Mount picked off Winston later in the game and the Titans took advantage with their last touchdown.

Derrick Morgan sacked Winston twice with Jurrell Casey and Angelo Blackson getting one each.

Brian Orakpo said after the game that although the defense did not do a lot of blitzing, they wanted keep pressure on the rookie Buccaneer quarterback.

Winston was 16 of 33 for 210 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. He was sacked four times and had a passer rating of 64.0.

By the start of the fourth quarter, Mariota was wearing a ball cap on the sideline while Zach Mettenberger came in for mop up duties.

The Tennessee Titans were predicted to finish at the bottom of the AFC South, but after week one, they lead this division with Houston, Indianapolis and Jacksonville all loosing on Sunday.

The Titans stay on the road for a second week when they travel to Cleveland to take on the Browns next Sunday.

The Cleveland Browns did not look good on Sunday and appear to have more quarterback issues. The Browns have a pretty good defense, and one that Mariota and his offensive line will need to respect.

I had written earlier in the year that if the Titans could win both road games to start their season and get to the break at 2-1, they stand the chance of getting to 8 and 8 and having a pretty good season.

With what I saw yesterday, the Titans should get home in week three at 2-0.

Next: Tennessee Titans look like Oregon in Mariota's debut

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