Marcus Mariota: NFL Offensive Rookie In September
By Les Bailey
For a guy who doesn’t appear to be driven by personal goals and accolades, Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota continues to shine in Music City. The latest came on Thursday morning when the Titans franchise player was named as the NFL Offensive Rookie of the month by the NFL.
More at Titan Sized: Five Keys after the Bye
Even though the Titans are 1-2 as they go into the bye week after a close loss to the Indianapolis Colts last Sunday, Mariota has put up unbelievable numbers in his first three regular season starts and is already being mentioned in the same breath with some pretty good football players.
Even some who are enshrined in Canton.
The numbers that have everyone excited are 61 of 97 passes for 833 yards, eight touchdowns and two interceptions.
One of the two interceptions was highly questionable and even Delanie Walker said he fumbled the ball, but the NFL refused to reverse the call which would have give Mariota a better passer rating.
It still gives the 2014 Heisman Trophy winner a 109.2 rating which is the eighth best passer rating in NFL history in a player’s first three starts, and the highest since Chad Pennington’s first three starts in 2002. Mariota’s passer rating through three starts trails only Kurt Warner (125.0 in 1999), Dan Marino (114.9 in 1983), Pennington (113.4), Matt Flynn (111.9 from 2010-11), Greg Cook (111.1 in 1969), Mark Rypien (110.3 in 1988) and Ed Rubbert (110.2 in 1987 replacement games).
Mariota joins other Titans/Oilers players who have won this award, Eddie George (September 1996), Jevon Kearse (September, November and December 1999) and Chris Johnson (September 2008).
He also won the Rookie Offensive Player of the Week, back in week one after the team beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the opener.
His cleats from the opener were placed on display at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton. A place where he will be someday if he continues to perform as he has in the early going.
Mariota’s total QBR through three games is 50.6.
The thing that is unique about the youngster from Hawaii, he doesn’t want to talk about himself and his accomplishments during interviews and press conferences, all he wants to talk about is his coaches, teammates and the fact that the team is 1-2 and should have won game three.
The only thing that seems to matter to him is wins and losses, and wanting to bring the Tennessee Titans back to prominence.
"“I think it’s just taking it one game at a time,’’ Mariota said. “You learn from this and the fact that we fought all the way through, that we had an opportunity to win, just proves to the guys that we should have confidence in every single game. When it gets close, not to press, just finish. I think we’ve learned that and we’ll move forward.”"
Marcus Mariota will forever be linked to Jameis Winston after the two were taken one and two in the 2015 draft.
Winston, who was taken first has thrown for 678 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions in the first three games of the season. Winston has a passer rating of 77.9.
Amari Cooper and Melvin Gordon were two other rookies who got recognition for having a good month in September.
The Oakland Raiders wideout had 20 catches for 290 yards and a touchdown while Gordon for the San Diego Chargers carried the ball 44 times for 190 yards.
Watching this kid since he got to Nashville after the draft, I totally get why Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly wanted him in the City of Brotherly Love so badly.
Can you imagine where that offense would be with a quarterback like Marcus Mariota under center and all the weapons they have?
Next: The Ken Whisenhunt Approval Report