Saturday’s preseason game for the Tennessee Titans against the Buccaneers is crucial, especially for quarterback Marcus Mariota.
It’s no secret that Marcus Mariota has become the face of the franchise for the Tennessee Titans. Taken with the second overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, Mariota has had his highs and his lows. Despite injuries throughout his career and the atrocious play calling of Terry Robiskie, Mariota has made tremendous progress.
But what about Mariota’s counterpart, Jameis Winston? Winston was taken ahead of Mariota in the 2015 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the first overall pick. Winston, too, has been inconsistent during his time in Tampa. However, Winston has also shown flashes of greatness.
So, who’s been the better quarterback between the two?
Both quarterbacks have won a Heisman trophy in their college careers. But the college argument shifts in Winston’s favor because he won a national championship, while Mariota did not. Another case could be made due to Winston being taken ahead of Mariota in the NFL Draft, but, ultimately, Mariota has come away with the last laugh of this debate.
Mariota has been statistically better in his career than Winston. He has a better quarterback rating. Unlike Winston, Mariota has had two winning seasons as a starter as a quarterback, whereas Winston only has one. Most importantly, Mariota has been to the playoffs, while Winston has not. Not to mention Mariota won a playoff game, too.
People can argue that Winston has more touchdown passes than Mariota, which is accurate, but the play calling of Robiskie is at fault for this. With creative Matt LaFleur coming in as offensive coordinator, that will change.
Winston has been on a slippery slope. Mariota, on the other hand, has only gotten better every year, record-wise that is. I also should mention that Mariota has fewer interceptions than Winston in his career as well. The ultimate factor in settling this debate is that Winston is declining and Mariota is ascending.
This Saturday at Nissan Stadium, these two will meet each other again for the third time in their lifetime. With Mariota winning both previous matchups in dominant fashion, this quarterback debate could be settled once and for all. Even though it is the preseason, this game is very significant for both quarterbacks.
If Mariota wins this matchup, this debate will be done and over with. However, a Winston victory could mean that this debate is still up for grabs. Whatever may happen, it’s going to be an exciting matchup to see!