Tennessee Titans 21-14-7-0 — 42
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 0-7-0-7 — 14
Mariota leads Titans over Bucs in romp
It was a tale of two rookies on Sunday afternoon in Tampa, as for the first time in NFL history, the first two picks in the NFL Draft faced off against each other in their respective debuts in Week 1 of their rookie season.
Jameis Winston, who was the first overall pick by the Buccaneers, and Marcus Mariota, taken No. 2 by the Titans, led their teams into the season with high hopes.
Fortunately for Tennessee, their franchise quarterback lived up to the hype. Mariota finished 13-of-16 passing with a perfect 158.3 quarterback rating, throwing for four touchdowns in the first half en route to a 42-14 Titans drubbing of the Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium.
Mariota not only converted on four touchdown strikes, but hit a different receiver with each score. His efficiency resulted in one of the best debuts for a quarterback in NFL history. Only two other quarterbacks have finished their professional debut with a perfect quarterback rating: Robert Griffin III and Drew Bledsoe.
For Winston, the loss is just the second of his career, collegiate or professional. The only other loss also came at the hands of a Mariota-led team in last year’s Rose Bowl Game.
Winston finished 16-of-33 passing for 210 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. That was good for a 64 quarterback rating.
The win was the first for Tennessee since October 12, 2014, a 16-14 win over the Jaguars.
Winston Throws Scoring Strike to Seferian-Jenkins For Second Time
For all that has gone wrong for Jameis Winston and the Buccaneers on Sunday against the Titans, at least Tampa’s starting signal caller can say he threw for multiple touchdowns in his NFL debut.
Winston hooked up with Austin Seferian-Jenkins for the second time in the fourth quarter, trimming the Bucs’ deficit to 42-14 with close to nine minutes to go in regulation.
It was a 41-yard pass play. Seferian-Jenkins finished as Tampa Bay’s leading receiver, collecting five catches for 110 yards to go along with his two touchdowns.
Fourth Quarter Underway in Tampa
The third quarter went much the same as the first two, with Tennessee controlling the pace, and extending its lead.
The Titans opened the fourth quarter with possession of the football, but Terrance West coughed up a fumble. Tampa Bay took over at its own 38-yard line.
Titans Keep Pressure on Bucs to Open Third Quarter
Bishop Sankey ran in a 1-yard score early in the third quarter, as the Titans scored on their first possession of the second half. It was the first touchdown scored by Tennessee on the ground.
The touchdown was Sankey’s second of the game, his first one coming on the receiving end of one of rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota’s four touchdown slings.
It’s 42-7 Titans.
Half Time Update: Titans 35, Buccaneers 7
Marcus Mariota has played out of his mind since taking the field this afternoon for the Titans.
In one of the finest debuts in recent memory, Mariota has gone 10-for-13 for 175 yards passing and four touchdowns through the air. It’s added up to a 157.9 quarterback rating for the promising rookie.
For all of the hype and excitement for the other highly-drafted quarterback, Jameis Winston, it’s been an entirely different story for him.
Wilson, the No. 1 overall pick has gone 6-of-12 for 70 yards, one touchdown, two interceptions and a 56.2 QBR.
Mariota has spread the ball around thus far, connecting with four different receivers on his four touchdown throws. Kendall Wright leads the way among the receiving corps with three receptions for 87 yards to go along with his touchdown catch.
The Tampa Bay offensive line has been shaky. Winston has not had much time to throw the ball. Doug Martin, perhaps the lone bright spot for the Bucs, had 10 carries for 48 yards in the first half.
Mariota, Tennessee Onslaught Continues in Tampa
The Titans put an exclamation point at the conclusion of their first-half drubbing of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, as Marcus Mariota threw for a two-yard strike to Delanie Walker to put Tennessee up 35-7 with under a minute to go in the first half.
Mariota is 10-of-13 for 175 yards and 4 touchdowns in the first half.
Mariota Fired Third Touchdown of First Half
Marcus Mariota’s NFL debut has been an impressive one, for sure.
The rookie quarterback connected with wide receiver Harry Douglas for a 4-yard score to increase Tennessee’s lead to 28-7 over the Buccaneers in Tampa Bay with just under 4 minutes to go in the first half.
It was Douglas’ first touchdown as a Titan.
Winston Gets His first NFL Touchdown
On the second NFL drive of his career, Jameis Winston fared much better than he did on his first.
Having thrown an interception on his first-ever pass attempt in the first quarter, Winston connected with Austin Seferian-Jenkins for a 5-yard touchdown to open up the second quarter and get the Buccaneers on the board. Tampa Bay trailed Tennessee 21-7 after the play.
It looks to be shaping up as a barnburner at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
Mariota at it Again, Throws Second NFL Touchdown
Marcus Mariota has this NFL thing down.
On his second career drive, Mariota Mariota finds Bishop Sankey for 12-yard touchdown strike.
The Titans have ridden Mariota’s hot-hand to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter.
Winston’s First NFL Throw an Interception
Jameis Winston’s career is off to a less than stellar start.
Just seconds after his counterpart Marcus Mariota threw for a touchdown on his first career drive, No. 1 NFL pick Jameis Winston started his career exactly the opposite way.
Winston’s first pass over the middle was intercepted and returned 26 yards for a touchdown by the Titan’s Coty Sensabaugh, giving Tennessee a 14-0 lead.
Mariota throws his first NFL touchdown
The first touchdown pass of Marcus Mariota’s NFL career came on his first career drive. A 52-yard pass play under pressure to Kendall Wright put the Titans up 7-0.
UPDATE: Buccaneers Evans, Jenkins, James Among Inactives
Receiver Mike Evans, cornerback Mike Jenkins and running back Mike James are three key scratches from today’s matchup with the Titans.
Tennessee will be without be without defensive starters cornerback Jason McCourty and defensive tackle Sammie Hill.
Of all the extremely enticing Week 1 matchups to kickoff the 2015 NFL season, the Sunday showdown between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Tennessee Titans just might be at the top of the list.
Top overall draft pick Jameis Winston will lead the Bucs at home against the No. 2 pick Marcus Mariota and the Titans. Each team looks to improve upon a poor season in 2014, and will surely be counting on their highly-touted rookie signal callers to lead them to marked improvements in 2015.
Winston arguably has more to work with on the offensive side of the ball (see: Wide receiver Vincent Jackson and running back Mike James), and more will likely be asked of him. However, the contrast in Winston’s preseason numbers (48.9 percent completion percentage and 52.7 quarterback rating) compared with Mariota’s (70 percent completion, 102.9 quarterback rating) certainly make for an interesting juxtaposition for the game.
This week is the first opportunity for what are sure to be many quarterback comparisons in the inevitably intertwined careers of these two.