Rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota set two NFL rookie records in his opening game during the (42-14) win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, Sept. 13.
According to USA Today, no rookie has ever thrown four touchdown passes in the first half and the only person to come close was Fran Tarkenton, who threw four touchdown passes in a game for the Minnesota Vikings in 1961.
Furthermore, the 21-year-old rookie quarterback is the youngest to throw four touchdowns in a game by over a year, according to USA Today.
The Titans jumped to a 21-0 first quarter lead and never looked back.
Sparked by their rookie quarterback, the Titans struck first on a 52-yard strike to Kendall Wright.
Mariota would continue the hot start with touchdown passes to Bishop Sankey, Harry Douglas and Delanie Walker. And that was just the first half.
The Titans went into halftime with a 35-7 lead.
The Titans’ coaching staff said they were pleased with Mariota and put in backup quarterback Zach Mettenberger in the game at the start of the 4th quarter to finish it.
Last season, Mettenberger went (0-6) in all of his six starts.
On the other side of the ball, Tennessee’s defense did not disappoint either.
On opposing rookie quarterback Jameis Winston’s first NFL throw, the Titans’ Coty Sensabough took it the other way for a touchdown to make the score 42-7.
The Titans’ defense never let Winston get comfortable and applied plenty of pressure on the young quarterback.
The Titans ended the day with four sacks and two interceptions.
According to NFL.com, a quarterback must complete 77.5 percent of passes, complete 11.875 percent of touchdown passes, no interceptions and average 12.5 yards per attempt to get a perfect rating of 158.3.
Mariota’s numbers were 13/16 (81.25 percent) of passes, no interceptions and 13.1 YPA, giving himself a 158.3.
Although Mariota dazzled in his NFL debut, this was an all-around team win for the Titans.
Because of the lack of success last season, Titans Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt couldn’t have asked for a better performance from his young team.
Titans fans are quick to remember last season’s similar performance in week one against the Kansas City Chiefs, considering that win was followed by a 2-14 season.
However, based on the rookie quarterback’s performance and the offensive chemistry, this season could go a different way.
The pieces seem to be falling together for the Titans and Mariota has lifted the playing ability of his teammates.
The Titans will look to prove week one was not just a fluke next week when they travel to Cleveland, Ohio to take on Josh McCown and the rest of the Cleveland Browns (0-1). The game is at noon central time on CBS.