Marcus Mariota looked like a seasoned veteran in his first NFL game, as he led the Titans to a convincing 42-14 win over the Buccaneers.
From the first drive of the game, the Titans and Mariota looked prepared for a better 2015 campaign. Mariota passed for 74 yards on his first drive as a pro, which was finished off with a 52-yard touchdown pass to Kendall Wright.
The No. 2 overall pick looked comfortable under center, which was encouraging to see because the offense he mastered at Oregon had him operating mostly out of the shotgun. By halftime, Mariota tied the record for the most touchdown passes in an NFL debut with four.
The Titans quickly jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter and led 35-7 at halftime. Tennessee’s 35 first-half points are the most points the Titans have scored in a single game in over a year.
While Mariota shined in his first game, the same could not be said for the No. 1 overall pick, Jameis Winston. On his first pass attempt, Winston threw an interception to Coty Sensabaugh, who returned it for a touchdown.
Mariota was pulled in the third quarter to rest. He finished 13-of-16 for 209 yards and four touchdowns, leading the Titans to their first victory since Oct. 12, 2014. Winston played the whole game and finished 16-of-33 for 210 yards and passed for two touchdowns and two interceptions.
Mariota’s favorite target was Wright, who caught four balls for 101 yards and one touchdown. Tight end Delanie Walker also had three catches for 43 yards and a touchdown. Austin Seferian-Jenkins led Tampa Bay with five receptions for 110 yards and two touchdowns.
Bishop Sankey led the rushing attack for the Titans. He had 74 yards on 12 carries and a touchdown. He also scored once through the air. Tampa Bay struggled to get anything going on the ground, recording only 92 rushing yards.
The Titans travel to Cleveland to face the Browns next week, who lost 31-10 to the Jets today.
Edited by Cody McClure