I live in Ducks territory, so for 3 years I’ve been hearing about how utterly great Marcus Mariota is. Since I only half pay attention to College Ball I mostly just found it annoying. He’s basically football Jesus out here, second only to football god Chip Kelly. When Chip Kelly bailed for the NFL, tons of locals suddenly “became” Eagles fans, but none of them stuck with it. I honestly expect much of the same from Mariota fans, after he was drafted I actually started seeing Titans jerseys around Portland. I’d get excited about it, “OH WOW, A TITANS FAN IN REAL LIFE” and I’d go to sneak a picture only to realize it was a Mariota jersey and it hit me that they are just Ducks fans. While I never had anything against Mariota, I can’t stand over-hype so I was automatically a bit sour on him. I thought he was a system QB, drafted to a team and coach that wouldn’t use him well and didn’t have much talent around him and that he’d bust. Shame too, he seems like a great guy.

I am now fully onboard the Marcus Mariota hype train.

There is a lot of reasons to not get too excited. The Bucs defense is a tire fire outside McCoy and Mariota only threw the ball a conservative 16 times. It’s only 1 game. But at the same time, he showed incredible poise and he was accurate as hell, and his passes had impressive levels of zing. The Titans showed an offensive game plan that actually seemed to make me think he’ll work and that Whisenhunt will adjust for his talents. Not a lot was asked of Marcus against the Bucs but he still delivered in spades. I am genuinely going to watch Titans games this season if he keeps this up. Good for the Titans, it’s about time you got some love.

If Mariota was Gallant, Winston was Goofus. I don’t like Winston as a person so that game was hilarious from his first play. Winston threw a pick 6 on his first pass, tripped over his own lineman, screwed up a handoff, threw another pick, and generally looked like a rookie. It’s far from curtains on him for the same reasons we can’t get put Mariota in Canton yet though. However, young QBs have less time to grow these days, so he better shape up fast.