When the NFL season started, it was assumed that Jameis Winston was going to be a standout star in Week 1 while the hype about Marcus Mariota would die out. The exact opposite of that couldn’t have more violently happened as Mariota came in and destroyed the Buccaneers defense by throwing for four touchdowns and no interceptions, while Winston struggled to get a full grasp on his duties as starter.
This wasn’t a game that defines the careers of either player, but it’s one that will no doubt boost the credibility of Mariota while Winston is going to take a hit in a big way.
It was basically the Marcus Mariota show and that’s all there was to watch:
1. Marcus Mariota
This was a no-brainer as Mariota went out of his mind in his first start. It’s sort of fitting though, as Mariota was always a quiet star at Oregon and didn’t feed into the hype machine during the preseason despite being the No. 2 overall pick. So we shouldn’t be all that surprised that he quietly had a loud debut with the Titans in Tampa Bay, but there’s still a lot to build on before he’s a bonafide star.
2. Austin Seferian-Jenkins
There wasn’t much to be happy about on the Bucs side of things, but tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins had himself a great game. Winston’s only two touchdowns were to Seferian-Jenkins and seemingly all the good throws the rookie had went to his tight end. Winston needs to do a lot of growing, but if Seferian-Jenkins can keep it up and be a third option against Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans, the Bucs might be alright.
3. Bishop Sankey
Sankey got lit up when the Titans traded for Terrance West before Week 1, and he answered the criticism with a 74-yard game that included a touchdown in the bloodbath against the Buccaneers. Sankey still needs to keep fighting for his job, but he saw the same amount of carries as West and managed to out produce him in an early season positional battle victory.
Tampa Bay was favored to win by 3 points and failed to cover the spread.
The Buccaneers will head on the road to play the New Orleans Saints(0-1) while Mariota and the Titans will travel to Cleveland to play Johnny Manziel and the Browns (0-1)