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Mariota was both perfect and almost perfect in impressive debut

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Ad Pro Test Clip 243 - March 2017 (2:17)

Ad Pro Test Clip 243 - March 2017 (2:17)

On the first day of the NFL season, No. 2 turned out better than No. 1.

Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota had a fantastic debut, one in which he had more touchdown passes (four) than incompletions (three) in a rout of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Mariota's second meeting with Jameis Winston was almost the same as his first, a 39-point win in the College Football Playoff semifinals.

A record-setting day

The Elias Sports Bureau noted that Mariota became the second rookie in NFL history with four touchdown passes in a season opener, joining Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton.

Mariota became the first to do so within the first half. He never threw four touchdowns in a first half in his college career.

Mariota’s 81.3 percent completion percentage was the best in an opener in Titans franchise history (minimum 15 attempts) and the best in any game for them since Vince Young completed 83 percentage against the Jaguars in 2009.

Elias also notes that the 28-point margin is the largest for a rookie quarterback against another rookie quarterback since the AFC and NFC merged in 1970.

What made him so good?

Mariota excelled in the shotgun, completing 10 of 10 passes for 176 yards and two touchdowns out of the formation (the throws were to Kendall Wright and Harry Douglas).

He was also perfect (11-for-11) when throwing the ball more than one yard past the line of scrimmage.

Did You Know?

Only one quarterback last season had a game in which he threw at least four touchdown passes and threw fewer than four incompletions: Tony Romo, who went 18-for-20 with four touchdowns against the Colts.