After a historically great performance by rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota in Sunday’s win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Tennessee Titans are actually starting to get a lot of serious attention for a team that hasn’t seen postseason football in seven years now. Not everyone seems to be as excited as their fan base, however:
“Don’t start that. Please, dear God, no buzz,” said Titans’ tackle Taylor Lewan. “We’re still the Tennessee Titans and people still think we’re an Arena League team. Let us be and let us try to win games.”
I guess Lewan isn’t used to winning. You don’t hear Rob Gronkowski complaining when they show his highlights over and over again on ESPN.
There were definitely a lot of highlights to show from the Titans’ 42-14 rout of the Bucs and Jameis Winston. Mariota made his first career start and played about as perfect as a QB can play in general finishing 13 of 16 for 209 yards, four touchdowns, and a perfect passer rating of 158.3. So much for all those fears of how Mariota would perform in a pro-style offense coming out of Oregon.
But at the same time, Lewan’s comments makes sense. The last thing he wants is for the Titans to get ahead of themselves having already won half as many games as they did all last season.
“The worst thing is [the media is] all of a sudden showing our highlights,” said Lewan. “Look at any NFL commercial and tell me how many times you see the Tennessee Titans—of us being the highlight. You know? People don’t like us. That’s fine. We’ll keep our heads down and work.”
Lewan does make some valid points. And as Washington Redskins fans know all too well from Robert Griffin III, just because your second overall pick has a fantastic rookie debut, it doesn’t necessarily make him the next Peyton Manning.
And let’s not forget, they were playing the team who had the first overall pick from this past season.
The Titans travel to Cleveland this weekend, so Mariota’s first real test will come Week Three when the Indianapolis Colts come to town. If Mariota can keep up with Luck, then maybe it’s time to get unreasonably excited about the rookie.