Marcus Mariota didn’t just lead the Tennessee Titans to a wild 42-39 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday. He delivered a performance never before seen in the NFL.
That performance included an 87-yard touchdown run, the third-longest run by an NFL quarterback since 1960. In 2013, Terrelle Pryor ran 93 yards for the Raiders, in 2014, Colin Kaepernick went 90 yards for the 49ers and on Sunday, Mariota did this:
That epic, fourth-quarter jaunt didn’t just provide the go-ahead points for the Titans. It pushed the quarterback over 100 yards rushing on the day, leading to this unprecedented feat:
On the same day when Jameis Winston, the first overall pick in this year’s NFL draft, led his Buccaneers to a comeback victory over the Falcons, Mariota, drafted second, proved his own worth in historic fashion. Sunday’s win improved the Titans’ record to just 3-9, but the play this season by the team’s rookie quarterback, starting from a four-touchdown performance in Week 1, promises much better things for years to come.
“The guy is incredible,’’ offensive tackle Taylor Lewan said of Mariota (via titansonline.com). “That’s why we drafted him. He has great patience in the pocket, and he proved again today he can do it running the ball, too.”
“We needed a big play and he came through for us. He’s a big-play type of guy,’’ tight end Delanie Walker said about his quarterback. “I never doubt Marcus — you never know what he can do. He is exciting to watch and makes the right decisions.”
Mariota, whose ability to gain big yards on the ground helped him win the Heisman Trophy last year at Oregon, had not actually done much running since he got drafted, having accounted for just 137 rushing yards on 22 carries over his first nine games (he missed a pair with a knee injury). But his lengthy jaunt Sunday was a reminder that NFL fans have only begun to see what Mariota can do.