The last time Jameis Winston played a competitive football game he found himself on the wrong end of a lopsided score against a Marcus Mariota-led team. And, on Sunday, history repeated itself in a large way, as Mariota’s Tennessee Titans thumped Winston’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers 42-14 on Sunday afternoon.
Mariota began his professional career with one of the best debut halves of any quarterback in NFL history, hitting 10-of-13 passes for 175 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions – good for a 157.9 passer rating.
Mariota ended his first NFL start like it was an October Saturday against Washington State; he hit on 13-of-16 passes for 209 yards with four touchdowns (that’s more touchdowns than incompletions, for those keeping track) for a perfect 158.3 passer rating before sitting out the fourth quarter.
Winston, posted a stat line much more typical of an NFL rookie. He hit 16-of-33 throws for 210 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions, including a pick six to Coty Sensabaugh on his very first pass.
This, of course, was a repeat of the 2015 Rose Bowl, when Mariota’s Oregon team drubbed Winston and Florida State 59-20 in the first College Football Playoff game ever.
Mariota completed 26-of-36 passes for 338 yards with two touchdowns and one interception while rushing eight times for 62 yards and another score on that day, while Winston threw for 348 yards with a touchdown, an interception and one costly (and hilarious) fumble.
The good news for the 2013 Heisman Trophy winner? Barring a meeting in the Super Bowl, Winston won’t face the 2014 Heisman winner until 2019. The bad news? He still plays for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.