Finally, the football season is back in full swing and full of excitement! From last minute game winning plays to record breaking performances. There were many surprises in the outcomes of game this week, but fortunately for any weary fans its only Week 1. Out of all the impressive performances there were two that stood out above the rest.
Marcus Mariota’s presence was felt in his regular season debut, the rookie came out looking like a seasoned veteran. The second overall pick in the 2015 draft was the first Titan to start the opening game of his rookie season. Racking up spectacular stats such as four touchdowns on 13 completions with 209 yards, giving him the NFL’s top QB rating at 158.3.
The rookie quarterback is now the youngest player in NFL history to throw four touchdown passes in the first half of his debut. Under pressure, Mariota stayed calm and was deadly accurate in the pocket, he broke down the Bucs defense and executed in tight situations.
If you’re wondering why he didn’t rack up anymore scores that is because Ken Whisenhunt rested him in the fourth quarter, talk about an impact! Next week Mariota will face Browns defense, who is coming off of a loss and they’re a much better unit than the rookie signal caller faced in his debut.
Once Frank Gore left for the Indianapolis Colts, the 49ers were left in search of a replacement according to several narratives. That search didn’t last too long, Carlos Hyde debut on Monday night was nothing short of impactful. The second year year running back took advantage of the stretch-zone running scheme, implemented by offensive coordinator Geep Chryst.
The former Buckeye set a career high against the Vikings, rushing for 168 yards on 26 carries and two touchdowns. There is one touchdown that will be repeatedly replayed in the Viking film session this week, I am referring to Hyde’s awesome spin move on Everson Griffen that led to a score and instantly had fans comparing his “B button” spin move with current Buckeye Braxton Miller.
Hyde’s 168 yards places him on top of the NFL’s rushing list. The score also reflected his impact on Monday, he was the only player on the field to get in the end zone. After that performance a lot of eyes will be on the 49ers backfield. Especially the Steelers defense, which coming off a loss to the New England where they held the Patriot’s ground attack to 80 yards. They’ll have the challenge of slowing down next.