There was nothing the Tennessee defense or offense could do to slow down Deshaun Watson on Sunday. The rookie quarterback combined for five total touchdowns in a dominant effort by Houston, 57-14, at NRG Stadium. Watson tied the NFL rookie record for the most scores (5) in a single game.
Aside from the new frontrunner for the 2017 NFL Rookie of the Year, Mariota was holding his own until an injury derailed his day. He accumulated two touchdowns via 39 rushing yards on four carries. He looked like he was shot out of a cannon when running on the field surface in Houston. Yet, that may have contributed to his early exit as well.
The former Duck was fighting to find his rhythm in the passing game. Mariota completed 6-of-10 attempts for 96 yards and two interceptions. After his second rushing score of the afternoon, Mariota began to receive attention on the sideline during the second quarter. Moments later, he exited for the locker room and would not return.
He received an MRI early Monday morning in Nashville. The injury is considered day-to-day, but it is a slight “strain of the hamstring,” according to team sources. With the Titans’ franchise player, they can never be too cautious.
“He did have an MRI, and there is a strain of the hamstring.”— Tennessee Titans (@Titans) October 2, 2017
Marcus Mariota “Day to Day” with Hamstring Injury https://t.co/S2ezXSViCD
With a few days of rest, Tennessee’s quarterback should be fine. There is nothing Mariota can’t overcome on or off the field. Coincidently, Derek Carr went down with a back injury on Sunday. Last season, both Mariota and Carr had their season’s end prematurely on the same day.
Regardless, there isn’t much more you can say for the performance by Watson. He outshined everyone on the field, including a former Heisman Trophy winner who had two pretty incredible rushing touchdowns. Mariota will certainly receive an opportunity for revenge, twice a year annually, against their division rivals.
Watson completed 25-of-34 attempts for 283 passing yards, four scores, and one interception. He recorded 24 rushing yards on four carries and another six points on the ground.
Overall, Watson had a rating of 125.0 and a QBR of 98.3 in his professional breakout performance. The national champion and former teammate of Oregon DT Scott Pagano is used to the spotlight, however. Just ask Nick Saban and Alabama about his ability.
Marcus Mariota Season Stats
66-of-110 pass completions
60 percent completion percentage
792 passing yards
3 passing touchdowns
7.20 yards per pass
232 passing yards per game (before injury)
55 yards (season-long pass completion)
20 rush attempts
116 rushing yards
3 rushing touchdowns
5.8 yards per carry
34 yards (season-long rush)
Next up for Mariota and the Titans (2-2) in Week 5 is a meeting in South Beach with Jay Cutler and the Miami Dolphins (1-2). Kickoff is slated for 10:00 a.m. PT from Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday, October 8. We’ll have the complete recap here on Monday!