clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota hold the hopes of their fanbases

Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Tennessee Titans will kick off at 4:25 p.m. today, which is when we'll see both Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston make their real NFL debuts. We've seen them in the preseason, but that doesn't compare to real NFL football -- and both quarterbacks are facing a considerable challenge, facing veteran defensive coordinators who know how to confuse and taking advantage of rookie quarterbacks.

Jameis Winston #Titans #Bucs

A video posted by Jim Wyatt (@jwyattsports) on

At first glance, Mariota probably has the slight advantage, here. Not only do running quarterbacks often adjust a little more quickly to the NFL, Mariota has no injured receivers while Jameis Winston will be without Mike Evans today. Then again, Winston is about as NFL-ready as rookie quarterbacks get, and he still has Vincent Jackson facing a depleted secondary.

There's a lot more to this game than just two rookie quarterbacks facing each other, though. There's two veteran head coaches coming off the worst seasons in their career. There's two new coordinators -- Dirk Koetter for the Bucs and Dick LeBeau for the Titans -- and there's a whole lot of hope for two fanbases who hope their team's turned a corner. One of those fanbases is going to come away from this game encouraged. The other, well, won't.

You can treat this as your open thread for the first quarter today.