If you didn’t know this about the writer, I used to be in public school. Despite not wanting school to start back, there would be nothing more exciting than the first day of school. It brought such a sense of renewal in the air. I’d never admit this, but the morning of, I was kind of looking forward to the first day. The fresh air, the cool classroom, the friendly-faced teachers, the quiet kids. However, after that wears off, you tend to see that all things don’t remain the same.
Many know my thing on quarterbacks. I try to wait until the third year to evaluate quarterbacks. A lot of people can be fooled by who the media pushes on you. Robert Griffin III? Seemed he was in more endorsement deals, more commercials, than Andrew Luck. As a matter of fact, Luck wasn’t in a commercial. Griffin’s rookie year was considered more impressive than Luck’s, yet no team inquired about Griffin when the Redskins demoted him to third-string and put him on the trade block.
If nobody saw Marcus Mariota’s debut versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it was nothing less than perfect… Literally. He had a 158.3 passer rating, which is perfect in the NFL. He also threw for 4 touchdowns… And oh yeah! The former Heisman winner only played 3 quarters of the game before Coach Whisenhunt decided it was pointless to let his quarterback play a fourth in his first career start.
But what are we supposed to think about this amazing feat that only 51 other men have been able to pull off?
I’m seeing there are people who are giving not only Mariota credit, but the Titans. I’m seeing there are people who are not giving Mariota nor the Titans any credit, simply because it was against the pathetic Buccaneers defense. All have you know, a perfect game by anyone, against any team, is impressive! Some Hall of Fame quarterbacks have never seen a perfect game. Men such as Troy Aikman, Otto Graham, Jim Kelly, Bart Starr, Warren Moon… Those are Hall of Fame quarterbacks who probably found a defense they could have a field day with… Not one 158.3 passer rating in their legendary careers. So we can come to the conclusion that “Oh, it was against Tampa” is a pretty thoughtless argument to bring to the table, don’t you think?
So dismissing the Buccaneers point of view some have, I went to go see who has actually posted a 158.3, and there’s been quite a few, some doing it multiple times. I mentioned that there was 52 quarterbacks in the NFL’s rich history to have this moment, and it’s been done 63 times as of Mariota’s Sunday.
Neat Fun Facts:
The first ever perfect passer rating game recorded was by Ray Mallouf of the Chicago Cardinals in 1948 against the New York Giants.
Peyton Manning has the most games with 158.3 passer rating, with 4. His last coming in a 2004 AFC Wild Card game versus the Broncos.
Craig Morton’s the first ever to do it twice, however, one with the Cowboys in ’69 and the second with the Broncos in ’81.
Chad Pennington was the only one to post a perfect game, and lose! November 16, 2003 versus the Colts, this being when he was with the Jets.
The most perfect passer rating games have occurred in the 2000s with 17, next highest was in the 1970s with 13.
Drew Bledsoe, Robert Griffin III, and Marcus Mariota are the only ones to have a perfect passer rating game in their rookie seasons.
I actually wanted to bring a deeper thought into the discussion. Many believe that today is a passing game, and one of the neat fun facts showed just that, with the previous decade having the most games as such. Does it make it easier to throw one, and can anyone get lucky? I wanted to see the last five ones to throw for 158.3 … Shall we?
Marcus Mariota (September ’15 at Tampa Bay)
Geno Smith (December ’14 at Miami)
Alex Smith (December ’13 at Oakland)
Nick Foles (November ’13 at Oakland)
Robert Griffin III (November ’12 vs Philadelphia)
Do any of those quarterbacks jump out at you as great quarterbacks, who are knocking on the elite door level? Closest one in my mind is Nick Foles, and he just got traded this offseason, so he’s far away from what I’d call “great” or “elite”! That made me open my eyes a little bit.
For the reader’s information (and I appreciate your support by even reading this article), I chose Marcus Mariota to be better than Jameis Winston. Week 1? So far, so good. But things like this can be deceiving. The media loves to have you jump the gun on players, particularly quarterbacks. RG3 has been mentioned in this article, Johnny Manziel, for those of you who are more familiar with these recent names. Are they exciting and fun to talk about? Yes! I dearly hope Mariota doesn’t land his name in four years with these players, but I can’t rule it out after one game.
So the purpose of this article was to set the level as to how we’re supposed to view Marcus Mariota’s stellar debut, and Mariota’s future itself. The answer’s simple… Let’s slow down… Let’s take a step back and enjoy Mariota’s rookie year. Let’s see how he handles the pressure in his NFL sophomore year when defenses have him figured out. Let’s see what presence he brings in the field and locker room for his third year.
And for the love of all that is good, let’s stop talking about the Tennessee Titans in the same breath with the Super Bowl!!