Ever since they were drafted back in 2015, there’s been comparisons drawn between Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston. Is Winston the better quarterback because he was drafted first? Or did Mariota fit the Titans offensive style better? After their first season in the league, the debate seemed to fade. Both qb’s proved to be the real deal after finishing the season with similar stats, however, for some reason the debate continues to linger. Skip Bayless revisited the topic after he was asked who the REAL leader was. He replied with, “Jameis Winston is a born leader. I’m not so sure the other kid is (Mariota).” Skip also took to Twitter, tweeting that he’s always preferred Winston over Mariota. Does Skip have an issue Mariota, or is he just flat out not a fan?
Essentially, Bayless left Buccaneers/Winston fans proud, and Titans/Mariota fans stunned when he spoke such brash comments. What factors determine whether Mariota isn’t a true leader and Winston is? After going 3-13 the previous season, Mariota is helping LEAD his team to a shot at the playoffs. Winning awards and breaking records is showing his team that anything is possible, and that a 3-13 record isn’t going to define them.
MARIOTA PUTS IN WORK
Lets rewind several games back to the Titans vs. Lions match-up. It was the 4th quarter and the Titans were down 15-10 with roughly six minutes left on the clock. They started from their own 17 and were on their 3rd down. It was at that moment that Mariota proved his leadership and ability to handle pressure . He was 6/6 during the drive, and on the last and final down, he launched a pass to Andre Johnson who scored the touchdown! The defense stepped up for the final hold and the game is over. Titans win 16-15.
Who could forget the loss against Oakland where Mariota was leading them to a comeback in the 4th quarter once again, unfortunately, crucial penalties on Taylor Lewan and Andre Johnson contributed to their loss. To give you a scope of how close the Titans were to securing a win, the offense had eight consecutive plays, 68 yards on a single play, and four first downs with 1:39 left on the clock. Mariota put all the mistakes he made earlier in the game behind him and had an amazing drive.
Hes a true teammate who spends additional time with teammates by taking his offensive line out to dinner every week to help build the chemistry and bond. After every game, he seemingly takes the blame for everything, and he always says good things about everyone’s performance. If such actions aren’t the markup of a leader, then I don’t know what is.
As for Skip, Titans fans say he just needs to “Skip to the hater side with everyone else”.