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Charting Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota, Week 1

The Winston-Mariota debate began last season and will continue for years to come. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
The Winston-Mariota debate began last season and will continue for years to come. [DIRK SHADD | Times]
Published Sep. 16, 2015

Like Peyton Manning and Ryan Leaf and like Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, rookie quarterbacks Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota — the No. 1 and No. 2 overall picks in the 2015 NFL draft — will be linked forever.

For years to come, writers, television analysts and fans will scrutinize and second-guess anything and everything, from passes to horse snorts. In the space here throughout the season, we'll do just that (well, except for the snorts … probably).

Below, we've charted just about every pass Winston and Mariota threw in the Titans' 42-14 beatdown of the Buccaneers in Week 1. We've also plotted their performances as measured by conventional quarterback rating, ESPN's Total Quarterback Rating and Football Outsiders' Defense-adjusted Value Over Average, which we'll explain in a bit.

Pass charts

Mariota and the Titans shredded the Bucs defense with play-action passes. Mariota was 5-of-5 on such throws for 114 yards and a touchdown. His 22.8 yards per attempt on play-action passes was the highest of any quarterback in Week 1. On other throws, Mariota was 8-of-11 for 95 yards and three touchdowns. Neither quarterback thew a pass 20 or more yards downfield.

Green is a complete pass, blue is a touchdown pass, purple is an incomplete pass, red is an interception and gray is a throw out of bounds. Passes beyond the end zone are not charted.

Quarterback rating

Mariota finished with a quarterback rating of 158.3, the highest attainable mark, while Winston finished with a rating of 64.0. Only two rookie quarterbacks who attempted at least 10 passes in a game have earned a perfect rating: RGIII for Washington in 2012 and Drew Bledsoe for the New England Patriots in 1993.

Total Quarterback Rating (QBR)

A 15-yard completion on third-and-42 isn't the same as a 15-yard completion on third-and 10. QBR, a proprietary ESPN statistic, considers this context. It seeks to measure how much a quarterback's throws contribute to his team scoring points and winning the game. Quarterbacks are rated on a 0-100 scale. After one week, Mariota is the NFL leader in QBR (95.7) while Winston is last (6.7).

Defense-adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA)

Football Outsiders defines DVOA as a number that "represents value, per play, over an average quarterback in the same game situations." Similar to baseball's Wins Above Replacement statistic, a positive percentage indicates an above-average player and a negative percentage indicates a below-average player. Out of 33 ranked quarterbacks, Mariota is ranked first and Winston is ranked 32nd.

A note: Mariota's and Winston's DVOA ratings are unsustainable. There will be some regression; Mariota will not be 149.3 percent better than the average quarterback and Winston won't be 77.8 percent worse. For reference, the NFL DVOA leader last season was Aaron Rodgers with a mark of 32.2 percent. Josh McCown finished with a minus-41.9 percent rating.

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Contact Thomas Bassinger at tbassinger@tampabay.com. Follow @tometrics.

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