Marcus Mariota threw a 52-yard touchdown pass to Kendall Wright on Tennessee’s first drive of the season. On the team’s next drive, Mariota threw a short pass to running back Bishop Sankey for a 12-yard touchdown. Before the half ended, he threw two more touchdowns, one each to Harry Douglas and Delanie Walker. It was a record-setting day for Mariota, the number two overall selection in the 2015 N.F.L. Draft.
Mariota became the youngest player in N.F.L. history to throw for four touchdowns in the first half of a game. Just one other rookie quarterback has thrown four first-half touchdowns in a single game: Johnny Green of Buffalo in 1960. Mariota also joined Matthew Stafford, Drew Bledsoe, and Fran Tarkenton as the only players since 1950 to pass for four touchdowns in a single game before turning 22 years old, and he and Tarkenton are the only rookie quarterbacks to throw for four touchdowns in their team’s firstgame.
It was perhaps the greatest statistical performance by a rookie quarterback in his first game in N.F.L. history. In addition to those four touchdowns, Mariota completed 13 of 16 passes for 209 yards, producing a perfect passer rating of 158.3. Just two rookie quarterbacks since 1960 had a perfect rating in any game: Robert Griffin III of Washington, in 2012 against Philly, and Drew Bledsoe of New England, in 1993 against the Colts.