Blake Bortles and Marcus Mariota are the future for the Jacksonville Jaguars (3-6) and Tennessee Titans (2-7), respectively.
As the two young quarterbacks look to will their teams to heights they have not seen in many years there are bound to be some hiccups.
For Bortles, most of those hiccups came in his rookie season. He threw 17 interceptions to just 11 touchdowns and looked to need massive work in the offseason. He persevered and the Jaguars are now being rewarded with improved play from their stud second-year signal caller.
For Mariota, the hiccups are coming inconsistently and are spaced by impressive games including two four-touchdown, zero interception performances so far in his rookie season. There is no question that he will rise through the ranks and is firmly cemented as one of the better young quarterbacks in football.
These two players are going to be battling each other for dominance in the AFC South for many years to come. Those battles start on Thursday in front of the a national audience.
Frankly, it’s an exciting time to be a fan of either of the two franchises.
As the team’s gear up for the first of two games against each other in a period of just three weeks, you have to wonder how the two QBs will fare. Both teams are fielding middle of the pack passing defenses, so we could see the two separated by the plays they make against the secondary.
Marcus Mariota won’t have too much of a threat from the Jags’ secondary as the unit rarely gets turnovers. Davon House was the first secondary player to come down with an interception last week and he came down with two. Other quarterbacks have looked like All-Pros against this Jags backend all season, Mariota could be the next.
Blake Bortles will have to contend with a slightly more opportunistic secondary from the Tennessee Titans. Not a particularly safe quarterback, Bortles may need to be a bit more precise than usual or risk giving the ball away too much and sacrificing the game in this one.
With mediocre passing defenses and pretty solid outings for both quarterbacks through most of the season, we can expect an exciting debut between this budding rivalry. I’m looking forward to this first game between the two and the beginning of what is hopefully a long battle for dominance over the years.