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Marcus Mariota so far looking like a favorite for rookie of the year

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Where some people are putting him in the rankings.

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

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The only thing that matters in the NFL is winning, and that isn't lost on me. However, if you aren't built for a Super Bowl run then it makes sense to look at a couple of other things. At a certain point you get a checklist going in your head, and the first thing on that checklist has to be: does my team have a franchise quarterback.

Only a handful of teams can say yes to this, and according to some NFL.com sources, the Tennessee Titans might be the next team to check this box.

The thing that sparked this article is a video from Bucky Brooks and Daniel Jeremiah and an article from Around the NFL writer and podcaster Chris Wesseling.

Bucky Brooks and Daniel Jeremiah were one of the many writers and talking heads that were sure that Marcus Mariota was going to have a bad season, and that he was likely an illusion based off of an offensive system. However in that video, it looks like they may have changed their minds.

Brooks says in the video that he is impressed with what Mariota has already become and praised Ken Whisenhunt for his ability to adapt to the strengths of the young quarterback. He finished his statements off by saying that he loves his poise and accuracy and things he is on his way to becoming a great player. He ranked Mariota as his top candidate for offensive rookie of the year.

Daniel Jeremiah piggybacks off of these points and says that he thinks that the game isn't too big for him, though for the sake of argument he brings up Amari Cooper as a player that could challenge him.

As for Wesseling, he has been effusive in his praise for Mariota throughout the year and constantly sings his praises on the Around the NFL podcast. He has him ranked first in his ranking and had this to say about where some of his peers rank him:

"Mariota has risen to No. 11 -- just behind former Super Bowl MVPs Eli Manning and Drew Brees -- in Gregg Rosenthal's weekly QB Index. Coming off a bye week, he'll be tested against Rex Ryan and the Bills' fearsome foursome up front."

Again, this week will be a big week for Marcus Mariota for better or worse, and every will get to see what a slightly more experienced Marcus Mariota does against a defense similar to Cleveland's, but with better playmakers. Let's see just how well Whisenhunt can scheme against this defense given a week to sit and watch.