Titans Lack One Huge Piece
By Mike Edler
Through two games the Titans are one of the NFL’s more surprising teams. Beating the Steelers in Pittsburgh and then giving the Texans all they could handle in Houston is no easy feat. Now although they have been successful thus far, I do not think this team is built to last. The offensive line and running game are built to be the strong points of the offense, but they lack the one thing that all true contenders have. You guessed it, a quarterback is the Titans missing piece.
Jake Locker has been downgraded from the gun slinger he was supposed to be to a game managing quarterback that no defense is afraid of. Locker has had 273 yards and 2 touchdown through two games and although he hasn’t thrown an interception, he lacks the wow factor that opens up defenses. Looking back already you can make the assumption that if a better quarterback played the first two weeks, the Steelers game would have been a blowout and the Titans would have won in Houston.
Locker can be a serviceable quarterback, but what other accommodations do the Titans have to give him to make him successful? They supplied him with an offensive line that can compete with any defensive front, a running back that could average 100 yards a game if eight men weren’t in the box constantly and wide receivers that have potential if only someone could get them the ball. This isn’t a quarterback that can keep you in a crucial game when the defense does not show up, he just isn’t.
With the Titans having early success, I believe its too early to talk any kind of change. If you are playing well on defense and are winning games you can’t have that conversation, but one game the defense won’t show up, and the Titans will have no choice but to see what Locker has. If they go into Indianapolis and the defense can’t handle the new combo of Andrew Luck and Trent Richardson, which Locker will show up? The one who cannot put together consecutive successful drives like in Houston or the one who got in a shootout with Matthew Stafford and won? I was very high on Locker when he declared for the NFL draft and was shocked and ecstatic when the Titans picked him over Blaine Gabbert, but when is it time to realize that he isn’t the answer in an offense that both Kerry Collins and Matt Hasselbeck in the twilight of their careers had success. I understand the schemes have changed, but with the catering to Locker it has to have more success.
I hope I look back on this time and things have panned out and Locker has found an identity and has established himself in this league. That would make me more than happy, but I just don’t see it and after a set of games against Seattle and San Francisco the fans may soon be calling for Ryan Fitzpatrick. Stay tuned.