On the back of a decisive 38-14 win over the New York Jets, the Tennessee Titans have a dark cloud looming over the victory.
Simply put, the loss of Jake Locker was just devastating and a real dagger to a team that was surging and turning some heads across the NFL. While the extent of Locker’s injury isn’t final yet, it does open endless questions about the future of this team and where it will be headed moving forward.
The one thing that is certain and is undeniably important for the future success of this team is the continued success brought by the Titans defense.
This defense has been a crutch that has allowed the Titans to remain in games, keep it close, and give our offense opportunities to score. They have been the exact definition of “defense wins championships” in the first few outings. They need that success and more moving forward with the loss of Locker at the helm.
Saying there is a complete disregard and distrust in the offense is not true. Ryan Fitzpatrick, while not Locker, can put us in positions to win. However, you will no longer see blow outs with Fitzpatrick behind center. No longer can the Titans sit comfortably and have a few rough series on offense. It just cannot happen. Our offense is too vulnerable right now with the loss of Locker to assume that can continue.
That’s why this defense is needed now more than ever before and in the midst of a solid start sitting at 3-1. This defense will be turned to not only for playmaking capabilities, but also as the leadership behind the entire team.
This defense absolutely must make plays. Game-changing interceptions, fumble recoveries, sacks, and defensive stops have to be happening and happening often. Our offense needs as many opportunities as possible and as many sitting in a comfortable position as possible.
Let’s see Bernard Pollard get fired up. Let’s see Alterraun Verner’s continued defensive effort. Let’s see Zach Brown flying across the field making plays and Jurrell Casey owning the line of scrimmage.
Calling out to this Titans defensive squad and its leaders to take a stance and lead this team as a unit.
Sure, our offense still has to make plays and put the ball in the end zone. Our run game needs improvement and we still need solid receiving play. In the end, however, our defense will be setting the tone for this Titans team. If our defense plays well and keeps us in games, I still think this Titans team has a chance. If not, these games until Locker’s return could get ugly.
We are diving into the nasty October schedule that we all were afraid of even with Locker at the helm. Kansas City, Seattle, and San Francisco are all coming up before we hit the bye week. That alone is enough to make Titans fans cringe.
Now more than ever, this defense is needed to step up and lead this team to keep us in games. Without it, watching these next few contests unfold could be painful. Hopefully their success continues.