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Sep 29, 2013; Nashville, TN, USA; Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (4) drops back into the pocket against the New York Jets during the second half at LP Field. The Titans beat the Jets 38-13. Mandatory Credit: Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

Can Ryan Fitzpatrick Win a Big Game for Tennessee Titans?

The Tennessee Titans surprised the NFL by becoming 3-1 this past Sunday with a 38-13 stomping over the New York Jets.

The win was deflated after Jake Locker was hit late by Muhammad Wilkerson and Quinton Coples. No flag was thrown on the play. Titans fans could only see Locker stiff as a board laid flat on his back and grabbing at his hip. He was taken off the field on a stretcher. The biggest part to the Titans being 3-1 to start the season was how well Locker has progressed each week by not turning the ball over or making any costly mistakes.

Locker has been diagnosed with a sprained hip and sprained knee. Reports have him listed out for a “few weeks.” Jake is a great person on and off the field. Hopefully, everyone’s prayers are with Jake to make a speedy recovery. The Tennessean reports that Locker has already started rehabbing his hip and knee.

This injury couldn’t have come at a worse time. Locker was playing so well as he had seven total touchdowns and zero turnovers before the injury. The other side of that would be the Titans confront the toughest part of their schedule in the next three weeks as they play the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs at home, The undefeated Seattle Seahawks in Seattle and the reigning NFC champion San Francisco 49ers at home. Then comes the bye week.

The Titans backup quarterback for these games will be nine-year veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick has experience and is easily one of the best backup quarterbacks in the league. It’s still depressing but it’s not Rusty Smith at the helm.

Fitzpatrick is known for his turnovers and noodle arm; the complete opposite of Locker.

Fitzpatrick must knock off the rust and get as many reps in as possible before the Titans take on the undefeated Chiefs whom Fitzpatrick has played three time in the last three years while being the starting quarterback for the Buffalo Bills. The Chiefs was the must-win game of the year before Locker was hurt and I believe the Titans would win this game if Locker was playing this Sunday. The Titans must deal with what they have now and that is a quarterback who makes the playbook more limited.

When it comes down to it, the Titans defense has played amazing and a big part of that was Locker’s ability to keep them off the field. This will change with a turnover-prone backup and an offensive line that cannot create the right holes for Chris Johnson.

Or is it Johnson who needs to step it up?

The Titans must win one of these three games to have a shot at making the playoffs. Whatever time table is given for Locker, he will not practice for those weeks. He may not be the same player when he returns. Fans must have faith.

Fitzpatrick has what it takes to beat the teams the Titans should beat, but he won’t win a big game. Expect a three-game losing streak all the way to the bye week unless they get hit with some incredible luck. If the Titans enter the bye week at 3-4, they would need to win seven out of the next nine games to have 10 wins on the season. That includes a game against the Denver Broncos.

The Titans best hope is that Fitzpatrick can do just enough to sneak in a win against a team that has a bad day within these next three weeks. Hopefully, Locker returns after the bye week to take on the Jeff Fisher-led St. Louis Rams.

Can Fitzpatrick win one of these next three games? Comment below.

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Tags: NFL Ryan Fitzpatrick Tennessee Titans

  • ……ChiefsFan……

    It’s too bad Locker got injured. I would have liked to see these teams face off at full strength. Now if the Chiefs win, it will be because it was against the backup QB, and if they lose, well, I can imagine all the haters will have a field day. Either way, I hope Locker doesn’t miss too many games, he seems like a pretty good guy, and the Titans aren’t my least favorite team(as long as CJ doesn’t ever touch the war drum again). Here’s to hoping you guys win 2 out of 3 (losing to the Chiefs of course).

    • John Sciarretta

      Yeah. I really wanted these two to matchup and see where the teams are really at. The titans and chiefs have beat some mediocre teams. This was the real test and its sad to say that if its a close win by the chiefs the locker excuses will fly.

  • P. Loew

    I believe the Titans can win 2 out of 3 before the bye. I’m not as critical of Fitzpatrick as you are nor am I as high on Locker as you apparently are. While Locker has more upside and a bigger arm, Fitzpatrick is better in the short passing game. A better short passing game would take some pressure of the run game and prolong time of possession allowing the defense even more rest. A well rested, aggressive defense (especially the D-Line) is key to success in these 3 upcoming games in particular.
    Yes I worry about Fitzpatrick turning the ball over. He doesn’t have the arm strength to be the gunslinger he apparently sees himself as. When he starts slinging the ball around over 20 yrds he’s interception prone. He needs to manage the offense and get the short passing game in rhythm. He needs to be disciplined and use his Harvard smarts in making good decisions. I think he’s fully capable of this style e.g. Alex Smith. The coaches and team leaders will put the pressure on him to play inside the game plan. If he does we’ll beat Kansas City and San Francisco.

    • John Sciarretta

      I sure hope you’re right. But reps is a big thing and Fitzpatrick has admitted he has not had many. It took locker weeks to gel with his wideouts. And I’m sure the chiefs already know the game plan with fitz. Maybe if we could run the ball against good defenses we could be more optimistic.

      • Joshua Huffman

        How many reps ya think No. 3 QB Brian Hoyer got before he went out and won two games, one against Cincinnati? If Titans keep playing defense and Fitzpatrick limits BAD turnovers (e.g. turnovers deep inside either territory), Titans should remain competitive in all three of these games. Even if it somehow happened, there’s zero excuses for losing all three games with Fitz.

        • John Sciarretta

          Do you think Titans win sunday?

          • John Sciarretta

            Brian Hoyer never really got a shot in the NFL. I liked him as a backup in New England and now he’s getting his shot. Maybe he’s just a good quarterback who was hidden behind Tom Brady.

  • Pingback: Jake Locker Hip Injury Won’t Spell Doom for Tennessee Titans

  • David Murphy

    Kinda funny how this guy was hoping for Fitzpatrick after that first game. Now that Locker has looked good it is depressing that they are going to him. Show some back-bone it’s a long season.