Tennessee Titans: Loss Of Jake Locker Shines Through

Oct 13, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (4) is tackled by Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bruce Irvin (51) at CenturyLink Field. The Seahawks defeated the Titans 20-13. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

 

When the Tennessee Titans lost Jake Locker to a hip injury two weeks ago I, among others, was still optimistic about Ryan Fitzpatrick being efficient enough to snag us a few wins and be competitive.

Those thoughts are long gone with no sign of positive life coming back. See more reactions here.

While the last two games for this Titans team have been relatively close score wise, they couldn’t have been farther off in terms of play and expectations. The major issue plaguing this team right now is offensive inefficiency. All aspects of this offense are at a stand-still. It is incredibly difficult to watch and an even harder pill to swallow.

Why is it so hard to watch? Didn’t we expect this to happen when Locker went down?

The answer to that is yes and no.

While Locker going down took away some versatility from this offensive unit, no one could have imagined just how stale this offense has become. No one would have predicted such an inept offense with Fitzpatrick at the helm and not even one worthy of being called a game-managing offense. An offense that can’t even put together one drive for a touchdown is just depressing all in itself.

What makes it sting even more is that just three weeks ago under Locker this offense was electric and on fire. What a difference losing one player can make. Locker was on the rise and this offense, while it did have some issues, looked to be on the upswing. Those feelings are no longer present.

The Titans find themselves in the midst of a nasty downswing of offensive production since the loss of Locker and with no sure sign of righting the ship coming in the near future. There are two things that stand out offensively and both need addressed immediately: Fitzpatrick and the run game.

Ryan Fitzpatrick looked awful against Seattle. What is hard to watch is a guy who tries to play like he is Peyton Manning when no one expects him to be. The pass to Nate Washington at the start of the fourth. Why? It wasn’t necessary and no one is expecting you to be a game changer. Manage the offense and put us in positions to score; it doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Until Fitzpatrick understands his role in the offense, and stops coughing up the ball of course, this offense is going to see continuous struggles until Locker returns.

The run game is also increasingly painful to watch. Blame the inefficiency on a number of things. Play calling, poor blocking, keying on Chris Johnson with Locker gone, or just bad running by CJ. In the end, this run game is unnaturally bad and it has shown no sign of improvements. The Titans lifeline has and always will be the run game, without it, it’s a recipe for disaster.

The defense has played well and keeps us in games, but they can’t do it forever, nor does anyone expect them to. They are keeping us in games, now it’s time for the offense to help them out. However, optimism for such a thing to happen isn’t high in the offenses current state and that does not bode well for this Titans team moving forward.

Topics: Jake Locker, NFL, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tennessee Titans

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  • Modesto Koczwara

    He needs to first find a way to stay healthy!

    • Nick Pitakos

      There is no doubt about that. Locker’s first issue will always be to stay healthy. As long as he can and he can actually be out on the field playing, this Titans offense becomes much more versatile.

  • P. Loew

    I was one of those who didn’t think the offense would go into the tank with Fitzpatrick. My bad. Let me be one of the many voices yellin’ my A@# off, “The offense has tanked and gone belly up!!”
    Yeah, we need Jake Locker back in a hurry, but that’s not the reality of the situation. The reality: We’re stuck with Fitzpatrick, and a bad running game, against an explosive 49′er team.
    We also have an opportunity to beat a good team and go into the bye with a 4-3 record. IF the coaching staff can get Fitzpatrick to manage the game and IF CJ and the O-Line can put a decent game together, we actually have a viable shot at winning this game on our own turf. We know the defense is up for it.

    • Nick Pitakos

      Agree 100%. Like I have always stated, Fitzpatrick was meant to be nothing more than a game manager. To move the ball progressively and put us in positions to score, nothing more. I am remaining optimistic as well about our chances againat San Francisco, but unless drastci changes are made in the offense this week, I agree this game could be ugly. Only time will tell right?

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