Losing Jake Locker was supposed to provide one of the final death blows to the playoff hopes of the Tennessee Titans. It hasn’t so far. After his first stint included losses to two teams with their conference’s best records (I refuse to refer to the Kansas City Chiefs as a powerhouse), Ryan Fitzpatrick has stringed two solid performances together against the Indianapolis Colts and Oakland Raiders. With a 5-6 record, the Titans currently control the AFC No. 6 seed.
Fitzpatrick did about as much as one could ask for with a No. 2 quarterback. He threw for more than 300 yards, completed more than 70 percent of his passes, and protected the football. He used all of his receiving tools, evidenced with Justin Hunter and Kendall Wright both having 100-yard performances. Fitzpatrick could’ve been more efficient in the red zone. The Titans will need more than field goals when they’re facing higher quality opponents. You know—the Colts, Denver Broncos and Arizona Cardinals.
What was most encouraging about his performance? Down 19-16 with approximately six minutes left, Fitzpatrick orchestrated a comeback drive that was capped off with Wright’s 10-yard touchdown reception. That was his second comeback drive since Sep. 2011, his first since Oct. 2012.
Keep an eye on Fitzpatrick. If he can somehow keep up this level of play, then in 2014, this may turn into another “veteran or young quarterback” debate. Much like Vince Young or Kerry Collins. There’s a long way to go before that becomes a legitimate question.
Check Titan Sized for more player of the weeks. Polls are conducted after victories. No player of the weeks are announced during losses.
Pro Football Reference