Should The Titans Start Jake Locker Over Matthew Hasselbeck? No.
I get it. Week one the Titans lost. For the following three weeks, the Titans looked like a team that could be dominant in all phases. It wasn’t always constant, but there were certainly flashes of greatness coupled with a 3-game win streak. The team was hyped, the fans were hyped and the Titans looked to be a team that could take the division. A not so close loss to the Steelers followed by a blowout loss the Texans later and now things don’t look as great.
So, naturally there are echoes of “bench the QB”, but is that really the right move?
I’ll admit I was a proponent of the Titans signing Hasselbeck, even before it was mentioned. So, there is at least a small amount of bias. Regardless, Hasselbeck has outperformed the wildest of expectations.
On a team with little to no running game, Hasselbeck has managed to help lead the Titans to second place in the division, albeit after two blowout losses. There weren’t too many people who placed the Titans that high, especially considering the amount of turnover the team went through this off-season, couple that with the lockout and this season was a recipe for disaster for the Titans. Hasselbeck remains as responsible as anyone for any winning done this season. Charlie Sheen would be proud….. if he was sober enough to notice.
Right now, the Titans have the #12 passing offense in the NFL with 242 yards a game. The Titans have the #32 rushing attack in the league with 64 yards a game. You know what that means? The Team, due to personnel, is forced to play one-dimensional. This forces opposing defensing to play the pass and maybe consider the run, but not really worry about the run. That means that Hasselbeck looked great when there was a minor threat of the run. Honestly, that’s phenomenal.
Unfortunately, opposing teams now know that there is literally no running game in Tennessee and they can sell out to defend the pass. You can’t be one-dimensional. Even the current greats: Manning, Brady, and Brees all have running attacks. In Mannings case, I’m referring to previous seasons.
Right now, the Titans have an average defense, at least according to the numbers. The defense allows over 358 yards per game as well as 22. 5 points per game. This means the offense will more than likely play from behind. Another bad situation for Hasselbeck and the passing game. Now, I’ll admit that those numbers are skewed due to the last two games, but it still gives you an idea of what Hasselbeck faced the last two games.
When you’re a QB playing from behind with no run game and, for the most part, below average widouts……well, it’s hard to win, much less look good.
Let’s hold off on Locker for now. I’ve got very high hopes for him and think he can be great in this league, but it won’t hurt the team one bit to wait long enough to give Hasselbeck a fair chance. After all, he is the only bright spot on the team right now.