Aug 17, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Tennessee Titans quarterback Jake Locker (10) looks to pass in the first quarter of a preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
What we’ve heard all offseason from the media is that the Titans will go as far as Jake Locker’s arm will carry them. That didn’t seem to be the case Saturday in Cincinnati. Jake may not be strong enough to carry a team that performed like the Titans did against the Cincinnati Bengals. Jake passed for a very respectable 60% on 20 passes. No—his 116 yards don’t inspire memories of Warren Moon. However, let’s keep in mind that this Bengals defense was top 10 against the pass last year.
If Locker wasn’t the problem against the Bengals, who was?
One problem was dropped passes in the first half. Dropped passes killed otherwise successful drives. Nate Washington dropped a difficult, yet catchable pass that could have been a touchdown. If this Titans team wants to contend, they can’t make silly mistakes. Dropping passes is silly when you’re getting paid to catch passes.
Another problem was the defensive backfield that looked like it had been training with Napoleon Dynamite recently. Aside from Michael Griffin and Alterraun Verner, the defensive backs couldn’t tackle or cover. A few weeks back I said that Jurrell Casey could be a key figure in any Titans playoff push. My main man Jurrell will have a tough time making a significant impact if the back end of the defense is this inept.
As Saturday’s game proved, football is the ultimate team sport. Unless your quarterback is either Aaron Rodgers good or Kevin Kolb bad, the fate of the team will ultimately fall on the entire team’s performance. Locker will not turn into Aaron Rodgers overnight and be the reason that the Titans make the playoffs. But, I am just as confident that he will not turn into Kolb and lead us into the Jadeveon Clowney sweepstakes either.
So far Jake is 19-31 in the preseason. That’s 61 percent, Titans fans. If Jake can manage to stay around the 60-percent mark, he should give us an opportunity to win every game. However, the pass-catchers, corners, and safeties will need to play like their in the NFL.
One last thing—Tommie Campbell just doesn’t have it. It may be time to admit it.