#1 Jake Locker
Aug 17, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Tennessee Titans quarterback Jake Locker (10) throws a pass against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
I was seriously tempted to make the five items on this list be “Jake Locker, Jake Locker, Jake Locker, Jake Locker and Jake Locker.” Don’t worry; I didn’t. But the fact that I honestly considered it underscores his importance to the Titans’ success this year.
The unproven third-year quarterback has been thrust into a make-or-break season as teams across the league are having more success in the passing game than ever. And as if that pressure weren’t enough, the success of young quarterbacks like Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck, Colin Kaepernick, Russell Wilson and Andy Dalton only makes Locker look worse by comparison.
In today’s NFL, teams can not be considered legitimate contenders without a quarterback who is competent at the very least. In order for the Titans to make a run at the playoffs this season, Locker won’t need to put up game-breaking numbers, but he will need to take care of the football more than he did last year (11 interceptions and four fumbles in 11 games) and become a more accurate passer (55.5 career completion percentage).