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.