Jake Locker vs. Matt Hasselbeck: Breaking Down Their First Preseason Game
Hasselbeck got the start in his first game against his former team, the Seattle Seahawks, and did not impress at all, to say the least.
On the very first play of the game, Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner intercepted Hasselbeck, returning the ball 23 yards for a touchdown. It actually wasn't a bad pass. Wide receiver Nate Washington tried deflecting the ball to Kendall Wright after not being able to make the catch, but Browner stole the ball away to cause the turnover.
On his first full drive of the game, other than a 10-yard completion to Washington to convert a third-and-four, Hasselbeck was not able to get much going for the offense and they eventually had to punt.
Although, it's worth noting that Chris Johnson dropped a pass on a third-and-nine that could have turned into something big.
On his final drive of the game, Hasselbeck started off pretty decently, completing an 18-yard pass to tight end Jared Cook on a rollout pass on second down. However, on the next play, Hasselbeck couldn't get the play in and had to burn a timeout.
He then completed two passes to Washington for 10 and four yards, respectively. He hit Cook for a three-yard pass to end the quarter.
After a Javon Ringer run to start the drive, Hasselbeck then threw his second interception of the game, this time to Richard Sherman, which ended his night.
Locker's first drive was a three-and-out, after Johnson was stuffed on a run play, an end around attempt was thwarted, and then Johnson dropped another screen pass.
After Hasselbeck's performance, how likely is it that Jake Locker will win the starting QB job?
His second drive was more promising, as he started it with a 15-yard completion to rookie Kendall Wright for a first down. He hit Washington with a six-yard strike while conducting the no-huddle offense.
However, three straight incomplete passes ended the drive with a turnover on downs. Notably, all five plays in the drive were conducted using the shotgun.
On his third drive, Locker hit Wright with a 14-yard strike, and later found Marc Mariani for a 13-yard gain before the two-minute warning. Locker continued to lead the Titans down to the Seattle 14-yard line before two incomplete passes ended the drive. The Titans would have to settle for a field goal.
Hasselbeck went 5-for-9 passing for 45 yards and two interceptions, while Locker went 7-for-13 passing for 80 yards.
Considering Hasselbeck was playing against the Seahawks starters, and Locker against mostly the second-team defense, it may not be fair to judge who has the advantage solely based off of this game. But Locker clearly won this single battle, at least.
The war for the starting quarterback job is still going. After his sloppy performance, Hasselbeck has a lot of making up to do in the next week if he wants to retain his starting job.
Locker most likely will be the starter next week against Tampa Bay. After that game, the picture should be much clearer, as head coach Mike Munchak said he wants to pick a starter before the third regular season game.
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