Jake Locker Struggles in His 1st Start for the Tennessee Titans
If Jake Locker ends up winning the starting quarterback job, it won't be by much.
In his first start ever in the NFL (preseason and regular season), Locker really struggled to get the offense into a groove against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Here's a review of his eight drives in the first half with the first team.
Drive No. 1
Three straight carries by Chris Johnson gained only nine yards, and the Tennessee Titans punted the ball away without giving Locker a chance to throw.
Drive No. 2
Locker completed his first pass of the game to tight end Craig Stevens for a short three-yard gain. On a 3rd-and-9, Locker scrambled around aimlessly before forcing a pass right into coverage, and it was intercepted by Ahmad Black. It was a very poor decision by Locker.
Drive No. 3
Locker threw two passes that were both broken up. They weren't terrible decisions by Locker, but just very good defensive plays by Mark Barron and Aqib Talib, which led to a three-and-out.
Will Jake Locker still end up being the Titans starting quarterback after his perfomance against Tampa Bay?
Drive No. 4
Locker again found Stevens, this time for an 11-yard pass for a first down.Two plays later, Locker scrambled for 21 yards in undoubtedly his best play of the game and set up Chris Johnson for a 14-yard touchdown run.
Drive No. 5
Another three-and-out for the Titans, as both of Locker's passes on the drive were again broken up.
Drive No. 6
Following a fumble recovery, Locker was able to find Kendall Wright for nine yards after a big loss by Chris Johnson. Locker would then overthrow Jared Cook in the end zone, and the Titans would be forced to kick a field goal.
Drive No. 7
Following an interception by Chris Hawkins, Locker's only pass was broken up, and Johnson would run in for a touchdown on the next play.
Drive No. 8
Locker's only pass was a dump pass to Darius Reynaud for a two-yard loss. Locker then completed a 3rd-and-8, but it was called back for holding. Locker would run for three yards on a 3rd-and-18, and the Titans would settle for yet another field goal.
Locker finished his first start by going 4-of-11 and passing for 21 yards and an interception. He wasn't pressured much through the quarter, except on two or three plays. While he did make a few good throws, and of course busted off a big run, this was a game in which his bad may end up outweighing his good.
I doubt this performance alone will disqualify Locker for the job, especially given Matt Hasselbeck's performance last week against Seattle. In a game where he had a chance to distinguish himself from the others hoping to obtain the starting quarterback job, Locker was very disappointing.
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