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Locker threw for 229 yards in Week 1 of 2012
Jake Locker did what he had to do in his busy preseason to give Titans fans a reason to have some reserved excitement about how much he could improve, starting in Week 1 against the Steelers.
In what is widely considered the dress rehearsal in Week 3 of the preseason, Locker played very well against the Falcons' defensive starters, which led to three scoring drives in the first half.
Locker has still had some consistency issues with his accuracy, but he definitely seems to be in a much better place than he's ever been with his mechanics.
However, Locker still has plenty of critics that think that he can only take the Titans so far, which isn't far at all judging by the rating given to Locker by John Clayton of ESPN.
We'll get a good idea of whether Locker's preseason is a true sign of things to come judging by how well he manages the game in Pittsburgh. No one is saying he has to go out there and throw for 300 yards to prove that he has gotten better.
What Locker does have to do is avoid the big mistakes to keep the Titans in the game all the way until the end. He has the offensive line, the receivers and the running game to win plenty of games if he learns to lead this offense effectively as a signal-caller.
Locker should also get several opportunities to make plays with his legs to move the chains. He just has to learn to slide and protect the football.
Managing expectations for Locker on a gigantic stage in Pittsburgh should be the key here. Don't expect big numbers in Week 1.
Projected Stat Line: 20/29, 205 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 25 rushing yards