After a very good performance to start the season Jake Locker went back to his inconsistent ways as the Tennessee Titans lost in week 2. There’s more to their team than the underachieving quarterback, but in an AFC South that might up for the taking, they need a lot more from him.
Locker was intercepted twice while throwing one touchdown in the 10-26 loss to the Cowboys. Despite playing against one of the worst defenses in the NFL, the Titans managed to get just 18:49 of playing time with the ball, racking up 314 yards. The running game did well (82 yards on 13 carries), but trailing right off the bat, the calls went to Locker’s arm, which disappointed time after time.
The Titans couldn’t score a single point in the first half, and their impressive start from the win over the Chiefs was erased, with Locker completing just 52.9% of his passes and struggling to hit and connect with open receivers to make big plays happen.
One of the most disappointed players in all of that failure was Justin Hunter, who was targeted six times but caught just two passes for 26 yards. He has been targeted a total of 14 times this season but has only five receptions. It’s not all on Locker, but the quarterback has been struggling to spread the offense beyond completions to Delanie Walker, who had 10 receptions for 142 yards and a touchdown.
Locker kept looking to find Walker and tight end Nate Washington when in end zone situations, despite Hunter providing a much better target thanks to his long arms.
According to Pro Football Focus, Locker’s quarterback rating when throwing to Hunter is 58.3 which ranks 63rd in the NFL among receivers who’ve played at least a quarter of their team’s snaps. He still has more targets than Washington and isn’t far behind Walker, so a better understanding between the two of them could lead to significant and immediate improvement in the Titan’s offense, as they try to make the most of the Colts starting 0-2.