A weekly analysis of the Titans' quarterback play:
Rewind: Jake Locker didn’t look completely like himself and took a long time to get the Titans' offense moving effectively. He threw a bad interception but followed it up with two touchdown passes. The hip and knee injuries, and the knee brace he wore, didn’t keep him from running, but he did go down headfirst twice, as sliding with the brace ahead of you can be awkward. Locker finished with a 92.1 passer rating and was a major upgrade over his backup, Ryan Fitzpatrick, who started the previous two games.
Fast-forward: Locker will continue to rehabilitate the leg and rest during the bye week, and the team feels very good about where he will be as it gets ready for Week 9 at St. Louis. Like the Titans, the Rams are 3-4. They will play Monday night against Seattle before hosting Tennessee. Rams coach Jeff Fisher’s defense is 22nd in the NFL, and 30th against the run. If the Titans can finally run it, Locker should have a much easier time.
Reallocation: The top of the pass-distribution list is fine. The Titans should be throwing to Kendall Wright (40 catches), Nate Washington (26) and Delanie Walker (23). Running back Chris Johnson has done far more big-play damage as a receiver than as a runner, even with just 15 catches. The Titans should consider new, more inventive ways to get him the ball. And they should throw once in a while to tight ends Craig Stevens and Taylor Thompson, just to tell defenses those tight ends aren’t only going to be blocking.
Prediction: I predict a restful, peaceful week for Locker as he continues to heal.