Titans, Locker need to drive long field better

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The 2013 Tennessee Titans were better than the 2012 Titans on offense.

Particularly noteworthy was the six-spot jump to eighth in third-down efficiency. There was also a four-spot jump in scoring offense to 19th.

Tom Gower of Total Titans takes a close look at the team’s point production on drives starting from different areas on the field.

“Talking about better?" Gower writes. “The Titans were more proficient when it came to turning possessions into points in every single field zone breakdown.”

Gower breaks down that field position based on where they wound up after kickoffs and punts and looks at Jake Locker compared to Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Locker wasn’t good at driving the field.

The offense produced 1.23 points per drive when the Titans started inside the 20 and 0.63 points per drive when the Titans started at the 20. (Those numbers were 1.79 and 2.23 with Fitzpatrick at quarterback.)

Per John Parolin of ESPN Stats & Information, the Titans had 16 touchdown drives of at least 80 yards this season, tied with the Chargers and Bills for 11th in the league. Denver's 29 led the league and Pittsburgh's seven was the fewest.

But of those 16 long drives, only four came from Locker (who played 380 snaps in 2013) while 12 came from Fitzpatrick (who played 650).

Driving a full field is hard, of course.

Locker will have to help the Titans do it more often if he’s going to prove the answer at quarterback for Ken Whisenhunt and the Titans.