The main question about the Tennessee Titans heading into the season was whether or not this team could win with Jake Locker at the helm. One month later the question is whether or not they can win without him.
The Titan fan base can breathe a collective sigh of relief, now that Jake Locker's injury isn't supposed to be season or even career ending. His play has definitely been elevated as he is ranked 5th in the league through 4 games in total QBR according to ESPN. If you don't like QBR and prefer the traditional passer rating, he ranks 6th overall in that category. With 6 passing touchdowns, 1 rushing, and 0 picks against 3 top 10 overall defenses (and one poor one), make no mistake that Locker has made the transition.
The Titans team of 2012 was stripped, scrapped, mixed, shaken and stirred as head coach Mike Munchak and general manager Ruston Webster played mad scientist with $100M of Bud Adam's money. So far it's worked.
One of the most important things added in this off season was depth at all positions. While the previous Titans weren't lacking in that area in regards to the quarterback position, the powers that be feel that Ryan Fitzpatrick is an upgrade there as well.
A quick look at Fitzpatrick's career:
Fitzpatrick's biggest draw back is his propensity to turn over the ball. In a new system on a new team, hopefully he'll be asked to do less than he was in Buffalo, limiting the need to force issues. Perhaps his high interception rate was due to weather conditions or from playing from behind in a multitude of games. Maybe he just made poor decisions. Either way it will be incumbent upon offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains to put him in a comfortable position to succeed and not turn the ball over.
This team's watermark for the season has been resiliency and fortitude. As much as Jake Locker has improved and played well, this is still a team game, something that bodes well for the Titans. They have had contributions from all over the field and at all positions. The additions of key veterans and coaching staff, combined with the progress of younger core players has this team cloaked in a new attitude. They will now have to rally together in the face of their current adversity and keep the ship afloat until Locker can return.
The time for shock and worry has passed. The show must go on.