Jake Locker Has Accrued a Full Season

Wesley Hitt

The Tennessee Titans' Jake Locker is a third year quarterback in timeline only. Now that Locker has finished 16 games, let's take a look at his stats for what could be considered his "rookie" season.

Here's Locker's career stats so far with some interesting splits that relate to whether or not the team was playing from behind or with the lead. All credit for this fantabulous compilation goes to non other than Jamal Black from over at Titans Report. Kudos.

2013
Completions Attempts Yards TDs Ints Rating
Ahead Total 25 38 233 2 0 100.00
Behind Total 59 95 747 5 1 99.76
Tied 10 19 67 1 0 78.18
Ahead 1 possession 17 27 173 1 0 93.60
Ahead 2 possession 6 6 41 1 0 134.72
Ahead 2+ possession 2 5 19 0 0 51.25
Behind 1 possession 40 63 487 3 0 103.08
Behind 2 possession 1 2 14 0 1 33.33
Behind 2+ possession 18 30 246 2 0 108.47
check 94 152 1,047 8 1 97.12
2012
Completions Attempts Yards TDs Ints Rating
Ahead Total 42 73 513 2 1 82.73
Behind Total 109 197 1,247 5 10 61.88
Tied 26 44 416 3 0 113.45
Ahead 1 possession 22 40 241 1 1 70.94
Ahead 2 possession 9 13 112 0 0 95.67
Ahead 2+ possession 11 20 160 1 0 97.92
Behind 1 possession 44 82 473 0 5 45.43
Behind 2 possession 25 47 238 1 4 39.14
Behind 2+ possession 40 68 536 4 1 97.43
check 177 314 2,176 10 11 73.95
2011
Completions Attempts Yards TDs Ints Rating
Ahead Total 0 1 0 0 0 39.58
Behind Total 33 62 530 4 0 103.56
Tied 1 3 12 0 0 46.53
Ahead 1 possession 0 0 0 0 0 #DIV/0!
Ahead 2 possession 0 0 0 0 0 #DIV/0!
Ahead 2+ possession 0 1 0 0 0 39.58
Behind 1 possession 10 24 222 0 0 75.35
Behind 2 possession 20 34 248 3 0 110.91
Behind 2+ possession 3 4 60 1 0 156.25
check 34 66 542 4 0 99.43
check 305 532 3,765 22 12
Career
Completions Attempts Yards TDs Ints Rating
Ahead Total 67 112 746 4 1 87.87
Behind Total 201 354 2,524 14 11 79.34
Tied 37 66 495 4 0 100.25
Ahead 1 possession 39 67 414 2 1 80.07
Ahead 2 possession 15 19 153 1 0 117.76
Ahead 2+ possession 13 26 179 1 0 85.26
Behind 1 possession 94 169 1,182 3 5 71.17
Behind 2 possession 46 83 500 4 5 64.33
Behind 2+ possession 61 102 842 7 1 105.11
check 305 532 3,765 22 12 83.73
Starter
Completions Attempts Yards TDs Ints Rating
Ahead Total 67 111 746 4 1 88.64
Behind Total 168 292 1,994 10 11 74.20
Tied 36 63 483 4 0 102.81
Ahead 1 possession 39 67 414 2 1 80.07
Ahead 2 possession 15 19 153 1 0 117.76
Ahead 2+ possession 13 25 179 1 0 88.58
Behind 1 possession 84 145 960 3 5 70.47
Behind 2 possession 26 49 252 1 5 34.95
Behind 2+ possession 58 98 782 6 1 100.81
check 271 466 3,223 18 12 81.51
2013 94 152 1,047 8 1 97.12
2012 177 314 2,176 10 11 73.95
2011 34 66 542 4 0 99.43
305 532 3,765 22 12
271 466 3,223 18 12

Locker's completion percentage was left off these tables, so I'll add them for you since many people like to point to that as barometer for QB efficiency or accuracy. 2011 - 52%, 2012 - 56%, 2013 - 62%.

The Nutshell

If the exercise at hand is to look at Locker's 16 starts as a rookie season, then he ended up with a QB Rating of 81.58, 3,223 yards, 18 TDs, 12 interceptions and a 58% completion percentage. Every single one of these numbers gets a boost when you factor in his 2011 stats in relief duty of Matt Hasselbeck. Not great, but far from horrible. This was also done through injury, under two offensive coordinators, and with little to no run game to lean on.

Two Halves

While the overall picture isn't that bad or good, anyone that has watched Locker play, knows what the stats confirm. His progression between his first 11 games in 2012 and the 5 games he's started this year is amazing.

While his yardage total is on pace for about the same amount per game, his completion percentage and quarterback rating have taken nice jumps. The biggest difference is the touchdown to interception ratio. Locker has only 2 less touchdowns in 6 less games from 2013 to 2012, and has only given up the ball once as opposed to 11 times.

The stats can't tell you what the eye test does on Sunday however. Locker's decisiveness, poise and accuracy are leaps and bounds better than they were a year ago. He's in command of the game as well as the play book, for which he deserves credit, but so does Dowell Loggains. Loggains has installed a game plan that everyone can adapt to and that plays to Locker's strength. Chris Palmer's system seemed more intent on playing chess against a supercomputer than it did actual execution.

Digging Deeper

Thanks to Mr. Blacks breakdown of Locker's stats, there's one line in particular that I believe shows Locker's improvement from 2012 to 2013. Playing from behind.

10 of Locker's interceptions last year were thrown while playing from behind compared to only 1 this year. While a common assumption could be that this is a result of the team not being in dire situations as much, the data shows this isn't necessarily true. Even with an improved team that's playing better, Jake Locker has attempted the same percentage of passes playing from behind in both seasons at 63%.

If you look at the stat line that refers to playing behind by over 2 possessions, you will notice that statistically Locker has played well in both seasons, with a QB rating of 108.47 this year and 97.43 in 2012. Without looking at the plays snap for snap, you could infer this high success rate with what is often referred to as "junk time". Defenses begin playing softer coverages and giving quarterbacks the middle of the field. It's not too hard to accumulate stats and fantasy points alike in the second half of the fourth quarter while down multiple scores. Just ask Carson Palmer.

When looking at his stat lines of being down by 9-16 points (2 possessions), there is little data to go on for 2013, so we will skip the comparison between years.

The biggest jump Locker has made both on the field and statistically comes from playing behind by only one possession (0-8 points).

In 2012 Locker went 44-82 for 473 yards, 0 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. Contributing only in digging the team into an even deeper hole.

In 2013 Locker has gone 40-63 for 487 yards, 3 touchdowns and 0 interceptions, garnering a 103.08 QB rating.

This progression is monumental and could be equivalent to double digit point swings in these instances. Locker seems to not only have learned how to "manage" the game and keep from hurting the team, but also to keep the team in the game by responding in kind without pressing. Locker is forcing the ball less this year as he now trusts the routes, the system, and the team around him.

While those that watch the game know that Jake Locker has passed the eye test this season, it is nice to know the statistical data backs it up as well.

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