Unleash Jake Locker: The Titans Will Have to Pass More Against Houston

Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

It's time for the Titans to take to the air.

You will notice a lot of similarities between my post and Gunnels' this morning. Great minds, apparently.

Week 1 is in the books and with that our attention can be given to the Houston Texans. Houston is fresh off a huge comeback victory against San Diego and in that second half we saw Gary Kubiak's passing offense on display. The much-maligned Matt Schaub put up 346 yards and 3 TDs to help complete the shocking rally. Those passing totals are what stood out to me. It's no secret Houston can hit paydirt often but most of their points come from a strong run game. Down by multiple scores they were forced to throw more than usual and the results were positive.

The Titans-Steelers match was a completely different style of game. It was a good old-fashioned slugfest. Two teams intent on controlling the ground game and playing as physical as possible duked it out right 'till the end. It wasn't going to create a lot of highlights or attract a lot of discussion; it was just fundamental football.

This Sunday the Texans will know that their pass game is a threat. Compared to Pittsburgh they have a much stronger offensive line and a premier wideout lined up outside. They'll still run frequently, but they have worked hard to become a more balanced offense.

This is where the Titans offense comes in. It'll be the second week in a row they face an aggressive 3-4 defense but this time it'll require a different gameplan. Jake Locker needs to be given a little more leash to throw. To his credit Mike Munchak said as much in his post-game interview. While the Titans offensive staff deserves credit for their success in Week 1, in order to achieve consistent results they'll have to do what the Texans are attempting as well: combine an adequate passing attack with an impressive ground game. The good news here is that the receiving corps has the most talent we've seen in years (we've said that every year for three years and each time it's been true). With Britt, Washington and Wright (and potentially Hunter) one could argue that the Titans are even better suited for a more balanced offense than Houston. While Tennessee might not have someone up to the calibre of Andre Johnson, their group provides more overall depth. If you don't believe me, watch Lestar Jean's film from Monday night.

All this isn't to say that the Titans should go away from what works. The Titans biggest offensive weapon is the triple threat at running back. Come Sunday though, Jake Locker is going to have to throw more frequently and with more success if the Titans want to start the year off with a win streak.

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