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Observations around the division: preseason week 1

Notes and observations around the division.

Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports


-After a rough first series, Jake Locker looked comfortable and under control in the Titans new offense. He wasn't asked to do much, but he didn't sail passes like he has in the past and he didn't make mistakes. If Kendall had made an easy catch on third down, Locker would have added at least 10 more yards to his statline and would have had a chance at the endzone on that pass-happy drive.

-The Titans first-team running game looks leagues better than it did at any point last year. The offensive line is creating holes and the backs are running hard and making moves in space.

-Surprising stat: The Titans first quarter offense scored more points than either the Colts or the Jaguars offenses did the entire day (the Colts had a defensive touchdown).


-Blaine Gabbert was bad, like really bad. No no, that wasn't a quote from Shakespeare, that is all me. Seriously though, not to rag on a highly drafted quarterback playing badly, because Titans fans have been through that path once in the past decade, but going 5-10 with only 19 yards and an interception is hard to do, even for bad QBs.

-The second overall draft pick Luke Joeckel joined Chance Warmack as top-10 picks that struggled in their first games. Joeckel was poor in pass protection giving Cameron Wake too many opportunities, and also surrendered a sack.


-The Texans are who we thought they were. On defense the continue to bring pressure and attack, which leaves their back end exposed if you can get it to a target and make a defender miss. Offensively, they aren't an explosive team but their crafty play calls often create hard to manage matchups that put defenses in bad positions.

-The offensive line is great at starting LT/LG/C, but the RG/RT positions leave A LOT to be desired. If there is an injury anywhere on that line the Texans offense would be lucky to hold a defense to less than three sacks per game, not to mention the drop-off in rush yards.


-Luck aside, the Colts were underwhelming. Multiple penalties, two turnovers, and a poor day on special teams may make camp a lot tougher for the 2012 playoff team.

-Also, the offense only managed to score one TD (and two INTs) despite throwing the ball 47 times, including 14 throws from Hasselbeck and Luck. With new OC Pep Hamilton replacing Bruce Arians, I expect the offense to get better but still suffer from growing pains throughout the season.