The Tennessee Titans lost to the Cincinnati Bengals in their second game of the preseason 19-27 despite an outstanding performance from backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. However, those calling for Fitzpatrick to start over Jake Locker should calm down.
The Titans haven’t had a good quarterback since Steve McNair. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Vince Young and Matt Hasselbeck, but Young was immature. By the time the Titans had Hasselbeck, their offensive line was terrible. Their offensive line, although most are young or new, is the best it’s been in a long time this season.
Locker was supposed to come in and be spectacular, but he has suffered from poor offensive line play since his first NFL game. He is exactly what the Titans need at quarterback. Tennessee is a run-first offense with Chris Johnson and Shonn Greene in the backfield, and Locker is a really accurate passer on the run with multiple options down the field to throw to.
I like Fitzpatrick, but just face it; he’s an interception machine. Before this season, he had 92 touchdowns to 81 interceptions. That is not a stat a starting quarterback in the NFL should have; I’m not even sure that’s a stat that a backup quarterback should have.
Remember, a lot of players look amazing when they’re playing against second and third string defenses. Fitzpatrick is potentially the best backup quarterback in the NFL right now, but there is no way he should jump in front of Locker this early in the preseason. Expect a solid season from Locker and the Titans to skirt the edges of playoff contention all year long despite back-to-back losses in the preseason.