After not having played for almost a month, Tennessee Titans quarterback Jake Locker is back on the field and coming off another very good game against the San Francisco 49ers in a week seven loss. Coming off a bye week, Locker should be healthier than he has in over a month and has a chance to continue his great season against the St. Louis Rams in week nine.
The Rams boast a very good pass defense, currently ranked 12th in the NFL. It’s a bit difficult to not take them for granted due to their 3-5 record, but defensively the Rams have been above average this year. Pass rushers Chris Long and Robert Quinn have had very good seasons and are two of the best this league has to offer.
Most recently against the mighty Seattle Seahawks in week eight, the Rams accounted for seven sacks on quarterback Russell Wilson in a primetime battle. Quinn and Long each had three by themselves in a game where the Rams gave the NFC favorites a run for their money, only losing 14-9 in the end.
Locker has a rating of 97.1 on the season right now, and is having by far his best year as a pro. The unfortunate thing for him is that the run game has yet to really get going. Coming in at 18th in the league with about 103 yards per game on the ground, Locker has been the most efficient rusher thus far.
Chris Johnson has only averaged 3.2 yards per carry and is yet to score a rushing touchdown on the year. With the run game having a tough time this year and the Rams being a bit weaker against the run, this is the week for the Titans to finally get it going and help their quarterback in a tough matchup against a good pass defense.
If the Titans can establish a healthy run, they will pull themselves back up to 4-4 and become a playoff relevant team again. Only midway through the season, the Titans are far from being out of any postseason play at this point. Locker will be the guy to carry them to any future success this season, but again he needs some help.