The Tennessee Titans have spent the last few years struggling to find a quarterback. They thought they found their man in Jake Locker, but when he was lost for the season to a foot injury, the Titans thought their season was over despite a promising 3-1 start.
Well, not so fast — not if veteran replacement Ryan Fitzpatrick has anything to say about it.
Fitzpatrick, once a franchise quarterback candidate of his own for the Buffalo Bills, has stepped in and played well for the Titans. But despite throwing for three touchdowns and no interceptions over the last two weeks, Fitzpatrick and the Titans were still looking for a win.
They got that win in a big way today against the Oakland Raiders. With the game on the line, Fitzpatrick led a 14-play, 80-yard drive for the win, which he capped off with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Kendall Wright. Once considered a gunslinger, Fitzpatrick has embraced the role of veteran game manager with the Titans.
Tennessee has its sights set on a late season playoff run, and they will need Fitzpatrick to be at his best to get there. The offense for the Titans will always be run-heavy as long as the electric Chris Johnson is in the backfield, but you can’t win games in the NFL without a reasonably effective passing attack.
Fitzpatrick is more than reasonably effective, and he can put a team on his back and carry them to a win on his best days. He did it against the Raiders, and he’ll have to do it again at some point down the stretch if the Titans want to find themselves playing meaningful games the rest of the way.