The NFL odds suggest a relatively easy victory for the New England Patriots, but can Jake Locker and the improving Tennessee Titans score a Week 1 upset at home?
Right now the Patriots are favored by five points, though that number’s been moving in Tennessee’s direction all week. At opening the Titans were seven-and-a-half point underdogs.
Locker deservedly won the starting job during camp, beating out veteran incumbent Matt Hasselbeck. As you may remember, Locker was Tennessee’s first round pick two years ago and played quite a bit as a rookie.
The one knock on Locker has been his accuracy throwing the ball. He has a rocket of an arm but has difficulty pinpointing his passes. That is something that can be improved upon though.
All in all though, Locker gives Tennessee a much more diverse offense this season as he’s able to make plays with his legs too.
In order to help out the young quarterback, Chris Johnson’s really going to have to step his game up. CJ held out in training camp and went on to have his worst season as a pro last year. All of the ingredients seem to be there for a bounce-back season out of Johnson now that he’s gotten a full preseason under his belt.
The Titans also gave Locker another weapon this past summer when they drafted former Baylor wideout Kendall Wright with their first round draft pick. He’ll pair with Nate Washington at wideout for Week 1 while Kenny Britt sits out his one-game suspension.
Don’t be surprised to see a breakout campaign from tight end Jared Cook. He elevated his play majorly at the tail end of last season and should get plenty of passes thrown his way because of his tremendous size.
Tennessee sure will need all of those aforementioned players to get it done against the potent New England Patriots this weekend.