The Tennessee Titans showed themselves to be nowhere near the elite NFL picks in their humbling 34-13 Week One loss to the New England Patriots. That was to be expected. The unknown this week is whether the San Diego Chargers, who the Titans travel to play in Week 2, can still be counted among the league’s upper crust. Largely as a result of this unknown, odds makers made the home team a tepid 2.5-point favorite prior to the Chargers’ Monday night season opener with the Oakland Raiders.
First and foremost on the minds of the Titans is the health of quarterback Jake Locker, who separated his non-throwing shoulder while making a tackle after a Patriots fumble recovery. Head coach Mike Munchak sounded optimistic, saying “we feel good about the chances of him playing this week,” The Tennessean reported. Munchak also revealed Locker is likely to get the majority of the snaps at practice this week and will likely to be fitted with a shoulder harness on gameday.
Locker was a bit up-and-down against the Patriots in Week One, but ultimately showed he can be an NFL-caliber quarterback with a bit more seasoning. With that said, a young quarterback in a shoulder harness may not be the best of bets, especially against a veteran defense like the Chargers.
Any chance for the Titans this week will likely rest on the legs of former All-Pro running back Chris Johnson. After flashing fresh legs in the preseason, Johnson was completely nullified by the Patriots run defense. The blocking, or lack thereof, by the Titans offensive line is really the reason Johnson was held to just four yards on 11 carries. If the Titans don’t get the harness off their running game it won’t matter that the quarterback is in one. We’re predicting the Chargers cover the early 2.5-points against the rebuilding Titans.