NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- A few thoughts from the Titans’ preseason finale, a 10-6 victory over the Saints at LP Field.
Eight of the 11 players listed as starting defenders for the Saints were scratched. No matter the extent of the game plan, the Titans' first-team offense should find yards against that lineup. Yet Jake Locker missed short (a rollout well short of Kendall Wright, but also well short of a bunch of defenders) and long (overthrowing Damian Williams on what should have been a 39-yard touchdown) and wound up with the often-standard accuracy issues. His final line was uninspiring: 9 of 16 for 81 yards and a lost fumble on a scramble. Before his final series, his average per pass play was at 3.6. To be fair, he didn’t have everyone -- starters Nate Washington, Steve Hutchinson and Chris Johnson didn’t play. Backup Matt Hasselbeck took over for Locker with 1:47 left in the second quarter.
I know I can misperceive patience as hesitancy. But I think second-string running back Javon Ringer was more hesitant than patient on at least a couple of his carries, which was disappointing. Chris Johnson did not play, so those Ringer carries came early and he managed all of 17 yards on six carries. First-half rushing not including Locker: 10 handoffs for 33 yards.
The Titans have pretty much said we can expect to see both Jordan Babineaux and Robert Johnson on the field as the team’s second safety. They were both starters against the Saints, as Michael Griffin didn’t take the field.
I know injury concerns trump all, but I do think teams that play starters some in Week 4 rip off ticket buyers a little less -- so the Titans had that going for them. Which is nice. Sure, people know what they are buying. No, season ticket-holders don’t have a choice but to buy preseason tickets. And they’re full price. If it’s not the biggest scam in sports, it’s a contender for the title. And I am not sure what the competition is.