The second of five season-defining moments

February, 4, 2014
Feb 4
1:10
PM ET
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- This week we are looking at five key moments that told the story of the Titans’ 2013 season.

Monday was Darius Reynaud’s safety on the opening kickoff return of the season.

Not in any order, here is the second installment:

Jake Locker’s touchdown pass to Justin Hunter to beat San Diego.

The Titans’ 20-17 win over the Chargers on Week 3 turned out to be the best victory of the season and the only one over a team that would go to the playoffs.

It took a 94-yard touchdown drive that started with 2:05 left in the game to get there.

To cap it, Locker dropped back and threw deep right for Justin Hunter who went up and got it even with a defensive back covering him well.

I wrote about the potential for it to be a moment we look back on as a turning point for the Titans quarterback.

Locker played a great game, with 23 of 37 passing for 299 yards, the touchdown and a 96.6 passer rating to go with five runs for 68 yards including a 7-yard touchdown.

That’s the snapshot of the guy Mike Munchak hoped he had as his quarterback and the one Ken Whisenhunt and his staff will now be hoping to develop.

Locker steadily built to that throw over the first three games and played even better the next week against the Jets. But he suffered knee and hip injuries in that game, missed two starts and didn’t play very well when he got back.

He only lasted three games before suffering a season-ending Lisfranc injury that could cost him a good share of the offseason.

If you want to make the case against Locker, you point to the long list of injuries, question his durability and wonder about his tendency to try to do too much.

If you want to make the case for him, you look first to that 2:00 drive against the Chargers and say that’s what he can do, all the Titans need to do is get him healthy and maximize his chances to duplicate that.

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

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