His ability to protect the ball has been one of the best things about his improving game, but Sunday was a slip. Still, the Titans found their way to a 28-21 win.
Locker got away with one interception to Cortland Finnegan with 47 seconds left before halftime at the Titans 26-yard line. The throw for Kenny Britt was not well placed and Finnegan made easy work of it. But the Rams stalled and missed a field goal.
“We took a little risk there before half,” coach Mike Munchak said. “We could have just tried to run the ball and punt and all that other stuff, but we have confidence in him and the offense. We threw a screen which got a first down. We threw another high-percentage pass, [and the interception] was a high percentage call. He ran it wrong which surprised us, and it ended up an interception. Luckily, the defense held them, and it didn’t cost us points there. But, that was unlike him on that play.”
Nate Washington got slowed down by Finnegan on the second interception, in the middle of the fourth quarter. The Titans just got a 45-yard gain on a nice catch-and-run from Kendall Wright.
Washington said there should have been a holding penalty on his play against Finnegan when safety Rodney McLeod caught Locker’s pass.
Finnegan’s role in the play happened early enough, however, that Locker should have seen that Washington was not going to get where the throw was going. And it might have been high even had Washington arrived on time.
“I don’t know if that was a penalty or not there, but [Washington] got caught up,” Munchak said. “It looked worse than it was, but we didn’t think he would make that throw. It probably should have went to the back especially at that time in the game where we just had a big play there I think with Kendall.”
That the Titans won on a poor day from Locker is significant.
He was sacked four times in the first half when the Rams applied relentless pressure. The Titans settled down in the second half and got the ball out of Locker’s hand more quickly.