Tennessee Titans Lose 34-13 to New England Patriots, Jake Locker Injures Shoulder in Week 1: Local Fan’s Observation

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The Tennessee Titans lost their Week 1 game of the 2012-13 NFL season on September 9, 2012. The New England Patriots defeated them 34-13. The Titans were completely outclassed in this contest. They also lost three of their most-important players, two of which are team captains.

Here were some observations from that contest.

Noteworthy Injuries

Jake Locker, Nate Washington and Colin McCarthy didn't finish the game. Locker and Washington were both injured on the same play. Locker's injury occurred during a play that should've been blown dead by the replacement referees. McCarthy was in a walking boot.

Jake Locker: Don't Kill Your Receivers!

Jake Locker had a respectable performance in his first career NFL start (preseason excluded). Locker completed 23-of-32 passes for 229 yards with one touchdown and one interception. The Patriots scored a touchdown when Dont'a Hightower scored on a six-yard fumble return. That was the result of a Locker fumble.

During the preseason, Locker was sailing passes. Those problems have carried into the regular season. Washington suffered what was reported as a "Leg contusion" injury. Washington was left out to dry on a high pass over the middle. Locker was injured on the same play.

Locker must correct this. His receivers won't stay healthy if they're taking these shots.

Michael Griffin: Got Ya!

I've never bought into Michael Griffin being a bad safety. He played poorly in this game. Tom Brady abused him all game with the play-action passes and pump fakes. Here's what Griffin said about his performance:

"Ain't nobody got to tell me right now. I know I played a terrible game. I prayed and with God's help, I'll try to get better ."

Trench Warfare

The Patriots dominated the line of scrimmage. Throughout the game, Leroy Harris was mauled by Vince Wilfork. Steve Hutchinson had a needless holding penalty on a quarterback draw. Michael Roos was struggling against Chandler Jones. Chris Johnson had four rushing yards on 11 rushing attempts. If you subtract a five-yard run, he had negative yards on 10 carries.

Don't Panic

Titans enthusiasts shouldn't panic. For whatever reason, Mike Munchak doesn't get his team ready for Week 1 games. The Titans lost to a Luke McCown-led Jacksonville Jaguars team in the regular-season opener of 2011. Good thing every game isn't an opener.

Since 2003, the Patriots have won nine consecutive Week 1 games. They've scored at least 34 points in each of their last three regular-season openers. By Week 1, Bill Belichick has his teams in midseason form.

Look at the bright side: the Jacksonville Jaguars and Indianapolis Colts both lost their openers. Later this season, the Houston Texans will play the Patriots.

Run Offense: F

Pass Offense: C

Run Defense: D

Pass Defense: F

Next Up

The Titans will look for their first victory when they play the San Diego Chargers on September 16. Since 1993, the Chargers have won eight consecutive meetings. Kenny Britt returns from his suspension.

Joshua Huffman graduated from Middle Tennessee State University as a marketing major in 2009. He's been a Middle Tennessee resident from 1986-88 and 2001-present. He lived in the Upper Peninsula and Northern Wisconsin from 1988-01 and for approximately eight months in 2009-10 as he completed a 20-game volunteer position with the USHL's Green Bay Gamblers. His favorite sports organizations include the Green Bay Packers, Chicago Cubs, Nashville Predators and Tennessee Titans. He can be found on Twitter HERE.

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