NASHVILLE -- The good news for the Tennessee Titans: They improved to 3-1 and tied Indianapolis for the AFC South lead Sunday with a 38-13 beating of the mistake-prone New York Jets at LP Field.
The bad news: Quarterback Jake Locker left the game in the third quarter with a right hip injury which was serious enough for him to be carted off the field, putting his availability for next week's unlikely showdown with 4-0 Kansas City into question.
Locker, who was 18-of-24 for 149 yards and three first half touchdowns, left with 11:14 remaining in the third quarter. While throwing an incomplete pass, he was drilled by Muhammad Wilkerson and then hit by Quinton Coples.
Locker went down, clutching his hip, and barely moved. Most of his teammates surrounded him by the time he was loaded on the cart and the crowd of 69,143 gave him a warm ovation.
By that time, the Titans had the game in hand, thanks to a defense which hassled New York's rookie quarterback, Geno Smith, from the start.
Smith's first pass was intercepted by Alterraun Verner and returned 34 yards to the Jets' 19, setting up Locker's 1-yard scoring flip to Delanie Walker just over three minutes into the game.
After the teams traded field goals, Smith was stripped at midfield by Zach Brown and Verner took the loose ball to the New York 26. Six plays later, Locker hit Nate Washington with a 4-yard touchdown toss for a 17-3 advantage with 6:46 left in the half.
Nick Folk's second field goal with 2:26 remaining cut the lead to 11 points, but Verner's second interception at the 1:37 mark set up another short field. Locker cashed it in with a 16-yard scoring strike to Justin Hunter two seconds before the half ended, making it 24-6.
Smith's fourth turnover resulted in another Tennessee touchdown. Karl Klug sacked Smith near the goal line, forced a fumble and fell on it in the end zone with 11:45 left in the game.
Smith did throw a 34-yard touchdown pass to Jeff Cumberland at the 8:49 mark, but Washington caught a 77-yard scoring heave from backup quarterback Ryan Fitzgerald with 7:06 remaining to finish the scoring.
Smith ended the day 23-of-34 for 289 yards, but has committed 11 turnovers (eight interceptions, three fumbles) in four games. The Jets (2-2) also committed 10 penalties for 61 yards, giving them a league-high 44 in four games.
NOTES: Tennessee deactivated starting wide recever Kenny Britt (fractured rib), who didn't catch a pass last week against San Diego and also committed a pair of penalties, drawing boos from the home crowd. Other Titans' inactives included former Jets running back Shonn Greene and starting DT Sammie Hill. ... The Jets' inactives included CB Dee Milliner and RB Chris Ivory. ... Tennessee FS Michael Griffin played in his 100th career game.