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Jake Locker could win Tennessee Titans job on Friday

It was our No. 2 position battle in the NFL before training camp -- the Tennessee Titans' quarterbacks. Nearly three weeks into camp, Jake Locker and Matt Hasselbeck's competition remains too close to call.

There is a trend in this battle, though, and it involves Matt Hasselbeck throwing interceptions. It also involves NFL Network's Michael Lombardi calling Locker the in-house favorite for the Titans job. Locker has put himself in position to close the deal.

We think it all comes down to Friday night and Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean agrees. Before camp, Wyatt pegged Matt Hasselbeck as the favorite, but the team's most plugged-in beat writer has changed his mind.

"Locker has risen to the challenge, and been more consistent than anyone thought he would be, including myself. So at this point, I believe the starting job is now Locker's to lose," Wyatt writes.

Locker gets his first start on Friday night against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The third preseason game is seen as the true "dress rehearsal" for the regular season and Titans coach Mike Munchak wants to have his starter decided before that game so top quarterback can get as much work as possible in that game. Friday night's game against the Bucs should be Locker's last test.

If Locker plays well against the Bucs, we'd expect him to start Week 1 against the New England Patriots.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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