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What we learned: Roundup of NFL QB battles

Tennessee Titans quarterback Jake Locker had a chance to lock down a Week 1 starting job on Friday night. He fell short.

On a night in which Titans coach Mike Munchak was looking for clarity, there was confusion. Locker played like a young quarterback. It happens. He was inaccurate and made poor decisions. His final box score was about as ugly as it gets.

While Locker struggled against the Bucs, rookie Ryan Tannehillreminded giddy Dolphins fans they are in for a bumpy ride no matter who starts at quarterback.

In Arizona, Raiders defensive tackle Tommy Kellyreportedly yelled "That boy's scared" about Kevin Kolb while running off the field. We suspect it will be the last time Kolb is with the starting unit for a while.

Preseason performance doesn't often carry over in the regular season, but it does decide jobs. Locker and Tannehill failed to provide final answers Friday night. Kolb did, but not in the way he wanted.

Here were our other takeaways from Friday's six-game slate.

» Chris Johnsonquieted his critics with a few vintage runs. His old burst was back. We're looking forward to seeing him in the regular season now.

» Early signs indicate Buccaneers running back LeGarrette Blount's groin injury is not too serious. But we won't really know anything until further tests are done. Rookie Doug Martin looked like he could handle things as the lead back if necessary. We love his vision and change of direction.

» Matt Hasselbeck enjoyed a workmanlike performance after Locker left. Hasselbeck held serve. The Titans know what they have with him.

» Bucs coach Greg Schiano did not seem amused with his team's effort. Josh Freeman threw for only 21 yards on 10 attempts.

» This Matthew Stafford-to-Megatron connection might turn out to be pretty good. Calvin Johnson caught five passes for 111 yards and a score in less than a half.

» The Ravens have to be a little worried about their backup quarterback spot. Tyrod Taylor has looked rough throwing the football in successive weeks.

» Detroit's versatile return man/running back Stefan Logan was in a boot after the game. X-rays were negative on his ankle.

» The good news for Ryan Tannehill: Matt Moore struggled even more than the rookie. He threw for only 57 yards on 15 attempts. Moore hasn't picked up Joe Philbin's system quickly.

» Jonathan Stewart left the game with a calf injury, but he tweeted after the game it wasn't serious. We'll take his word for it; Stewart was seen dancing on the sidelines in the fourth quarter.

» Cam Newton looks ready for the regular season. Three drives, only three incompletions, and 17 points scored.

» Before the Vikings fans collectively lost their mind, quarterback Christian Ponder put together his second straight positive preseason effort.

» Vince Young probably did enough to win the backup quarterback job in Buffalo. He looked solid, and Tyler Thigpen struggled again.

» Yes, Vikings linebacker Audie Cole had pick sixes on back-to-back plays. No, that might not ever happen again. The Vikings shouldn't be allowed to cut this guy after that.

» It's only the preseason, but Blaine Gabbert looked a lot more comfortable Friday night. He got the ball out of his hands quickly, going 13-of-16 for 112 yards and two scores. Best part: a few of those passes were delivered while getting hit. Maybe he'll quiet those critics after all.

» Even better: rookie receiver Justin Blackmon was a physical presence, catching four passes for 48 yards and a score in his first game. The Saints couldn't handle his size.

» Maurice Jones-Drew will return eventually, but Rashad Jennings simply looks like an NFL starting running back. He has 118 yards and a yards-per-carry average over 5 after two preseason games.

» The Saints lost starting linebacker Chris Chamberlain to a potentially serious knee injury.

» After Kevin Kolb struggled, John Skelton went 3-of-3 with a touchdown pass. That's it. It's very telling Ken Whisenhunt then pulled Skelton. It's almost as if Whisenhunt didn't want Skelton to potentially ruin the narrative with a bad throw. We'd guess Skelton is named the starter this week.

» Raiders receiver Jacoby Ford left with an ankle injury. Darrius Heyward-Bey dropped a sure touchdown pass. Denarius Moore can't get healthy. The only Raiders wideout exceeding expectations: Undrafted revelation Rod Streater.

» It was great to see Cardinals running back Ryan Williams back in the lineup 364 days after tearing his patella tendon. He ran very hard, breaking tackles for 25 yards and a score on five carries.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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