Jake Locker made a strong case for a new contract from the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.
Alex Smith did very little to show the Kansas City Chiefs that he deserves his new deal.
Locker threw for 266 yards and two touchdowns, Smith was intercepted three times and the Titans rolled to a 26-10 victory in coach Ken Whisenhunt's regular-season debut with Tennessee.
Locker picked apart a Kansas City defense that lost Pro Bowl linebacker Derrick Johnsonand starting defensive tackle Mike DeVito to Achilles injuries.
Locker finished 22 of 33 while connecting with eight different players, including former Chiefs wide receiver Dexter McCluster.
Kendall Wright and Delanie Walker had TD catches for the Titans, and Ryan Succop was perfect on four field-goal attempts against the team that released him last weekend.
Smith, who signed a four-year, $68 million extension last weekend, was just 19 of 35 for 202 yards in a haphazard performance by a Kansas City offense weakened by suspensions.
Leading wide receiver Dwayne Bowe was forced to miss the game following an arrest last November, and right tackle Donald Stephenson served the first game of his four-game suspension for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances.
The Chiefs reached the end zone on a short pass to tight end Anthony Fasano in the fourth quarter.
Running back Jamaal Charles, who is the Chiefs' biggest game-breaker, was a non-factor. He carried seven times for 19 yards and had four catches for 15 yards.
Kansas City jumped out to a 3-0 lead when Cairo Santos banged a 35-yard attempt off the right upright and through for the first field goal of his career.
But everything spiraled out of control quickly, beginning with a 47-yarder that Santos missed off the left upright.
The Titans took over and drove 62 yards for a go-ahead touchdown, an easy toss from Locker to Walker in the back of the end zone. Succop added a field goal for a 10-0 halftime lead.
Johnson went down with his Achilles injury just before the half. The veteran linebacker began the game 18 tackles away from matching Gary Spani's franchise record.
DeVito was lost to a nearly identical injury on the first drive of the second half.
Locker capped that drive with a short TD pass to Wright, who managed to contort his body just enough to touch the pylon as he was going out of bounds. The touchdown gave Tennessee a 17-3 lead and started a shower of boos from a crowd that had been full of optimism.
Meanwhile, Locker was pumping his fist throughout an important season opener.
The Titans declined their fifth-year option on the injury-prone quarterback in the offseason, so the pressure is on Locker to perform this season.
He certainly did against a Chiefs defense that was full of questions entering the season, and has even more after a spate of injuries.