By David McDonnell
The Titans are fast becoming one of the dark horses in the race for the Superbowl after their seventh win in their last eight games came after a highly entertaining contest in a snowy and cold Lambeau Field.
The key to their success is being very physical on their offensive and defensive lines and the rushing talent that is Derek Henry. He is without doubt one of teh best running backs inNFl history and when he gets motoring, it opens up the play action game for a specialist like Ryan Tannehill.
The Titans QB back for the second week after missing time through injury was excellent and on the night completed 22 of 27 passes attempted for 333 yards and two touchdowns. On the first drive of the contest he gave us a hint of what lay in store when he found Dontrell Hilliard for a touchdown.
Just as time was about to tick to zero at the end of the first quarter, in classic Aaron Rodgers fashion, the Packers quarterback took an unexpected snap, which drew a defensive flag and knowing he had a shot to nothing, threw up a contestable ball and rookie Christian Watson mossed his marker to reply with a six-pointer for the home side. A blocked PAT marked the end of the first quarter.
The contest was hotting up and a great throw by Tannehill on third and 10 down found Austin Hooper to extend the drive. Matt LeFleur challenged the call and Tennessee had to make it from fourth and inches to pick up the first down, which they did with an interesting play call. I’m not sure Tannehill will be picking up an Oscar after this play as I don’t think anyone expected someone other than Derek Henry to get the ball.
However, in the drive on another fourth and one, the Titans gave it again to King Henry but time the Packers got the stop to cause a turnover in the football. Green Bay didn’t make the turnover pay on the scoreboard and There was no stopping Tennessee on their next drive where they leaned more in Henry and the big man smashed his way over the line to extend the lead.
Tennessee had an eight point lead after having the football for double the amount of the home side in the first half.
In the third quarter, the Titans went 91 yards in only six plays as Henry broke through on a long run to bring the play into the redzone. The big running back then faked a run and threw a jump-shot to Hooper on a delayed run for a touchdown.
This time it was the Titans kicker to miss the added point.
Green Bay hit back with Rodgers in excellent form. On second and goal, he found Watson again in the endzone for the rookie’s fifth touchdown in five days. Aaron Jones then converted a two-point play to leave just three points between the sides.
Two minutes later on the first play of the fourth quarter, Tannehill on play action found his tight end Hooper with a dart into the endzone to make it 27-17.
For the rest of the game, both defences started to dominate and there were no more scores.
It was a good performance by the Green Bay Packers against one of the toughest teams in the NFL. The Titans who look already destined for play-off football in January. If they can keep Henry healthy and in his current form, they will be a match for anyone going forward.