(Mandatory Photo Credit: Benny Sieu / USA Today Sports)
Written By: Joseph Yun
The Titans travel to the Frozen Tundra yet again to take on former assistant Matt LaFleur and the Packers. Can they come out on top this time against an aging Aaron Rodgers and inconsistent Packers team? Will the Packers use Old Man Winter™ against their foes on the path to victory once more? Both teams are missing a ton of key pieces so this Thursday night will be a battle of attrition. The Packers desperately need a win to keep apace within the NFC playoff picture. Tennessee will need a win to keep their lead in the AFC South with a pivotal AFC contest next week. Green Bay will have to travel to no longer unbeaten Philadelphia so a win tonight is much needed. Funny enough, Tennessee will face those same Eagles in two weeks so both teams could trade notes postgame!
Packers’ key numbers + info
Note: All statistics courtesy of pro-football-reference.com
HC: Matt LaFleur (42-16 career)
OC: Adam Stenavich
DC: Joe Barry
2022 Record: 4-6 (1-2 NFC North)
PPG Against: 21.6
Rush yards: 1,293
Rush yards allowed: 1,406
Avg. per rush attempt: 4.9
Avg per attempt allowed: 4.8
Pass completion rate: 65%
Pass completion allowed: 64%
Leading Rusher: Aaron Jones (131 attempts for 738 yards and one touchdown)
Leading Receiver: Allan Lazard (33 receptions for 472 yards and five touchdowns)
Leading Tackler: De’Vondre Campbell (64 tackles; two passes defended, six tackles for loss, one interception)
Key Additions: LB Quay Walker (rookie), DL Devonte Wyatt (rookie), LB Kingsley Eganbare (rookie), WR Sammy Watkins, WR Christian Watson (rookie), WR Samari Toure (rookie), CB Keisean Nixon, S Johnathan Abram, P Pat O’Donnell, DB Corey Ballentine, DL Jarren Reed, S Rudy Ford, OL Luke Tenuta,
Key Losses: WR Davante Adams (trade), LB Za’Darius Smith, OL Billy Turner, LB Rashan Gary (IR), CB Eric Stokes (IR), WR Randall Cobb (IR), LB D’Vondre Campbell (injured), WR Romeo Doubs (injured)
Tennessee leads the all-time series 7-6 over the Packers. The franchise holds a 4-2 advantage since the organization was christened as the Titans. The scoring holds in favor of the Titans with it being 154-120. The average margin of victory between the two organizations is an even 21 points.
Keys to a Titans Victory
- Tennessee doesn’t have the firepower to go toe to toe with the suddenly surging Packers offense. They will have to control the clock against one of the best quarterbacks ever. Fortunately, they employ one Derrick Henry and the Packers are leaky in run defense. Control the time of possession and win the game with the defense.
Establish. The. Run. (Defense)
- The Titans can’t let the Marshawn Lynch enthusiast Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon duo get going like they did last time out. Both have received similar amounts of work but Dillon has been inconsistent. It seems like the Titans' front is getting healthier so the run defense should be better, which is still very good. They need to take advantage of a wounded offensive line that could possibly missing two key pieces in David Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins.
- It will be a battle between two star packed secondaries who can outdo the other. Good news for the Titans is that Kristian Fulton is likely to return to bolster a pretty solid unit. Of course, they do have to face Rodgers leading a youthful receiver corps. On the flip side, the Packers boast a talented secondary full of veterans like Rasul Douglas, Jaire Alexander, Darnell Savage, and Adrian Amos. It seems like the Packers secondary won’t have much to do against a below average Titans skill group.
Keys to a Packers Victory
- Green Bay’s run defense has given up 110+ yards on the ground in every game but one this season. They have given up at least 120+ in multiple games. A trend that has one Derrick Henry salivating at the 26th-ranked rush defense. In its defense, the Packers are dealing with serious injuries right now with the loss of Rashan Gary, De’Vondre Campbell and Krys Barnes injured, and youthful replacements (Kingsley Enagbare + Quay Walker) in tow. They need to watch what Denver did last week in containing Henry and use it. The defensive front will have its ears pinned back, especially if Ryan Tannehill can’t spark the passing offense again. GB definitely has the horses to contain the behemoth Henry with Jarran Reed and Kenny Clark anchoring the line.
Who’s WR2 or WR4?
- Much like their Nashville colleagues, the answer is a revolving door every week it seems, especially with rookie Romeo Doubs injured. Last week, Christian Watson delivered in spades with three touchdowns with a buck plus in yards. Veteran Randall Cobb has been designated for return so it remains to be seen if he can come back in time. Allan Lazard is the veteran presence for a very young and developing receiver room. Also, look out for promising youngster Samari Toure for a potential impact. Rodgers will need to test the interesting but wounded Titans secondary with their tough run defense looking to stop his A-A-Ron counterpart, Aaron Jones. The Packers’ passing attack has been rather inconsistent this season but may finally be getting back on track.
“General Winter” is your friend
- The last time these two teams faced off, it was the winter wonderland that usually typifies the Frozen Tundra of iconic Lambeau Field. Current forecasts call for a bone-chilling 29° with chances of possible snow. Tennessee has long been averse to any form of prosperity in wintry conditions as an organization, in a similar fashion to Napoleon’s armies.
Injury Report - Titans @ Packers
What are the Odds?
(note: all odds courtesy of vegasinsider.com)
BetMGM has the Packers being three-point favorites at -115, the money line at -165 for Green Bay, and the Titans at +140. over/under is set at 41.
Caesar’s has the Packers being three-point favorites at -120, the money line being -170 for Green Bay, and the Titans being at +143. The over/under is set at 41.
WynnBet has the Packers being three-point favorites at -115, the money line being -160 for Green Bay, and the Titans being at +135. The over/under is set at 41.
FanDuel has the Packers being three-point favorites at -115, the money line being -168 for the Green Bay, and the Titans being +142. over/under is set at 41
GREEN BAY 28