NASHVILLE—The Packers didn’t need all of their stars for the No. 1 offense to get off to a strong preseason start.
The eight-play, 64-yard touchdown drive was the opening score in what became a soaking-wet, 20-16 loss to the Tennessee Titans. It was highlighted by six Starks runs for 49 yards, including a 20-yard TD scamper less than 4 ½ minutes into the contest. The running game, even without Lacy, looked downright dominant.
“That’s always what the O-line wants to do,” new center
The No. 1 defense did the same, allowing only one first down on Tennessee’s first two possessions before a muffed punt by rookie receiver
“It’s a starting point,” said outside linebacker
Tolzien completed a pair of throws to receiver
Head coach Mike McCarthy noted after the game that Neal sustained a knee injury.
“It’s an awful feeling when you go forward with your arm and it gets really light because there’s no ball there,” Tolzien said. “The ball was on the ground. That’s your possession. It was just a reaction to trying to get the ball. Kind of takes you back to backyard football.”
Harper appeared to be making a move in the crowded competition at receiver, but he failed to haul in what appeared to be a catchable ball on the 2-point conversion try right after Neal’s TD. He also couldn’t corral a short fourth-down throw in the fourth quarter that would have kept the chains moving.
Adams had a similar night of ups and downs, catching two passes for 22 yards but fumbling two punts. He recovered the first one himself but wasn’t so lucky on the second.
Deeper down the depth chart, two defenders made standout plays in the fourth quarter that gave the Packers a chance to win.
Former practice-squad cornerback
Moments later, Mettenberger’s short pass over the middle to running back Jackie Battle deflected way up into the air, and undrafted rookie linebacker
“I jumped a little early and lost it in the lights, so I’m just happy I came down with it,” said Jones, who had been quiet thus far in training camp but now has a building block in his bid to earn a roster spot. “Right place, right time. It was fun. Can’t wait to do it again.”
Jones ran the ball back to the Tennessee 13-yard line, and the Packers kicked a field goal that gave them a 16-13 lead at the time.
It didn’t hold up, as the Packers’ No. 3 defense couldn’t make it three stops in a row, but some key objectives were reached as everybody who dressed, played, and did so in adverse conditions.
“It stinks that you lose, but it’s the first preseason game, so you have to build on it,” Tolzien said.
The Packers will try to do that next Saturday in, thankfully, a climate-controlled dome in St. Louis.Additional game coverage -