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Game recap: 5 takeaways from Packers' loss to Titans

Green Bay’s season is truly on the brink

Tennessee Titans tight end Austin Hooper catches a touchdown against the Green Bay Packers on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022.
Tennessee Titans tight end Austin Hooper catches a touchdown against the Green Bay Packers on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022.

GREEN BAY – The Packers dropped to 4-7 with a 27-17 loss to the Titans on Thursday Night Football at Lambeau Field.

Here are five takeaways from the defeat:

1. The Packers built no momentum from last Sunday's overtime win.

Four days ago, the Packers felt they injected some life into their season by beating the Cowboys, but nothing carried forward.

"Extremely disappointed right now to put on a performance like that," Head Coach Matt LaFleur said in the tone to be expected. "I just, I don't even know what to say. It was nothing like a few days ago and that's why you're only as good as your last game."

The Packers fell behind as the Titans scored on their first possession of the game. Green Bay had one chance to tie it, but an extra point was blocked at the end of the first quarter.

Tennessee led the rest of the game, and it never felt as though the Titans were threatened in upping their record to 7-3.

"Give credit to the Titans. They came ready to play," LaFleur said. "They were obviously more physical and they made a lot more plays that we made."

2. Derrick Henry was a problem, but not as much as the pass coverage was.

The Titans' star running back pounded away at the Packers in the first half, controlling the ball and time of possession, but on balance, Green Bay held him in check.

Henry finished with just 87 yards on 28 carries, or 3.1 per rush, with a TD. The Packers also stopped him on fourth-and-1 from the Green Bay 5-yard line late in the second quarter.

But that was the last defensive highlight for a while as the Titans got receivers and tight ends running free in the secondary, scoring touchdowns on their next three possessions.

Quarterback Ryan Tannehill was an impressively efficient 22-of-27 for 333 yards with two TDs, one INT and a 127.3 passer rating. Rookie receiver Treylon Burks had seven catches for 111 yards, and Henry even chipped in with a TD pass off a trick play near the goal line.

Most damaging, the Titans were 7-of-13 (54%) on third down, including three conversions needing 7 or more yards.

"That's extremely disappointing, especially where we're at in the season," LaFleur said, referring to the repeated coverage breakdowns. "And we're not, quite frankly, even when we are all on the same page, we're not executing to the level that we need to. That's why we're sitting here at frickin' 4-7."

3. Green Bay's offense was almost non-existent in the first half.

Due to Tennessee's ball control, the Packers got essentially just three possessions in the first half, scoring on one but going three-and-out on the other two.

The second three-and-out was especially damaging, as it came right after the fourth-down stuff of Henry. An intentional grounding penalty by Aaron Rodgers (24-of-39, 227 yards, two TDs, 94.7 rating) on third down put the ball barely outside the goal line for a difficult punt from the back of the end zone.

"We got the stop, that critical stop backed up and we did nothing with it," LaFleur said. "It was just a bad night, all in all."

The Titans took over in Green Bay territory and drove for a touchdown before halftime to make it 14-6.

The Packers picked it up offensively in the third quarter with a field goal and touchdown – rookie Christian Watson's second of the game and fifth in the last two contests – but the Titans kept scoring as well and went up 27-17 on the first play of the fourth quarter.

Tennessee's season high in points coming in was 24, and they had 27 with most of a full quarter to go.

4. When the defense rose up late, the offense didn't capitalize.

Green Bay's defense finally righted itself in the fourth quarter, getting three straight stops – two thanks to an interception by Rasul Douglas and a sack by Preston Smith, both on third downs.

But the offense did zilch with a total of four possessions in the final period, failing to get a first down three straight times. Even after a 24-yard Keisean Nixon punt return across midfield, the offense went four-and-out with a badly missed pass to a wide-open Allen Lazard on third down.

Just a field goal there would have made it a one-score game and provided possibilities.

"There was no consistency in terms of being complementary offensively and defensively," LaFleur said, summing up the bulk of the season.

A first down in the fourth quarter finally came with 4:25 left, but that drive fizzled when Aaron Jones was stuffed on fourth-and-1 from the Tennessee 44 with 2:04 to go, sealing the Packers' fate.

5. The season is truly on the brink.

With six games left, the best the Packers can finish is 10-7. One team in the NFC made the playoffs last season at 9-8.

Green Bay has lost six of its last seven games and now must win, at a minimum, five of its last six to even have a chance. A fourth straight postseason berth will require a turnaround of epic proportions.

"We're not in a very good position right now, that's for sure," LaFleur said. "Like I told the guys, there's no margin for error. Period."


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