NASHVILLE – After hanging around through the second and third quarters, the Packers never mounted a fourth-quarter rally on Sunday at Nissan Stadium and fell to the Titans, 47-25.
Second-year QB Marcus Mariota was efficient and explosive for Tennessee, completing 19-of-26 for 295 yards and four touchdowns for a 149.8 passer rating. TE Delanie Walker was his top target, catching nine passes for 124 yards and a score.
Five different Titans caught a TD pass, as RB DeMarco Murray threw one, too, in addition to rushing 17 times for 123 yards, including a 75-yard TD jaunt on the game's first play from scrimmage.
For the Packers, QB Aaron Rodgers was 31-of-51 for 371 yards and two TDs, with two interceptions, for a 79.8 rating. WR Jordy Nelson caught 12 passes for 126 yards and a score, and WR Davante Adams added six catches for 156 yards.
Here's a quarter-by-quarter recap of the action.
Green Bay's defense started the fourth quarter on the right note, as S Morgan Burnett sacked Mariota on third down, forcing the Titans to punt.
The offense couldn't take advantage, though. After a 17-yard completion to Nelson, the Packers stalled at the Tennessee 41 when Rodgers' fourth-and-9 pass was dropped by TE Richard Rodgers at the first-down marker.
The next series for the defense didn't start well, as S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix was called for a late hit on a Mariota slide, moving the Titans across midfield. On fourth-and-1 from the 33, Titans K Ryan Succop was good on a 51-yard field goal, making it a three-score game again. The Packers trailed 44-25 with 9:56 left.
The Packers had no answer. A second-down sack was followed by a third-down interception, and the Titans took over.
A 22-yard pass to WR Rishard Matthews converted on third-and-3 to put the ball on the Green Bay 20. From there, Murray ran four times for 15 yards, and Succop tacked on a 23-yard field goal to make it 47-25.
The Packers couldn't close the gap much in the third quarter but went into the fourth quarter down by two scores, 41-25, to the Titans on Sunday at Nissan Stadium.
The Packers' defense began the second half with a three-and-out, stopping RB DeMarco Murray on back-to-back runs starting with second-and-2.
The Packers got aggressive right away. On fourth-and-1 from their own 31, they ran a pitch right to RB James Starks for 7 yards. Then on fourth-and-5 from their own 43, QB Aaron Rodgers fired deep to WR Davante Adams for 35 yards. Two snaps later, Rodgers scrambled up the middle for a 20-yard TD run. He was hit late in the end zone by CB Perrish Cox, leading to a penalty on the kickoff. The try for two was no good as Starks was stopped on a run up the middle.
The Packers had pulled within 35-22 with 8:53 left in the third.
Back on defense following a failed onside kick, the Packers would have had the Titans in third-and-8, but DT Mike Daniels was called for taunting, giving Tennessee a free 15 yards and a first down across midfield. Then on third-and-5, QB Marcus Mariota found WR Tajae Sharpe for a 33-yard TD pass. The two-point pass was no good, making it 41-22 Titans with 6:27 left in the period.
The Packers got going on their next drive with a 17-yard pass to WR Geronimo Allison. WR Jordy Nelson then caught a 14-yard pass on third down, and WR Randall Cobb added a 6-yard catch-and-run to convert another third down and get the Packers to the Tennessee 20. A sack by Titans LB Brian Orakpo stalled the drive, though, and the Packers settled for a 38-yard field goal by Mason Crosby. The Packers trailed 41-25 with 57 seconds left in the third.
Green Bay's offense got going but the defense and special teams weren't helping the Packers out as they headed into halftime trailing the Titans, 35-16, on Sunday at Nissan Stadium.
The Packers finally got on the board to start the second quarter. QB Aaron Rodgers went 7-for-7 on the drive, hitting WRs Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Davante Adams twice each. RB James Starks added two carries for 16 yards, and Nelson caught a 1-yard TD pass with 10:49 left in the half.
The Titans wasted no time answering. On third-and-2, Packers LB Joe Thomas ran into the Titans TE while trying to get outside to cover RB DeMarco Murray on a wheel route. Murray was wide open for a 35-yard gain, and on the very next play, QB Marcus Mariota hit WR Rishard Matthews for a 32-yard TD against DB Micah Hyde in one-on-one coverage. Tennessee led 28-7 with 8:45 left in the period.
The Packers came back on offense but could only manage a field goal. A 46-yard completion to Adams was followed by consecutive passes of 15, 8 and 7 yards to Nelson. But a holding penalty on G Lane Taylor on first-and-goal pushed the Packers back to the 19, and a third-down pass for Nelson in the back of the end zone was knocked away. K Mason Crosby kicked a 29-yard field goal to pull the Packers within 28-10 with 3:55 left in the half.
The Packers' defense finally got a stop when S Kentrell Brice hit TE Delanie Walker on a third-and-10 deep ball over the middle, forcing the Titans to punt for the first time.
But WR Trevor Davis muffed the fair catch on the punt, and Titans CB LeShaun Sims recovered, giving Tennessee the ball in Green Bay territory again. A personal foul on Packers LB Kyler Fackrell for pulling players off the fumble pile put the ball on the Green Bay 12.
On third down, Mariota hit WR Kendall Wright at the right pylon for a 6-yard TD, and the Titans pushed their lead to 35-10 with 1:55 left in the half.
The Packers got back into scoring range again. An 18-yard pass to Nelson preceded completions of 38 and 6 yards to Adams. Starks then scored on a 13-yard screen pass, and the Packers had scored in just 72 seconds. Crosby missed the PAT wide left, so the score was 35-16 Tennessee with 43 ticks left.
Titans WR Marc Mariani returned the ensuing short kickoff to the Tennessee 41, and Mariota promptly hit Sharpe for a 14-yard gain over the middle. From the Green Bay 40, the Titans went for it on fourth-and-5, but Mariota's pass was incomplete, and the Packers took over with 10 seconds to go.
Rodgers scrambled for 7 yards and went out of bounds with 1 second left. A Hail Mary to the end zone was intercepted on the final play of the half.
An ugly start for the Packers on Sunday at Nissan Field in Nashville has them staring up at a 21-0 deficit to the Titans after one quarter.
The Packers blew a golden opportunity to start the game, and things only got worse.
The Titans won the toss and deferred to the second half but then tried an onside kick to start the game. Packers LB Joe Thomas recovered at the Tennessee 49-yard line, but the offense went three-and-out, as QB Aaron Rodgers threw low and behind an open WR Randall Cobb on third down.
On the punt, CB Demetri Goodson nearly downed it at the 1-yard line, but his body touched the goal line, and the Titans were awarded a touchback. Packers LB Jake Ryan then exited the game with an ankle injury.
After an offside penalty, Titans RB DeMarco Murray then ran 75 yards for a touchdown on Tennessee's first offensive play.
The Packers managed one first down on a 20-yard pass to WR Jordy Nelson, but a false start and a sack – against a three-man rush – stalled the next series and the Packers had to punt. G T.J. Lang also left the game with an ankle injury.
Tennessee's next drive started in an ugly fashion. Packers DT Letroy Guion jumped the snap and was offside, and he also hit QB Marcus Mariota in the backfield. Titans T Taylor Lewan, in getting upset, then made contact with an official and was ejected from the game. The two 15-yard penalties were a wash yardage-wise, but because Lewan's was after the initial call, the Titans began with first-and-25 on their own 15.
It didn't matter. The Titans still converted on a 10-yard run by Murray and a 21-yard pass to WR Tajae Sharpe. Mariota followed with a completion to TE Delanie Walker, who beat the coverage of S Kentrell Brice and shook his tackle attempt to go 41 yards in all, down to the Green Bay 12. Two plays later, Murray threw a halfback pass to Walker for a 10-yard TD, and the Titans had a 14-0 lead with 6:58 left in the first.
The Packers didn't respond, going three-and-out, with Rodgers getting sacked on third down for the second time in the game, this time by blitzing S Kevin Byard.
The Titans kept on moving. A pair of 14-yard completions to Walker moved the chains twice, and Packers S Morgan Burnett was slow to get up after the second one. A 9-yard pass to WR Rishard Matthews preceded another completion to Walker, for 19 yards to make it first-and-goal on the 9, and Mariota lofted a TD pass to a wide-open TE Anthony Fasano. The Titans led 21-0 with 8 seconds left in the quarter.