Entering a must-win game, can the Green Bay Packers overcome the Tennessee Titans?
After three defeats in four weeks, the Packers must quickly bounce back at the start of a three-game road stretch. Tennessee presents a tough challenge for Green Bay on both sides of the ball.
Injuries remain an issue. Clay Matthews will miss a thrid straight game, while Damarious Randall continues to sit. Jared Cook returned to practice this week but is doubtful to suit up. James Starks should return, however.
Randall Cobb has ‘no limitations’ according to Mike McCarthy, possibly giving the offense a much-needed boost.
Will the Packers get back on track? The Lombardi Ave staff weigh in.
Freddie Boston: It’s difficult to pick the Packers at this point. With three losses in their past four games and now hitting the road to play a talented Tennessee team, how can they be trusted?
An erratic offense hasn’t been up to standard, and the defense consistently falls one play short. The trio of Marcus Mariota, DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry will cause a whole host of problems for a banged up Green Bay defense, and the Titans’ fifth-ranked pass rush will look to get home on Aaron Rodgers.
Despite that, I’m picking the Packers to win. They desperately need this one, and if they play close to their potential, they have too much talent. I don’t feel comfortable about this pick, but I’m trusting the Pack for one more week.
Packers 24, Titans 20
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Brad Miller: A physical and mental wounded Green Bay Packers squad are now heading into a pivotal three-game road trip starting this Sunday in Nashville.
The Packers showed last week why you never assume a game will be easy in the NFL. When you do not play well after you expect to win before you even step foot on the field you are setting yourself up for a fall.
It would get any easier this week.
The Titans are playing good football on both sides of the line. The offense is headed by former first-round pick Marcus Mariota. He has numerous weapons at his disposal including former Cowboys star RB DeMarco Murray and Alabama standout RB Derrick Henry. Both running backs are getting playing time and making the best of their time on the field. Mariota has a young but talent group of receivers including Rishard Matthews, Tajae Sharpe and TE Delanie Walker.
Packers will be without Damarious Randall, Clay Matthews, Eddie Lacy and a handful of others but look to get back TE Jared Cook, maybe RB James Starks and Randal Cobb. All 3 of the returning offensive guys I just mentioned will play an important part of the Packers offense and chance to win this week.
I expect a close game with the Packers, like last week, starting slow and picking up speed towards the end of the game. Like last week I expect them to get their offense going in time to catch up.
Titans 27, Packers 24
Ralph Mancini: A humbled and desperate Packers squad locks horns with what should be an equally determined Titans team that also find itself in a “must-win” situation in their bid to catch up to the first-place Houston Texans in a highly competitive AFC South.
The Titans try to bully their way to victory featuring a strong ground attack behind big and physical offensive line. The offense is led by a uniquely talented quarterback in Marcus Mariota, who is still learning on the job.
Green Bay knows full well that they can’t afford to come into this game with anything less than an inspired take-no-prisoners attitude from the opening whistle all the way through the final snap.
Expect Aaron Rodgers to aggressively attack the Titans’ porous secondary early by hooking up with Jordy Nelson, who’s rounding into form, along with Davante Adams and a now-healthy Randall Cobb.
Tennessee’s secondary is ill-equipped to stymie the Packers’ passing game whether they choose to employ man or zone coverages.
Putting up points early will force Mariota to air it out more than usual and produce multiple turnovers that should lead to a Packers’ win and take the bulls eye off Mike McCarthy’s back…at least for now.
Packers 31, Titans 23
Colten Steele: The key to victory in this game will be the Packers ability to stop DeMarco Murray, the league’s second-leading rusher behind Ezekiel Elliott, who dominated the Packers in Week 6.
Aaron Rodgers will face a Tennessee secondary that has had their struggles this season. Expect to see Rodgers throw the ball down the field a lot early and test the secondary.
Jordy Nelson will have a huge day in Tennessee, and will help the Packers get back on track this week with a win on the road.
The Green Bay offense will not be the concern this week, it will be the defense. If the defense can shut down Murray, the Packers will soar to victory.
The Packers have lost by a combined six points in the last two weeks and they plan to put those losses behind them and get a road victory this week.
Packers 35, Titans 21
Thomas Friesen: The Titans have a great run game, the Packers have a run defense that should be equal to the task. While the Packers have struggled as of late, they are simply a better all-around team than the Titans. Rodgers will pick apart the mediocre Titans defense, and Mariota will make one or two costly mistakes with his arm.
It’s a must-win game, and the Green Bay Packers will get the job done.
Packers 31, Titans 20