Scout's Take: Breaking down the Titans' fail in Green Bay

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Packers out Titaned the Titans with their strong run game.

The snowy night and slippery surface should have played into the hands of the run-first Titans’ offense.

But it was the Packers’ running backs and offensive line that took over the game.


It wasn’t just starter and the ultra-productive Aaron Jones, it was a heavy dose of rookie running back A.J. Dillon.

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No frozen fulfillment at Lambeau for the Titans

GREEN BAY, Wisc. – If they just could have played to formula, they might have flown home frozen but fulfilled, AFC Champions for the first time since 2008.

But the Titans were too imprecise at snowy Lambeau Field, where their mistakes set up a game that allowed for the Packers’ third-string rookie running back to outshine Derrick Henry in a 40-14 route for the home team. Lambeau

Tennessee now has to wait until Week 17 to find out its playoff fate.

The Titans win the division with a win in Houston or a Colts’ loss. They could miss out on the playoff if they lose and the Colts, Dolphins and Ravens all win. There are scenarios where Tennessee loses and it would be a Wild Card.

“Absolutely disappointing,” Kevin Byard said. “Obviously we feel like we should have got the win tonight.”

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Leading up to the Titans’ Sunday Night Football showdown with the Packers in Green Bay, we talked a lot about the degree of appreciation for Ryan Tannehill nationally after he lost out of the third AFC Pro Bowl quarterback slot to Deshaun Watson.


Photo: Alison McNabb/ Tennessee Titans

Tannehill deserved it, but he gets disregarded by some for a lot of reasons. Among the items on the list for the narrow-view thinking: He’s a guy who turns around and hands the ball to the NFL’s best running back.

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Scout's Take: In Green Bay, a corner to target and big edge guys to deal with for the Titans

By BLAKE BEDDINGFIELD, special correspondent

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Aaron Rodgers is a future Hall of Famer, and is playing at a very high level.

The Packers’ offense is run through Rodgers and he alters plays at the line of scrimmage to take advantage of mismatches or offensive positive numbers to one side of the formation.


Photo: Alison McNabb/ Tennessee Titans

Rodgers is hard to game plan for because of his ability to move players around pre-snap.

If he feels the defense is going to show blitz, he will just throw a screen pass to the outside. When he sees tight man coverage, he will throw back-shoulder sideline passes. Once Rodgers spreads out the defense’s coverage, he will call the run.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Titans have gone three games without taking the opposing quarterback down. They’ve got three other such games this season.


Photo: Danny Parker/ Tennessee Titans

Their star running back has more touchdowns, 15, than their team has sacks, 14.

And Sunday they head to Green Bay, where two-time NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers picks defenses apart for a living.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – From the time they drafted him second overall in 2015 until Week 6 of his fifth season, the Tennessee Titans pinned their hopes on Marcus Mariota.

The promising quarterback out of Oregon was as nice as they come in their time in Nashville, and I repeatedly offered into his fourth season that I thought he had the skillset and the mindset to be their franchise quarterback.MariotaTightRAMS

But injuries and the failures of his approach and confidence ultimately led to his undoing, leading Mike Vrabel to bench him in Denver during a loss that dropped the 2019 Titans to 2-4.

Ryan Tannehill took over and led the Titans on an AFC Championship Game run.

When I sat down with Mike Mularkey on Dec. 14 in Atlantic Beach, Fla., we discussed his experience working as Mariota’s coach for part of 2015 through 2017.

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Scout's Take: Titans took advantage of physical matchups against Lions

By BLAKE BEDDINGFIELD, special correspondent

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Bad football teams are becoming an epidemic in the NFL: Jaguars, Jets, Lions, Bengals, Panthers, Texans, Chargers, Broncos.

The Lions did everything bad football teams do to lose games against the Titans. Fumble on the goal line. Fumble after gaining a first down inside the opponent's 20-yard line. Missed an extra point. Allowed a ton of third-down conversions (nine-for-11). Let their opponent find the end zone five times in five trips inside the red zone.


Photo: Alison McNabb/ Tennessee Titans

Bad teams can compete but not if they are going to turn the ball over and squander scoring opportunities.

The Titans did a good job of forcing the Lions to play beyond their skill level by scoring too many points for the Lions to match.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Once again, I invite you to offer prayers of Thanksgiving for the Titans’ offense.

Remember all the days in all the weeks in all the months in all the years where we wondered why the Titans couldn’t be an offensive team? Remember all the times we thought, coming out of training camp, they would be, only to see them, again and again, rely on the other side of the ball?**


Photo: Alison McNabb/ Tennessee Titans

On Sunday they offered resounding evidence again that this is that team, with a 46-25 win over the Lions that ended a four-year streak of 9-7 seasons and ensured with two games left they will finish a least a game better than that.

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