GREEN BAY, Wis. — The Tennessee Titans settled things Thursday on the road against the Green Bay Packers in a 27-17 win at Lambeau Field.
Despite red-hot rookie wide receiver Christian Watson reeling in two touchdown passes from quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Tennessee responded with two touchdown passes to Austin Hooper.
A big play stopped things when Titans rookie receiver Treylon Burks reeled in a 51-yard pass that allowed the Titans to kneel out the clock.
The Titans (7-3) took the fight to the Packers. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill led the way in his best game of the season with 22 of 27 passes for 333 yards, two touchdowns and an interception to tie the offense.
Derrick Henry ran back for 87 yards on 28 carries and a touchdown. He now has over 1,000 rushing yards on the season. Henry also had 45 yards on two catches, and he threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Austin Hooper. He joined San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey as the only non-quarterback to have a passing and rushing touchdown in a game this season.
Promising trend: The Titans’ receivers impacted the game for the second straight week. Rookie Treylon Burks got it going with a 43-yard reception that netted Tennessee’s first touchdown on the opening drive. Burks finished with seven receptions for 111 yards, both of which were career highs. Robert Woods came in with six catches for 69 yards.
QB Breakdown: Tannehill was ultra-efficient. Most of his big plays came from game action, with the Packers focused on stopping Henry. He delivered perfect passes to Burks on the big play and Chigoziem Okonkwo on another, and he switched the needle between two defenders to Hooper for a 16-yard touchdown. Tannehill’s passes hit his receivers with long strides, giving them a chance to gain yards on the catch. It was his second consecutive game with at least 250 passing yards and two touchdown passes.
Crucial Game: The Packers closed the gap to 14-9 on a 39-yard field goal attempt by Mason Crosby. Tannehill found Okonkwo for a 31-yard completion two plays after the kick return. Okonkwo managed to make it into Tannehill Pass and stay contained when he fell to the ground after Packer’s safety bit Darnell Savage on the route below and left him wide open. The game turned the field after Tennessee was pinned on his 12-yard line.
Under the radar stats: Henry became the fifth player in NFL history to score 10 rushing touchdowns in five consecutive seasons, joining LaDainian Tomlinson, Adrian Peterson, Shaun Alexander and Michael Turner.
Next game: vs. Cincinnati Bengals, Nov. 27.
Green Bay Packers
Good night Green Bay. There will be no encore. The good vibes around the Packers lasted all four days after defeating the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday to end a five-game losing streak.
With the Philadelphia Eagles next, this has the makings of another losing streak. At 4-7, the Packers may be one loss away from a losing season. One of the few good things to come out of this game was the continued emergence of rookie receiver Christian Watson, whose two touchdown catches put him up to five in the last two games. Watson finished with 48 yards on four catches and the two scores.
Eye-popping NextGen stats: Watson’s 14-yard touchdown catch was the definition of a tight pitch. According to NFL NextGen Stats, Watson was 0.5 yards away from Titans cornerback Kristian Fulton. That’s the fewest separation of all of Rodgers’ 55 touchdown passes in the past two seasons.
Describe the game in two words: Defensive breakdowns. Broken coverage to a rookie tight end, Okonkwo, for 31 yards, missed tackles on a 42-yard screen pass to Henry, then being completely fooled on a jump pass from Henry to Hooper all happened on the same drive in the third quarter and led to a game-breaking touchdown. In some ways, breakdowns have been THE story of defensive coordinator Joe Barry’s unit for most of the season.
Silver lining: Randall Cobb’s return made a difference — and not just as a receiver. Cobb had a team with high receptions (six) and yards (73), and he also returned punts and recovered an Aaron Jones fumble that helped the Packers on their first touchdown of the game. Cobb had missed the last four games while injured with a sprained ankle. He was activated for the selection just hours before kick-off.
Under the radar stats: Thursday marked the fifth straight loss as a favorite for the Packers, which is their longest losing streak as a favorite in a season.
Next game: at Eagles, Nov. 27.