Can the Packers beat the Titans?

The Titans do two things really well; they run the ball and play lights out defense.  That seems like trouble for the Packers as the offense is somewhat limited and they absolutely cannot stop the run.

So what can the Packers do to go after the Titans?  Here’s some thoughts:

On Offense: The Titans play the ever popular cover 2 defense.  The biggest challenge when facing their defense is fighting off the defensive line.  The linemen have a single gap assignment and can really get up field fast.  Whatever openings are left by the linemen, the linebackers quickly fill up.  Because of this, running against the Titans is not easy.  However, because they are so agressive going upfield, they can miss on some delays and draws.  That’s assuming, of course, that Haynesworth doesn’t meet the running back at the handoff.  While they aren’t an overly fast line, they can be suseptible to some of the same attacks used on fast linemen.  You’ll see teams running against Tennesee being patient and looking for a defensive lineman to push far into the backfield and use the space they occupied as a running lane.  That’s a risky proposition, but can work if you have a quick and decisive back (which Grant has not been this year).  Regardless, this isn’t a team that is going to sit back and watch what you’re doing.  They are very aggressive and if you’re going to run, you have to try and take advantage of that.

Through the air, if you can get a pass off there is hope.  As with other cover 2 teams, there are holes deep over the middle and behind the corners by the sideline.  There’s no exception with the Titans.  They will also play man coverage, which would hopefully favor the Packers as they face it all week in practice.  The biggest problem for the Packers will be protecting Rodgers from the inside pass rush, as the Titans can really push people around in the middle.  Watching them play the Colts, the only time Manning was able to get any sort of advantage was on play action (or by simply throwing on running downs).  The Titans’ linebackers look very aggressive to stop the run.  On numerous plays (including the first Dallas Clark TD), the linebackers, all of them, froze or took a good couple steps toward the line to play the run.  Once they recovered and realized the play was a pass, enough time had gone by that Manning had open receivers over the middle behind the linebackers.  I’m not sure the Packers can do the same, especially without a great receiving weapon at tight end, but they will need to try.

On Defense:
The Packers really need to figure out how to stop the run.  Tennessee has a very good offensive line and Green Bay will not beat them rushing four linemen.  They’ll need to stack the box, maybe take after Indy and play four linebackers.  That tactic could work, as the Titans wide receivers are definitely overmatched by Green Bay’s secondary.  The tight end spot for the Titans is going to be key.  Both tight ends (Cumpler and Scaife) can get downfield and they both catch a lot of passes.  Green Bay will probably have to play Chillar on one guy and bring Collins up to cover another.  Any of the other linebackers will likely get abused in the passing game.  It’s definitely a good time to get some healthly defensive linemen back, as the Titans will abuse Green Bay at the line of scrimmage.  This could easily be another game like the one against Dallas, where at the line the Packers just looked undersized and overmatched.

Jay

Jay Ratkowski runs this joint, which is why his name is on the front door. You can find him elsewhere at Google+, Facebook, or Twitter

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Author: Jay

Jay Ratkowski runs this joint, which is why his name is on the front door. You can find him elsewhere at Google+, Facebook, or Twitter

2 thoughts on “Can the Packers beat the Titans?”

  1. NFL scouts saw the same thing I did from the Titans/Colts game. Matthew Berry at ESPN Fantasy Sports said he liked Donald Lee this week because scouts told him the Titans linebackers can be exploited in the pass game. Hopefully the Packers can keep working the middle and make plays.

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