This recap was a combination effort between Churchill and me. Churchill had the first half and I had the second. Hope you enjoy!
1st drive Packers
Titans show poor run pursuit on first drive, giving up run after run, especially on the back side. Titans defenders attempting too many arm tackles, and will have to play downhill better, capitalizing when in the backfield. Pitoitua had a particularly big missed tackle.
1st drive Titans
Nice delayed run with Greene on the interior with solid blocking. Miss by Locker to Hunter, too much on it. Weather having it's effect on throwing the football. Good Oline play thus far. Whisenhunt showing willingness to open up the game.
2nd drive Packers
Morgan with solid pass coverage on the edge. Griffin and Brown playing down hill, tackle for loss. Great penetration by Casey. Force 3 and out.
2nd drive Titans
Solid throw from Locker to Hunter, short right interior. Fumbled snap due to weather. McCluster shows good burst on the interior delay. Gooden makes a huge special teams play, recovering a fumble. Fantastic offensive line seal play, springs Greene free on right for TD. Bonani misses Extra Point.
3rd drive Packers
Solid tackle by Fokou. Poor seam fit against the run, gives up big run to DuJuan Harris. Zach Brown big tackle for loss. Daimion Stafford with a huge tackle in the flat on the running back. Klug misses sack, Zach Brown speeds to the flat, forces 4th down.
3rd drive Titans
McCluster with sensational interior run, refusing to go down on multiple tackles. Oline blocking good, not perfect. Emphasis on establishing the run, especially in poor conditions.
- 2nd Quarter -
Bishop Sankey getting some snaps from Whitehurst. Miss from Whitehurst to Thompson, should have been an easy completion in the right flat.
4th drive Packers
Sloppy snap due to rain; sack by Ayers. Good defensive pass rush.
4th drive Titans
Sankey follows Lewan with nice interior run. Chris Spencer goes down with apparent left ankle injury. Stingily playing well on the right side. Thompson with nice catch in the interior, short of the sticks.
5th drive Packers
DaQuan Jones with great interior push, tackle at line against run. Akeem Ayers caught with back to back penalties, NZI and defensive holding. Campbell poor reaction on the right side, giving up curl to Davonte Adams. Lots of press coverage on the edges. More missed tackles from the Titans on the edge. Stafford looking active, another big stop. Good Titans penetration into the backfield, poor tackling on second level.
5th drive Titans
Jackie Battle nice PA flat for a first down. Whitehurst hits TE Schepler over the middle for a short gain. Titans lining up in pistol formation more than a few times. Sankey gets a nice reception over the middle, 10 yards. Sankey bounces outside for a nice gain showing quick feet. Gets helmet to helmet tackles by Casey Hayward. Thompson snags a good pass over the middle for almost 8, then drops great opportunity running down the right seam.
Sankey with a miraculous catch while Whitehurst being harassed. Gets great YAC, showing ideal awareness. Whitehurst sacked with interior pressure given by Tyler Horn. Drive stalls.
6th drive Packers
Ayers struggling to get off blocks. Marqueston Huff with great blitz, resulting in sack and ending the half.
On offense, the weather played havoc with the Titans. Their early efforts were sporadic, and though Locker didn't get too many throws under his belt on the night, Whisenhunt showed that he's not afraid to open the game up regardless of the conditions. That's a nice vote of confidence so far. The starting offensive line was effective, providing some solid lanes especially on the inside. Levitre and Roos opened up a big seal lane for Shonn Greene as he rushed in for six points. Bonani got a bad start to his pre-season, missing the subsequent PAT. Dexter McCluster was maybe the liveliest player on the field, having one particularly good run on the inside, shrugging off contact and picking up good yardage.
The second stringers didn't fare much better in the monsoon-like conditions, but they did get the ball moving towards the end of the half. Nice catches from Taylor Thompson and impressive rookie runner Bishop Sankey made the biggest impressions. Thompson did drop a great seam throw from Charlie Whitehurst, but it's nice to see him being worked into the passing game more as he has been in camp. Sankey made a few great receptions, notably bailing out a (surprisingly) elusive Whitehurst, and turning a broken play into a big gain that put the Titans in the scoring zone. Unfortunately, the Titans were unable to turn it into points.
The Titans defense came out of the gate with a dud on defense, giving up multiple interior runs to the Packers, resulting in six. Ropati Pitoitua and co showed a lot of over pursuit, and a lack of solid tackling technique. They seemed to regroup on their second go-around. The line started generating some consistent interior pressure, but tackling on the second level simply wasn't there when DuJuan Harris and James Starks found the holes. Ayers in particular struggled to get off his blocks throughout the first half, a sign that he is still very much a recovering player following bilateral knee surgery this offseason. DaQuan Jones and fellow rookie Marqueston Huff both made their marks, with good inside penetration and a sack to end the half respectively.
I would certainly single out a few impressive players. Casey was disruptive early, despite not having much of an opprtunity to rush the passer. Zaviar Gooden also made some noise, making some good tackles and capitalizing on special teams by recovering a (second) muffed punt on behalf of the Packers. Derrick Morgan took the first step in proving he can play OLB and cover against the pass, following a nice breakout on the perimeter. Second year safety Daimion Stafford had an excellent half of football, delivering two big hits for no yards allowed, and not giving up any plays into his zone.
Titans first drive second half
Marc Mariani catches a first down, but doesn't catch a ball on the next third down that he probably should have caught. It would have been a tough catch....
Packers first drive second half
Khalid Wooted laying the wood.
Colin McCarthy hurt again. That is not going to help his chances of making the team.
Defense way too soft on the touchdown run.
Titans second drive
When are we going to see Zach Mettenberger?
Whitehurst running around like Michael Vick circa early 2000s.
I really want to see Sankey run behind a line that can block.
Whitehurst and Taylor Thompson seem to have a nice rhythm. I would love to see them get Thompson involved.
Mariani can't come up with another ball.
Sankey finishes the drive off with a TD reception!
Packers second drive
The shoddy tackling continues for the Titans defense.
Titans third drive
Mettenberger finally in. Shows some mobility(ish) on his first drop back.
Mett's first pass is drilled in between two defenders for a first down. He has a cannon.
And Mett gives it away. Hold the ball high, Zach. Rookie mistake....
Packers third drive
Patrick Bailey with a sack.
Lavar Edwards with a really nice rush to get a sack on third down. That will help his chances of making this roster.
Titans fourth drive
Jackie Battle lets a ball go off his shoulder pads and get picked.
Packers fourth drive
Nice play in run support by Marqueston Huff.
Titans fifth drive
Mett makes back to back great throws. That kid is going to be good.
Nice, hard run by Jackie Battle for a TOUCHDOWN!!
Packers fifth drive
Patrick Bailey gets his second sack of the night.