Winning football feels so good. After a huge win, last week against the Dallas Cowboys, the Green Bay Packers has put the league on notice that they’re not going to be the team willing to roll over. Now, 4-6 on the season, it just takes one win to start building up the momentum toward a late-season playoff push. The Packers, on a short week, will now look to stack a win against the Tennessee Titans tonight in Lambeau.
The biggest surprise from last week’s win over the Cowboys wasn’t rookie wide receiver Christian Watson’s three-touchdown game. It wasn’t Aaron Jones’ perfect replica celebration of the great Marshawn Lynch. Instead, it was the resiliency the Packers were able to show as an entire team.
After taking a 14-7 lead with 1:48 left in the first half, it looked like the Packers had the momentum in the game. However, the Cowboys managed to score seven before the half, which quickly turned into 21 unanswered points making the score 28-14. The Packers had every reason to quit and chalk it up as a sixth straight loss.
Instead, the team rallied together and managed to score two more touchdowns tying the game with 2:33 remaining in the fourth quarter. The Packers’ defense prevented the Cowboys on two straight drives, one of which occurred in overtime, allowing for a Mason Crosby 28-yard field goal to win it. This game showed a lot about the current mentality of the Green Bay Packers.
Now looking ahead to tonight’s matchup, how will the Packers look to build off the impressive win? Offensively, the Packers seem to have finally found their footing. Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon combined for 37 carries last week while Aaron Rodgers threw for 224 yards and three touchdowns. That’s exactly how this Packers’ offense should expect to look.
A healthy dose of Jones and Dillon should still be present in tonight’s game, but the passing game might have to step up while facing the Titans’ #1 ranked run defense by DVOA. Rodgers is expected to have his trusty reliable friend back on the field in Randall Cobb but the biggest thing to watch for out of the Packers’ offense will be how Watson responds after having easily the best game of his rookie season just four days ago.
The major challenge tonight for the Packers’ defense tonight will be containing the King, Derrick Henry. Through nine games this season, Henry has a league-high 202 rushing attempts while averaging 4.6 yards per carry. The 28-year-old has topped 100-yards in five of his nine games this season.
The Packers were able to hold Henry back just enough during their last matchup back in 2020. In the 40-14 win at Lambeau, Henry recorded 98-yards on 23 carries while the Packers’ quick start on offense forced the Titans to rely heavily on the passing game.
However, that’s the area that could potentially burn the Packers’ defense this time around tonight. Make no mistake about it, even with former wide receiver A.J. Brown now on the Philadelphia Eagles, the passing offense of the Tennessee Titans will be the most important aspect of this game to focus on.
As our own Jared Prugar laid out earlier today, the Titans’ offense can be particularly dangerous when they begin to implement the play-action pass, something they do “on over 30% of their passing attempts.” The Packers’ defense cannot get caught looking in the backfield and allowing the Titans’ pass catchers to get by for a big play. That’s the exact formula the Titans used in their win last week against the Denver Broncos where wide receiver Nick Westbrook-Ikhine totaled 119 yards and two touchdowns.
Again, as mentioned at the beginning, it only takes one win to go on a run. Tonight will be another big test for this young Packers team. Let’s see how they respond, and Packers fans, just remember: “We’re not dead.”——————
Kole Noble is a lifelong Packers fan currently living in North Carolina and is a huge NFL Draft nut. You can follow him on twitter at @SlawSportsShow.