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Tuesday, October 12, 2004
Game Review: Titans vs. Packers
by Thomas Pyc
The only team in the NFL to avoid a record any worse than two games below .500 over the past twelve years finally achieved the feat. It would be tough to argue at exactly what point the Packers actually lost to the Titans (48-27). Some might say the dagger came from the arm of Titans’ wide receiver Drew Bennett as he lofted a touchdown pass over a dismal Packers’ defense. Others could argue that the Packers’ lost the game before they even touched the field. All in all, finding a positive for the Packers’ to build on from tonight will probably be the toughest assignment in the film room tomorrow.
The onslaught of points from the Titans started with touchdown runs of 37 and 29 yard by Titans’ running back Kris Brown. On both plays the blitzing Packers were picked up and the Packers’ arm-tacking technique was no match for the shifty runner, Brown. By the end of the first quarter the lead was in the Titans’ hands 17-3. Along with Brown, Steve McNair was having his way with the Packers’ defense which looked extremely vulnerable without Grady Jackson or James Lee to help stop the run game.
During the second quarter the Titans’ exploited the rookie Ahmad Carroll in pass coverage as well as a curious match up between rookie defensive lineman, Corey Williams, and fullback Troy Fleming. Both teams added field goals before halftime and went to the locker room with the Titans ahead 27-13. The Titans had the ball for over 20 minutes and racked up 310 yards on a porous Packer defense.
The second half started with a miscommunication between Brett Favre and Javon Walker that allowed Titans’ safety Tank Williams to jump a pass route and snag an interception. Favre added his third interception not too much later which was followed up by a Steve McNair touchdown pass to Eddie Berlin who tiptoed the sideline perfectly. Ahmad Carroll was on the coverage and remained solid throughout the play until Berlin fell and popped up into the open and immediately receiving the pass. The Titans’ maintained a 34-13 lead with 8 minutes to go in the third quarter.
Needing to respond quickly the Packers marched down the field only to come up short on fourth and goal. Then after a muffed punt by Antonio Chatman, who was having a decent game until that point, the Titans’ ran a trick play and gave themselves a 28 point lead to start the fourth quarter. At that point in the second half the Packers had five drives with the following results: interception, interception, turnover on downs, fumble.
After a few more changes in possession the Packers put together a 98 yard touchdown drive but the game appeared out of reach with a score of 41 to 20. Both teams added touchdowns with their second teams to wrap up the game 48 to 27. The Packers managed to set a new record for points allowed in a game at Lambeau field.
Overall, the Packers did not look ready to play and when they did they paid dearly for it. At this point it is hard to put a finger on the exact problem that caused this game to become as disastrous as it did but turning the ball over 6 times would be a good place to start. The offense did not appear ready to get into the necessary pace for a track meet but that’s what it might have to do in order to cover for the defensive inefficiencies over the remainder of the year. The loss drops the Packers to 0-3 at home and 1-4 overall. Bouncing back is not entirely out the question but this team has to want to win and come to the field with the same attitude it had in the first week of season.