Packers at Titans: Preview, Predictions, and More

Green Bay Packers vs. Tennessee Titans

The Green Bay Packers have been a perennial Super Bowl favorite since Aaron Rodgers took over starting quarterback duties. However, their shortcomings in the 2016 NFL season have been both shocking and evident. They’re still alive in a suddenly wide-open NFC North. However, they can ill afford another letdown game like last week’s loss to the Indianapolis Colts. They’ll have to defeat another AFC South foe to do that in NFL Week 10, taking on the Tennessee Titans on Sunday at Nissan Stadium.

Tennessee has been every bit as inconsistent as Green Bay this season. Marcus Mariota and company entered the new season with hope of turning a corner upon adding new pieces and progressing thanks to experience. They’ve shown flashes of doing just that, but turnovers for the quarterback and lackluster overall performances have led them to 4-5. Mike Mularkey has to be hoping his team comes to play on Sunday.

Rodgers is clearly in control for the Packers still, perhaps more so than ever. With Eddie Lacy being perpetually injured this season, Green Bay has almost no running game at all. That may change with James Starks looking like he’ll be active, but you have to wonder just how much so. Regardless, the offense still goes through the quarterback and he can pick apart any defense when he’s on.

Here are the keys to victory in this inter-conference matchup:

Keys to Victory

This matchup features strength vs. strength in regards to the running game of the Titans with DeMarco Murray and the No. 1-ranked run defense of the Packers. Subsequently, the big key for Tennessee is going to be figuring out ways to move the ball on the ground. As good as Mariota has been at times, he needs his running game to help him out. Jack Conklin and Taylor Lewan on the edges of the line will have to keep Murray clean in the backfield and let him get to his holes and go to work.

In addition to stopping Murray and the run, Rodgers and the Packers have to exploit the weakness of the Titans defense. Time and again, opponents have picked on Tennessee cornerback Perrish Cox. That’s certainly where the Green Bay quarterback will be looking to attack with Jason McCourty likely clamping down on Jordy Nelson. With no semblance of a running game, finding the weakness in that Titans secondary will be pivotal.

Odds

Point Spread: Green Bay -2.5
Moneyline: Green Bay -145, Tennessee +125
Over/Under: 49.5

Prediction

On paper, this game should belong to the Packers easily—even on the road. However, I just don’t think that’s realistic given the way they’ve been playing and their shortcomings. At the very least, Mariota, Murray and the Titans should move the ball and this is a shootout. In Nashville, I’m going with the upset and giving Tennessee the victory.

Pick: Green Bay Packers: 27, Tennessee Titans: 31

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