View from the Other Side: Packers @ Titans
Jeff Fuqua
Nov 3, 2008

The scene was set for a big Green Bay Packers road win against the NFL’s only unbeaten team.

Going into Sunday, the Packers were as healthy as they’re probably going to be this season coming off their bye, and their coaching staff had an extra week to put together a game plan. The Tennessee Titans had a short week’s rest after playing Monday night.

But in the end, the Titans outslugged the Packers on Sunday by sticking with the formula that has served them so well this season, playing a slow-down rushing game on offense and relying on their stout defense to make most of the key plays in a 19-16 overtime win at LP Field.

Pete Dougherty, Green Bay Press-Gazette

Aaron Rodgers, who just signed a megabucks extension to stay with the Packers through 2014, said he was disappointed with his play.

"I feel our defense played well enough to win," he said. "I just didn't make enough plays and turned the ball over twice."

The Packers credited a lot of that to Tennessee's defense.

"Their corners have the opportunity to play with a vision because of their pass rush that wreaks havoc," Jennings said. "Their corners are able to sit back and play with their eyes on the quarterback."

Michael Hunt, Journal Sentinel

The Titans make it tough in the red zone — they came in ranked 12th in the NFL in red-zone defense — because they clutter the field with defensive backs and linebackers while relying on their front four to get pressure. Sure enough, that’s what happened. Defensive end Jacob Ford got one of Tennessee’s four sacks of Rodgers on a second-down play from the Titans’ 12-yard line.

Converting those red-zone trips into touchdowns instead of field goals would have played into the Packers’ plan to try to force the Titans to beat them with their passing game (ranked 28th out of 32 teams in the NFL) instead of their fourth-ranked running game.

Rob Demovsky, Green Bay Press-Gazette

The Green Bay Packers took a powder in the NFC Championship Game 10 months ago because they weren't physical enough. Now they've lost four more games basically for the same reason.

On this sunny Sunday afternoon, the entire defense picked a hideous time to go in the tank against the eminently beatable but still unbeaten Tennessee Titans.

Given a reprieve it really didn't deserve when kicker Rob Bironas missed from 47 yards at the end of regulation, the Packers' defense played even worse in overtime before Bironas finished them off with a 41-yard field goal for the 19-16 victory at LP Field.

Afterward, coach Mike McCarthy offered one of the more audacious summations in his 2½-year tenure.

"We have respect for the Tennessee Titans," McCarthy said. "They've always played physical but we play physical also."

If this performance fits McCarthy's idea of physical football, the Packers will never become a championship team under his direction.

Bob McGinn, Journal Sentinel

Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy was visibly upset minutes after his team’s gut-wrenching overtime loss to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday at LP Field.

Who could blame him after the Packers blew a golden opportunity to knock off the NFL’s only unbeaten team on its home turf?

This loss seemed especially hard to swallow, and it was evident in McCarthy’s stern demeanor and the subdued visitors’ locker room.

“It does sting,” receiver Greg Jennings said. “Any time you have the game in your grasp and you let it slip away, and you see the game just there for the taking and you don’t take it, you definitely kind of take that one on the chin, a lot harder than most.”

Mike Vandermause, Green Bay Press-Gazette

When Tennessee got the ball to start overtime, Chris Johnson took over and gained 45 yards on six touches as the Titans moved from their 22 to the Packers’ 23. Besides the 16 yards he gained on the pass in the flat on a key third-and-6 from his own 26, Johhnson also burst through the middle and cut back for a 14-yard run on a play that might have gone for a touchdown if safety Nick Collints hadn’t tripped him up.

“He’s a good slasher kind of back,” linebacker Brady Poppinga said. “He’s able to find weaknesses in the fronts, so you have to have great gap integrity or else he’ll find the seams and little crevices to get through. He’s good.”

Pete Dougherty, Green Bay Press-Gazette

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