NASHVILLE – Green Bay’s offense got going but the defense and special teams weren’t helping the Packers out as they headed into halftime trailing the Titans, 35-16, on Sunday at Nissan Stadium.
The Packers finally got on the board to start the second quarter. QB Aaron Rodgers went 7-for-7 on the drive, hitting WRs Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Davante Adams twice each. RB James Starks added two carries for 16 yards, and Nelson caught a 1-yard TD pass with 10:49 left in the half.
The Titans wasted no time answering. On third-and-2, Packers LB Joe Thomas ran into the Titans TE while trying to get outside to cover RB DeMarco Murray on a wheel route. Murray was wide open for a 35-yard gain, and on the very next play, QB Marcus Mariota hit WR Rishard Matthews for a 32-yard TD against DB Micah Hyde in one-on-one coverage. Tennessee led 28-7 with 8:45 left in the period.
The Packers came back on offense but could only manage a field goal. A 46-yard completion to Adams was followed by consecutive passes of 15, 8 and 7 yards to Nelson. But a holding penalty on G Lane Taylor on first-and-goal pushed the Packers back to the 19, and a third-down pass for Nelson in the back of the end zone was knocked away. K Mason Crosby kicked a 29-yard field goal to pull the Packers within 28-10 with 3:55 left in the half.
The Packers’ defense finally got a stop when S Kentrell Brice hit TE Delanie Walker on a third-and-10 deep ball over the middle, forcing the Titans to punt for the first time.
But WR Trevor Davis muffed the fair catch on the punt, and Titans CB LeShaun Sims recovered, giving Tennessee the ball in Green Bay territory again. A personal foul on Packers LB Kyler Fackrell for pulling players off the fumble pile put the ball on the Green Bay 12.
On third down, Mariota hit WR Kendall Wright at the right pylon for a 6-yard TD, and the Titans pushed their lead to 35-10 with 1:55 left in the half.
The Packers got back into scoring range again. An 18-yard pass to Nelson preceded completions of 38 and 6 yards to Adams. Starks then scored on a 13-yard screen pass, and the Packers had scored in just 72 seconds. Crosby missed the PAT wide left, so the score was 35-16 Tennessee with 43 ticks left.
Titans WR Marc Mariani returned the ensuing short kickoff to the Tennessee 41, and Mariota promptly hit Sharpe for a 14-yard gain over the middle. From the Green Bay 40, the Titans went for it on fourth-and-5, but Mariota’s pass was incomplete, and the Packers took over with 10 seconds to go.
Rodgers scrambled for 7 yards and went out of bounds with 1 second left. A Hail Mary to the end zone was intercepted on the final play of the half.