1. Aaron Rodgers vs. Dick LeBeau
Rodgers is no stranger to the zone blitz. He played LeBeau’s defense in Super Bowl XLV and has practiced against Dom Capers’ scheme in all but one of his eight-plus seasons as the Packers’ starting quarterback. It’s unpredictable and pressure-packed, but the big-play opportunities will be there against Tennessee. The Titans have given up 34 passing plays of more than 20 yards this season, fourth-most in the NFL. Still, Tennessee wins with pressure, with its 23 sacks this season tied for fifth-most in the league. Rodgers has worked himself into a groove recently with 869 passing yards, 12 touchdowns and only one interception in the last three games.
2. Ty Montgomery vs. Jurrell Casey
Montgomery should be all systems go after working on a rep count last week against Indianapolis. With James Starks’ availability still up in the air, the Packers likely will turn to the second-year receiver in the backfield, where he’s averaging 5.7 yards per carry this season. Montgomery had success running between the tackles against the Colts, but he faces a much stiffer test in a Tennessee defensive front led by Casey, who’s coming off his first Pro Bowl season in 2015. Like Packers DT Mike Daniels, Casey isn’t your prototypical every-down defensive tackle at 6-foot, 305 pounds, but the sixth-year veteran makes his presence felt in every aspect of the defense.
3. Morgan Burnett vs. Delanie Walker
It’s going to take every inside linebacker and defensive back on the Packers’ roster to hold Walker in check. The 32-year-old tight end was elected to his first Pro Bowl appearance in 2015 and rightfully so. He’s had at least 60 receptions each season since signing with the Titans in 2013 and has developed into Mariota’s favorite receiving target. His speed makes him a logical mismatch against linebackers and his 6-2, 248-pound frame is difficult for many defensive backs to handle after the catch. Burnett has routinely been dropping into the slot in the dime package this season and could be tasked with helping slow Walker in obvious passing situations. Micah Hyde and Jake Ryan also could see action against the 11th-year veteran, as well.
4. David Bakhtiari vs. Brian Orakpo
Orakpo has enjoyed a renaissance with 14 sacks in 25 games since joining the Titans in 2015. The eighth-year veteran makes a formidable pass-rushing duo with Derrick Morgan. Their 12½ sacks represent more than half of Tennessee’s total this season. Bakhtiari and right tackle Bryan Bulaga have been tested the past few weeks with the Packers moving toward a spread, pass-oriented offense, but both have been up to the task. The offensive line’s ability to wash pressure away from Rodgers has been the starting point for the passing game establishing its timing and rhythm. Bakhtiari got a little taste of Orakpo during his second NFL game in 2013, which resulted in a 38-20 Green Bay victory over Washington at Lambeau Field.
5. Jordy Nelson vs. Jason McCourty
Nelson is on pace for 14 touchdown catches and his fourth 1,000-yard season at the midway point following back-to-back 94-yard performances against Atlanta and Indianapolis. His 26-yard touchdown against the Colts was vintage Nelson, going up and taking a 50-50 ball away from Darius Butler to get the Packers back in it. While Nelson will see McCourty when he’s lining up on the left boundary, the Packers have not been shy about using the 6-3, 219-pound receiver in the slot this season. McCourty, now in his eighth season with the Titans, is tied for the team lead in interceptions (two) with fellow boundary cornerback Perrish Cox.