The Green Bay Packers entered Week 11's home contest against the Tennessee Titans on Thursday with plenty of excitement. A home game in the bitter cold, fresh off a win against their former head coach, and the budding stardom of a young wideout poised for a breakout. Unfortunately, a strong effort from quarterback Ryan Tannehill and the Titans handed the historic NFC North franchise their seventh loss of the 2022 NFL season, putting hopes of a playoff run from quarterback Aaron Rodgers and company on life support.
Though their ability to shut down the rushing attack of the Titans is admirable, the flurry of aerial attacks that quarterback Ryan Tannehill was able to complete paint the story of this brutal loss for the Packers, now sitting at 4-7 on the year. Unfortunately, head coach Matt LaFleur will have to return to the drawing board in Week 12 because this was not the type of performance a team would want to replicate.
Coming out of the embarrassing loss, we thought we would grade each phase of the game for the Packers.
Packers Grades From Week 11 loss to Titans
Packers Pass Offense
Though Rodgers did his damndest to keep the Packers in the game, they ultimately fell short. Rodgers finished Thursday with 229 passing yards on 39 attempts and a pair of touchdowns to rookie wide receiver Christian Watson. The second-round pick now has five touchdowns in his last two games after having all of zero before Week 9.
Watson ended the night with 48 yards receiving, hauling in four of his six targets, including this highlight catch for a score:
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— Green Bay Packers (@packers) November 18, 2022
Beyond the contributions of Watson, not much else went exceptionally well for Rodgers and the Packers' passing attack. The veteran Randall Cobb led the team with six receptions and 73 yards, but beyond that, this phase of the offense was a dud. Though not as ineffective as the rushing attack, the Packers' passing offense failed to keep pace with the Titans, who largely controlled the game with time of possession and forced Rodgers to play keep up.
This performance only further highlights the issues and void left behind by wide receiver Davante Adams, now a member of the Las Vegas Raiders. As a result, the Packers' front office will have to look themselves in the mirror this offseason and evaluate whether enough was done to give Rodgers the weapons he needs to lead an effective offense.
Packers Running Game
Time of possession certainly influenced the playcalling as the game evolved, but even still, the Packers were largely ineffective when they did choose to pound the rock. Thursday's contest saw another quiet performance from running back AJ Dillon, whose sparse involvement has been a common complaint of fantasy football enthusiasts all season. Dillon concluded with a meager 13 yards on six carries.
The starter, Aaron Jones, did not contribute much either. What saves this grade from being lower is that teammate Randall Cobb recovered Jones' fumble late in the first quarter. Jones finished the contest with a team-leading 40 yards on 12 carries.
Regardless, it is tough to penalize the efforts of the Packers going up against a Titans defense that ranks highest in Football Outsiders' Run Defense DVOA in the 2022 season. That, in tandem with the fact that the Packers' offense essentially played from behind the entirety of the contest, leads to a generous grade considering the circumstances. However, LaFleur will need to find a way to get this group going if he wants what little playoff hopes this team has alive.
Packers Pass Defense
One solid red zone stand in the second quarter is worthy of highlighting. A 10-minute, 18-play drive resulting in the stuffing of running back Derrick Henry on 4th & 1 kept the Packers in the game early, but this secondary did not hold up. A series of long passes pierced the Packers' defense all night, which is why the Packers lost this Thursday night affair. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill tossed a season-high 333 passing yards, two touchdowns, and a lone interception. The wide receivers, Robert Woods and rookie Treylon Burks performed the vast majority of the damage, combining for 13 receptions and 180 yards between them.
The strength of this Titans offense is in the rushing department, with Henry serving as the battering ram. Despite their efforts to neutralize Henry, the Packers being beaten through the air is a significant indictment on a secondary that ranked eighth-highest in Pass Defense DVOA entering Thursday. Just an all-around letdown for the Packers.
Packers Rush Defense
Any time a team can keep Henry to a total of 87 yards on 28 attempts, they are worthy of a tip of the cap. Though the Pro Bowler did manage to find the end zone, the Packers' rush defense deserves a lot of credit for their efforts. Beyond Henry, Dontrell Hilliard and Tannehill combined for a whopping one yard on four attempts. All in all that is a successful outing.
Unfortunately, their counterparts in the secondary did not hold up their end of the bargain as we described before. Still, Henry being held to under 100 yards for only the fifth time this season is worthy of praise. The loss knocks this grade down lower than it would be, but the Packers front deserves a lot of credit for their performance.