Rapid Reaction: Three up, three down from Titans letdown loss to Packers

It wouldn’t be a Titans’ season without putting the season on the line in Week 17. In order to keep tradition, the Titans laid a proverbial, but also very literal egg against the Packers of Green Bay.

Three Down:

Offense: Coming into today, the Titans had the highest scoring offense in the league. Well, a quick start by Green Bay combined with the snow completely neutered the Tennessee attack. Scoring only 14 points in the ballgame, Ryan Tannehill was not sharp and Derrick Henry did not break any big runs. Overall, there was not a whole lot of flow.

Maybe this game gets the Titans another year of Arthur Smith? Silver lining. If these two teams were to meet again, I would feel confident in the Titans offense to be better, but I wouldn’t feel the same about the next unit on this list.

Defense: Is there a word strong enough for the defense? Probably not. This defense is the biggest eyesore in the league. The Jets have a better unit, and that’s not hyperbole. Vrabel has to hire a real DC not named Shane Bowen this offseason, and Jon Robinson has to find a way to rush the passer and never let Rashaan Evans see the field again.

Desmond King was a disaster in this game, as was the tackling effort from the entire defense. Like I say every week, things need to change.

Coaching: Mike Vrabel punted in Packer territory on the first drive of the game. It ended up being a huge coaching call, and a terrible one. The ensuing punt netted 12 yards, Green Bay marched down the field and went up by two scores. Mike also did not review a punt that appeared to touch Malik Taylor before being recovered by the Titans, or a run where Aaron Jones stepped out of bounds.

The two things that really stand out here are the fact that Vrabel has not changed much this season with the defense, and they continue to be exposed over and over. The other is that this is the fifth big letdown game of the year.

Yes, you are going to lose games, that’s the nature of the NFL. However, against the Steelers, Bengals, Colts, Browns, and now Packers, the team did not show up until it was too late. This is directly on the head coach and it needs to be sorted.

Three Up:

Chances of missing the playoffs: The Titans must win next week to win the division. If they don’t, then their playoff fate is all up in the air. What a waste of one of the NFL’s best offenses if they fail to make the playoffs.

Hopes that Deshaun Watson misses Week 17: If John McClain (not the Die Hard one) is to be believed, Watson will not play against the Titans next week. This is supposedly in order to make sure he isn’t injured for 2021 and the new regime. I hope that is the case, as he and any other competent QB can absolutely carve up the Titans’ sad defense.

Aaron Rodgers MVP candidacy: After the game tonight, Rodgers is absolutely the favorite to win MVP. Unless Henry or Mahomes do something absurd next week and he has a dud, Rodgers is a shoe-in. So congrats to Aaron, at least someone accomplished something tonight.

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