Thursday Night Football Recap: Titans conquer Packers on the road behind do-it-all performance by Derrick Henry

Mandatory Credit: Photo by TANNEN MAURY/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock (13628525x) Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (R) reacts with Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill (C) and Tennessee Titans wide receiver Nick Westbrook-Ikhine (L) after scoring a touchdown during the NFL game between the Tennessee Titans and the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA, 17 November 2022. Tennessee Titans at Green Bay Packers, USA – 17 Nov 2022

Thursday Night Football Recap: Titans conquer Packers on the road behind do-it-all performance by Derrick Henry

Titans 27, Packers 17

The Tennessee Titans entered frozen Lambeau Field for a matchup with the Green Bay Packers amid snow flurries, knowing they’d face an inspired Packers team. Green Bay snapped a five game losing streak last week, topping the Dallas Cowboys to improve to 4-6 and greatly improve their playoff chances. Tennessee started the night comfortably atop the AFC South, partially because they’ve done an excellent job of handing Derrick Henry and the run game leads after powerful opening drives. 

The Titans started Thursday Night Football the way they started four other games in 2022 already, driving down the field for a touchdown on their first possession. Dontrell Hilliard caught a 14-yard pass from Ryan Tannehill to give Tennessee a 7-0 lead after Tannehill’s long pass to rookie Treylon Burks set the Titans’ up in Green Bay territory. Green Bay, who punted the ball away after failing to record a first down on their opening drive, was much more successful on their second possession. Aaron Rodgers found wide receiver Christian Watson in the back of the end zone on the final play of the first quarter, after snapping the ball quickly to earn the Packers a free play as Tennessee’s 12th player failed to exit the field in time. The penalty was declined after the touchdown was scored, giving Watson, a rookie, his fourth receiving score in just five quarters and making the score 7-6 after a blocked extra point. 

Tennessee’s first drive of the second quarter seemingly went on for ages, using more than 10 minutes of clock while the Titans ran 18 plays – but after Derrick Henry was stuffed on a fourth-and-one run inside the five yard line, the drive came up empty anyway. Green Bay couldn’t escape the terrible field position though, punting moments later – and before the two minute warning, Tennessee was already back within field goal range. This time, the Titans would score their second touchdown of the first half extending their lead to 14-6 with just seconds to play as Derrick Henry plunged in from four yards out. 

Green Bay would strike first in the second half, as Mason Crosby’s 39-yard field goal capped off a 13-play drive with 8:25 to go in the third quarter. The Titans struck quickly on their next possession, a six play drive keyed by do-it-all running back Derrick Henry. Henry caught a screen pass for 42 to yards to move the Titans deep into Packers’ territory, and threw a pass to tight end Austin Hooper to extend the lead to 20-9 after a missed extra point. The sudden back-and-forth scoring continued on the ensuing Packers’ drive, a seven play, 69-yard quest that ended with Christian Watson’s second reception – and second touchdown reception – of the game with 2:04 to go in the third. After Aaron Jones punched in the two point conversion, Green Bay trailed just 20-17. 

Tennessee responded in short order, working downfield in just five plays en route to Austin Hooper’s second touchdown catch of the night on the first play of the fourth quarter – the Titans’ first fourth quarter touchdown of the entire season. Trailing 27-17, Green Bay needed to turn things around in short order in the game’s final quarter – but after two straight three-and-outs on their next two drives, it felt like the walls were closing in on the home at Lambeau Field. Aaron Rodgers struggled with accuracy on third and fourth downs all night, and after a turnover on downs in Titans’ territory with 5:18 to go, Tennessee took the ball back over hoping to ice the game once and for all. After one final fourth down stop with just over two minutes to play, the Titans ran the clock out to silence the Lambeau Field crowd and escape with a 10-point win. 

The road win for Tennessee was their first at Lambeau Field since 2004, having lost their last two visits by 26 and 48 points respectively. Derrick Henry starred in multiple facets of the game for Tennessee, toting the football 28 times for 87 yards and a touchdown, catching the football twice for 45 yards, and even passing for a touchdown. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill’s 333 yards per the air were his most of the season, eclipsing his previous season high by more than 60. The Titans’ defense pitched a fourth quarter shutout, preserving their seventh win in their last eight and moving them to 7-3 on the year. Green Bay’s loss drops the Packers to 4-7, leaving them in dire straits heading into Week 12. 
Next Week: Tennessee: vs Cincinnati, Green Bay: at Philadelphia

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