The Green Bay Packers visiting the Tennessee Titans is rather quietly one of the most intriguing games on the Week 10 NFL schedule. With losses in three of their last four games and three straight road games ahead of them, Green Bay’s season is at an obvious crossroads. This is particularly true after Aaron Rodgers called out his teammates following Sunday’s loss to the Colts, according to Yahoo Sports and other sources.
Aaron Rodgers calls out Packers 'unacceptable' low energy https://t.co/VWl8deH3tJ— Rob Demovsky (@RobDemovsky) November 7, 2016
Something has been amiss with the Packers all season, and if they’re going to get things turned around the second half of the season and reach the playoffs, Sunday’s game in Nashville is a must-win game against a team the Packers should beat; at least on paper.
Meanwhile, the Titans have struggled to sustain any momentum this season despite showing promise at times. Tennessee is still in the mix for a playoff spot coming out of the AFC South, but only if the Titans can steal a win or two against teams they aren’t expected to beat. This week’s home game against the Packers is a perfect opportunity to get such a win.
With so much on the line for both teams, here are five bold predictions for Sunday’s game between the Packers and the Titans.
Aaron Rodgers Is Green Bay’s Leading Rusher
The Packers have had all kinds of problems running the ball since they lost Eddie Lacy to injury, and the issue doesn’t appear to be getting any better. Wide receivers Ty Montgomery and Randall Cobb, as well as fullback Aaron Ripkowski, have become the team’s best options for running the ball, and that’s not good news for the Packers. On Sunday, expect Rodgers to lead Green Bay in rushing after scrambling out of the pocket a few times as the Packers still can’t find an answer at running back.
Brian Orakpo Has Three Sacks
Orakpo got off to a fast start this season, collecting seven sacks during the first six games of the season. He’s been held in check since then, but look for him to come back to life this week against the Packers. Rodgers is mobile enough to get away from him most of the time, but look for Orakpo to catch the quarterback a few plays and finish the game with three sacks.
Randall Cobb Has Big Day
Cobb has had such an up and down season, making it difficult to project the kind of impact he’ll have from one game to the next. After Cobb had just two catches last week against the Colts, with one going for a touchdown, look for the Packers to make an effort to get him involved. The Titans are solid at cornerback, but if Cobb is at the top of his game, he’s going to be difficult to stop. If the Packers can get Cobb at least 10 targets, there’s a good chance he’ll near the 100-yards receiving threshold, while also scoring a touchdown or two.
Marcus Mariota Outperforms Aaron Rodgers
There have been signs of real growth in Mariota’s performance this season, and while he’s had his ups and downs, he’s capable of looking like a star in any given week. Playing at home against Green Bay’s defense this week, look for Mariota to have a better game than Rodgers. That’s not to say Rodgers won’t play well, but there’s so much on his shoulders right now, and that could lead to him pressing and trying to do too much. Mariota also has more help around him, particularly with regard to a solid running game. Even with NBCSports reporting that backup running back Derrick Henry is not a lock to play Sunday against the Packers due to injury, DeMarco Murray will give Mariota the support on the ground he needs. It all adds up to Mariota outperforming Rodgers on Sunday.
Titans Pull Off Upset
With the Titans playing at home and Mariota playing better than Rodgers, Tennessee will pull off the upset over the Packers. This should be a high-scoring game, but Green Bay’s inability to run the ball will be the difference. The Titans will be able to control the ball and have more opportunities to put points on the board and win what will be an important game for both teams.
[Featured Image via Joe Robbins/Getty Images]