Aaron Rodgers Takes Blame For Packers’ Loss Against Titans

Aaron Rodgers, Packers
NFL Analysis Network

Momentum in professional sports can shift dramatically in a short period of time and the Green Bay Packers experienced that firsthand this week. After a dramatic, come-from-behind victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday afternoon breathed life back into their season, the wind was removed from their sails on Thursday Night Football by the Tennessee Titans.

The Titans set the tone from the opening drive, scoring a touchdown and never trailing in the game. 0-0 was the last time that the Packers were even tied, as Mason Crosby missed the extra point on their first touchdown drive and Tennessee never looked back.

It was a cold, blustery night that began with some snowfall at kickoff, conditions that the Packers normally thrive in. But on Thursday, it was the Titans that looked like the cold weather team. What was surprising was that Green Bay was able to keep Derrick Henry in check; it was Ryan Tannehill they had no answers for.

Tannehill completed 22-of-27 pass attempts for 333 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Treylon Burks had the best game of his young career, catching seven passes for 111 yards while Robert Woods complemented him with six receptions for 69 yards. Tight end Austin Hooper caught two touchdowns, finishing the game with four receptions for 36 yards.

It was a shock seeing the Titans find so much success through the air as Tannehill thoroughly outplayed Aaron Rodgers. That proved to be the difference in the game, as Rodgers couldn’t make plays when the Packers needed him most and Tannehill did. After the game, the future Hall of Famer took full blame for the team falling short. 

“I’ve got to throw the ball better than I did tonight,” Rodgers said. “Not a lot of margin for error for us and definitely not against a team that gives you some opportunities. We’ve got to have those plays.”

Two throws stand out, particularly, that Rodgers missed. Following the interception of Tannehill, the Packers faced a 3rd-and-12 with 9:23 remaining. Sammy Watkins was wide open over the middle of the field, but Rodgers led him too much and Green Bay was forced to punt.

Following the defense holding Tennessee to a three-and-out, another critical third down arose. Rodgers had Allen Lazard open, but threw the ball well over his head. The Packers went for it on fourth down and were unsuccessful.

“I couldn’t tell you [or] point to one thing,” Rodgers said. “I’m not going to make excuses about my thumb. It’s been the same since [he hurt it against the] New York [Giants]. I don’t know. I’ve got to go back and look at it.”

“I felt like fundamentally I was in a good spot. I just didn’t have the same type of consistent grip and ball coming out the same way. I threw a lot of kind of wobblers tonight. There was some wind. Just missed a few throws I should have had. Definitely the one to Sammy and the one to Allen.”

In addition to the missed throws, Rodgers also uncharacteristically took a 12-yard loss on a sack during the team’s final drive that effectively ended their chances at a comeback. A chance to build some real momentum heading into a huge matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles next week has been squandered as the Packers are going back to the drawing table.

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