Packers hang on to edge Titans, 21-20

Only in the preseason.<p> The Green Bay Packers and Tennessee Titans might still be playing, but Titans coach Jeff Fisher chose to avoid overtime by going for a two-point conversion with 8 seconds remaining against the Packers Friday night in the exhibition finale before 62,485 fans at Lambeau Field. The Titans' failed in their attempt which allowed the Packers to hang on for the win.<p>

"In the preseason I think anybody would have gone for two, particularly when you're going to catch a flight out of Austin Straubel and fly to Nashville, Tennessee at 11 o'clock at night," Packers coach and general manager Mike Sherman said. "I told (defensive coordinator) Ed Donatell that when they line up and show the formation to call a timeout so we can discuss what we might want to do."

Fortunately for the Packers, Titans quarterback Billy Volek overthrew wide receiver Eddie Berlin, sealing the win and concluding the exhibition season. The Packers finished 3-1 in the preseason and will open the regular season Sept. 8 at home against the Atlanta Falcons.

Green Bay will enter the season at nearly full strength. Center Mike Flanagan suffered a broken thumb early in training camp and probably will not play against the Falcons, but otherwise, the Packers were able to avoid any major injuries during training camp other than a number of groin and hamstring injuries.

"We didn't have any serious injuries in camp," said Sherman. "... but if I can ever figure out how to eliminate the groin sprain, I'll write a book about it."

Packers rookie quarterback Craig Nall rallied the Packers for 18 second-half points, including two touchdown passes to wide receiver Charles Lee. Nall played all but the first series of the second half and finished by completing 12 of 19 passes for 182 yards.

"The offensive line gave me plenty of time to sit back there and analyze what was going on down the field," said Nall. "Some of the guys made real big catches."

Nall teamed up with Lee to break a 14-14 tie with a 25-yard completion for a touchdown on a "free" play. The Titans jumped off-side, which caused the defense to let up for a split second. Nall alertly spotted Lee sprinting down the right sideline wide open. Nall's 44-yard pass to rookie wide receiver Javon Walker keyed the drive. Walker beat rookie Tony Beckham off the line, then made a finger-tip catch before he was brought down on the Titans' 38.

The Titans bounced back driving to Green Bay's 2 yard line with less than two minutes remaining. But Green Bay stopped the Titans on four consecutive plays and took possession of the ball on their own 2 with 1:13 remaining in the game.

Unable to move the ball for a first down, the Packers were forced to punt and Tennessee got the ball back again on the Packers' 38 with less then a minute left in the game. Third-string quarterback Billy Volek completed a seven-yard pass to Berlin, and the Titans got another 13 yards to the Packers' 26 when nose tackle Rod Walker was flagged for roughing the passer. Berlin followed by throwing a 13-yard touchdown pass to Berlin with 8 seconds left to close the Titans to 21-20.

Berlin finished with four catches for 64 yards.

Walker led the Packers with four catches for 85 yards. Lee had three catches for 47 yards, Donald Driver three catches for 40 yards and tight end David Martin three catches for 32 yards. Lee's 16-yard touchdown catch from Nall with 14:07 left gave the Packers their first lead. Lee, battling with free agent Karsten Bailey for a roster spot, used his height and strength to leap over a defender and make the catch in the end zone.

"It felt good to see some plays my way," Lee said. "I tried to put myself into a position where I can do the best thing that I can, and I think I was blessed with that opportunity tonight."

For the second consecutive exhibition game, Green Bay's special teams gave up a kickoff return for a touchdown. Reserve running back John Simon took the second half kickoff from Ryan Longwell on the Titans own goal line. Simon sprinted through a huge hole on the right side of the field, then cut toward the left sideline and out-ran Longwell and Lee to the end zone.

In Green Bay's 27-20 win over the Cleveland Browns, the Browns' Andre' Davis took the opening kickoff and raced 93 yards for a quick six points.

Green Bay's second-team defense stifled Tennessee's first-team offense on the final three series of the first half, and the Packers took a 3-0 lead.

The Titans, who are expected to have a high-powered offense this season, were held to 86 total yards in the first half. The Packers' second-team defense forced the Titans to punt the ball away on their final three possessions after gaining a total of 47 yards. The Titans' receivers also dropped at least two passes that were very catchable and could have gone for big gains.

After quarterback Steve McNair scrambled for a 14-yard gain to Green Bay's 48, the Packers held running back Skip Hicks to a one-yard gain. Hicks then dropped a pass that would have gone for a big gain and the Titans were forced to punt.

"Who knows what happens if we catch the football," said a frustrated Titans coach Jeff Fisher. "We had four, maybe five drops in the first half. Skip (Hicks) is probably still running if he catches that one pass on third down. Steve (McNair) is doing a good job throwing, but we are just not catching it."

Green Bay's first-team defense forced the Titans to punt on their first possession. Packers' defensive end Joe Johnson recovered a fumble by McNair on Tennessee's 38-yard line early in the second quarter that set up the only score of the first half.

McNair, who completed just two passes for 15 yards in the half, lost control of the ball as he stepped up in the pocket to pass, and Johnson swarmed on the loose ball. Doug Pederson, who entered the game for Brett Favre on the Packers' third series on offense, completed a 25-yard pass over the middle to Glenn, but the Packers were unable to move any closer.

Longwell's 30-yard field goal gave the Packers a 3-0 lead with 12:33 left in the second quarter.

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