Titans Survive Monsoon, Packers for 20-16 Win

The Titans and Packers battled the rain and each other on a sloppy night at L.P. Field.

This was not the way Titans head coach Ken Whisenhunt envisioned his first game at L.P. Field.

A torrential downpour made any hopes of seeing what this new look Titans offense might be able to do all but impossible.

"Well conditions were pretty tough," said Whisenhunt. "It's something that we got a chance to look at and work on."

Quarterback Jake Locker,in his first live action since his foot injury last season was limited in the rain, as he finished his night 1-2 for 5 yards.

The Packers struck first on an 8 play, 64 yard drive that took 4:26 and was punctuated by the 20 yard touchdown run up the middle by James Stark to stake Green Bay to a 7-0 lead.

We had some mistakes, but we made some plays," said Whisnehunt. "We had some guys that made some plays.

Running back Shonn Greene made one of those plays following a Packers fumbled punt by Davonte Adams at the Green Bay 13 yard line. Zavier Gooden recovered the fumble for the Titans.

On the first play following the recovery, backup quarterback Charlie Whitehurt handed off to Greene who started into the middle, then ran left to daylight for a 13 yard touchdown.

Maikon Bonani, who is battling with Travis Coons for the kicking position missed the extra point wide left.

Whitehurst, who replaced Locker late in the first quarter worked into the third quarter and showed his running ability. The nine year veteran turned in the play of the night as he rolled left, broke a tackle, reversed field and escaped a second hit to deliver the pass to Bishop Sankey for a 23 yard gain.

The Packers struck first in the second half, as former University of Tennessee running back Rajion Neal capped a 7 play 79 yard drive with a 12 yard touchdown run to increased the Packers advantage to 13-6.

Whitehurst who finished the night completing 10-15 for 94 yards and one touchdown with a passer rating of 106.0 would answer for the Titans. Following a 10 play, 80 yard drive it was Whitehurst connecting with rookie running back Bishop Sankey for a 5 yard touchdown pass. The Travis Coons PAT tied the score at 13-13 with 2:36 left in the third quarter.

Rookie quarterback Zach Mettenberger got his opportunity as he started the third quarter, but things did not go well early. His second drive ended on a deflection and interception by Green Bay's linebacker Kory Jones gave the Packers offense at the Titans 12 yard line. A holding penalty helped stop the drive as the packers settled for a 32 yard Mason Crosby field goal to make it 16-13.

Mettenberger got a measure of revenge on the ensuing possession as he connected recent free-agent tight end addition Chase Coffman for 27 yards, then connecting with Brian Robiske for 38 yards that set up the Titans go-ahead score.

For the night, Mettenberger finished 4-7 for 87 yards with the one interceptiion, and a rating of 61.9 for the game. While that rating number isn't as high as one might hope, the rookie made big throws, and completions when it counted.

Jackie Battle capped the 5 play, 80 yard drive with a bruising 7 yard touchdown run to give the Titans their first lead of the night.

The Titans defense sealed the night, and a preseason win as rookie corner back Ri'Shard Anderson intercepted a Chase Rettig pass at the goal line with just 52 seconds remaining.

Mettenberger and the Titans offense ended the game with one snap from the victory formation, to run out the clock.

"I did some good things, I did some bad things, you know, you don't want to turn the ball over no matter what the conditions are," said Mettenberger following the win. "We did a good job pulling together and executing a two-minute drive there to win the game."

The importance of the win was not lost on the Titans locker room, as to a man the theme was protecting home field, even in the preseason.

"We finished the game, we had some ups and downs but that's gonna be the NFL," said linebacker Derrick Morgan. "We gotta get better at tackling, we had some missed tackles here and there and penalties. There are always things to work on, but overall I feel like we did a good job finishing out the game."

The Titans will go on the road this coming Friday night to take on the New Orleans Saints in their second preseason contest.

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