There was some good, some bad and a lot of in-between in the Tennessee Titans' preseason opener in Green Bay on Thursday night.
The Titans lost, 31-17, in Mike Vrabel's first game at the helm, but there were some encouraging parts of the game. Marcus Mariota directed a touchdown drive on his only series of the game to give the Titans a quick 7-0 lead. Mariota's 4-yard touchdown pass to Darius Jennings capped the nine-play, 71-yard march that was highlighted by a 38-yard catch and run by Nick Williams.
After that, Mariota gave way to backup Blaine Gabbert, who was 9 of 15 for 76 yards before Luke Falk too the field late in the third quarter and finished up under center. Gabbert directed a field goal drive in the second quarter as Ryan Succop connected on a 23-yard kick to give the Titans a 10-7 lead that stood up through the first half.
Defensively, the Titans had their share of problems, allowing a touchdown drive on their first series to the Packers, who played without starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers. There were a few highlights, however, as rookie Harold Landry had a strip sack of Packers QB Brett Hundley, though Green Bay recovered the fumble.
Also, Tennessee turned away one Packers threat when Jayon Brown intercepted a pass after a rush from Gimel President forced an errant throw. In the second half, Packers backups Deshone Kizer and Tim Boyle directed three scoring drives against Titans backups to take a commanding 31-10 lead and hold the football for much of the final two quarters.
The Titans scored in the final minutes of the game with the outcome already decided when rookie quarterback Luke Falk connected for a late TD with backup tight end Tim Semisch.
The Titans spread the football around in Matt LaFleur's new offense as 14 different players caught passes from three different quarterbacks, and seven different players had a rushing attempt in the game. Penalties were an issue for both clubs, as the Titans 14 penalties for 124 yards, and the Packers were flagged nine times for 69 yards. Tennessee had two penalties for violating the new lowering the helmet rule – one on linebacker Robert Spillane and one on safety Demontre Hurst that an was offsetting call.
Injuries: Rookie safety Dane Cruikshank suffered a shoulder injury while trying to recover a fumble on a punt and did not return to the game. President left the game on the next series after his sack when he suffered some sort of leg injury. Receiver Corey Davis was among the Titans who did not play in the game after missing the past practices with an undisclosed injury.