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Titans vs. Packers Week 11 Scouting Report: Grades and Key Matchups

Aaron Rodgers Trust

This Scouting Report for Thursday night’s Titans vs. Packers game is produced by The 33rd Team’s Scouting Department, led by former Eagles, Cardinals and Ravens personnel executive T.J. McCreight and assisted by scouts Justin Casey, Kevin Cohn and Evan Pritt.

Derrick Henry vs. Aaron Jones

  • Green Bay is ranked 26th in yards rushing allowed per game (140.6) and 27th in yards allowed per rush (4.8). They have only allowed under 150 yards rushing in 4 games. 
  • Tennessee is ranked 2nd in yards rushing allowed per game (85.1) and 3rd in yards allowed per rush (3.9). The Titans have only allowedtwo2 rushing touchdowns all season.
  • Derrick Henry is 2nd in the league,e rushing for 102.6 yards per game and is tied for 2nd withnine9 rushing touchdowns. He is the only player in the league with over 200 rushing attempts.
  • Aaron Jones is 10th in the league, rushing for 73.8 yards per game but only has two rushing touchdowns through 10 games.  
  • When you study Derrick Henry, there are a few things that stand out. Other than his obvious size and strength, he gets his shoulders square to the hole and runs hard downhill. He does have a lot of pad surface to tackle because he is such a big man.
  • Defenders are taught to chop him down like a tree and attack his lower body to get him to the ground. Very often,n players dive at his ankles, and because of his size and height, he is not a great bender or lateral quickness back.
  • Against Denver, Josey Jewell is one player that went in high on Henry, and it was quite a collision. Jewell did not back down, and they met in the hole, and it was like two semi-trucks hitting each other head-on. That was one of the very few times that I saw a defender do this.
  • Henry will pound and pound, and then he will hit you for a big run. He builds speed and gobbles up yards with his long strides.
  • Aaron Jones is a very different back than Henry. Jones is compact and has a low center. He has outstanding balance after contact and somehow will stay on his feet and move forward.
  • Jones is stronger than you think and has an explosive, shock type of strength. I like his stiff ar,m and I like how he can lower his pads and deliver a blow.
  • Jones has the speed to take it the distance and very good vision/instincts with the football in his hands.
  • Where Henry will pound you and hit big runs, Jones has more lateral quickness and will get lost in the hole. Henry can never get lost in the hole.

Titans Pass Rush vs. Green Bay Pass Protection

  • Tennessee’s pass rush has been exceptional this season, with the likes of Jeffery Simmons, Denico Autry, Rashad Weaver, and Bud Dupree all playing at a high level. Though we know how great of a player Simmons is and what he’s capable of, Autry in particular has flashed throughout the year and is tied for the 12th most sacks in the league with 7. The Titans, as a whole, have the 4th most sacks (29) while blitzing at the lowest rate in the league (13.8%)
  • Not only does Autry have the 12th most sacks, but owns the 4th most pressures (41) to go along with his 17.2% win rate. Autry’s a thickly built end with average quickness to beat blockers on the snap. He tends to win with strength rather than speed, possessing active/heavy hands to club, swipe, or swim toward an edge. Though bigger, Autry has some slipperiness to slide past the line of scrimmage, paired with the motor to pursue and finish.
  • Simmons is a man amongst boys on the interior, bullying back blockers on a regular basis. At 25 years young, Simmons has solidified himself as one of the premier interior defenders. He flashes good quickness to get off and get into blockers. Once in close quarters, Simmons is quick to pick and slip an edge with hands to keep clean while surging into the backfield. If squared up by a blocker, Simmons will deploy his power to punch and push the pocket, placing OL on skates to walk them back. Simmons shows limited flaws as a defender who can win 1v1 or against doubles with quickness, speed, and power.
  • In year 2, Weaver has begun to make a name for himself withfour4 sacks so far. Weaver’s more slippery than speedy with the bend to dip and rip towards an edge, pressuring the QB or forcing them to step up into the pocket. If squared up, he can have some struggles converting power to push an OL’s midline and will instead look to cross-face.
  • Dupree has been a good compliment to the Titans’ pass rush, flashing plus quickness to get upfield on the snap. Speed allows him to stress edges, converting it to power when needed. He has a good feel and awareness for when an offensive lineman gets off balance or loses leverage to suddenly counter. When healthy, Dupree’s shown to be an effective rusher who can pierce the line of scrimmage on an edge or through a blocker.
  • After a big win vs. Dallas on Sunday, the Packers showed what they’re capable of with the OL, in particular giving Aaron Rodgers the time to dissect the defense. On the year, Green Bay has the 10th lowest sack rate allowed (5.5%)  and the 4th lowest pressure rate allowed (27%). After missing significant time a year prior, OT David Bakhtiari is back protecting Rodgers’ blind side with the 18th lowest pressures allowed (6). The versatile chess piece, OG Elgton Jenkins, who can align any and everywhere along the OL started at RT this year but has since moved to LG and has given up the most pressures amongst the group. 2nd year C Josh Myers took over for Corey Linsley, who left during free agency in 2021, and since the change, the OL hasn’t missed a beat. OG Jon Runyan has helped shore up the interior while OT Yosh Nijman makes up the final piece of the right side and a unit that protects a future Hall of Fame QB in Aaron Rodgers.
  • Bakhtiari is one of the premier OTs in the NFL, but injuries have hampered his play and effectiveness recently. He’s a quick-footed pass protector who can set, strike and anchor to hold his own one-on-one. Fast feet allow him to mirror and stay in front of defenders, flashing awareness and a latch, attach and ride past the pocket if stressed towards an edge. 
  • Jenkins is a high-IQ lineman with the versatility to align anywhere along the line. He’s another quick-footed and nimble mover, though inconsistent strike timing and high hips hamper his ability to punch and settle when squaring up. If a defender gains inside leverage, he can struggle to anchor and will slowly get walked into the pocket. When he is able to land a hand, however, long levers and good athleticism will buy him time.
  • Myers is an accurate snapper who is quick to diagnose stunts/twists before stabbing and grabbing defenders in close proximity. His hands work faster than his feet, struggling on occasion to slide once a defender redirects toward an edge. He’s most effective when able to strike and sink, slowing defenders and their progress.
  • Runyan is a fast processor whose inconsistent strike is masked by strong hands to clamp onto DL. When battling a defender, footwork tends to cause issues, getting caught in the mud and slowing his ability to slide or mirror his man. High hips hinder chances of anchoring, but Runyan plays tough and competes to try and impede a rusher’s progress by any means.
  • Nijman’s a tall and long-armed pass protector who owns good quicks for his size. Nijman’s technique tends to be inconsistent, with waist bending and grappling when trying to engage. His size allows him to absorb most rushers down his midline, but once attacked toward an edge, and his footwork will suffer. Length does alleviate some of the issues, riding defenders past the pocket when able.
  • All in all, though the Packers have kept Aaron Rodgers relatively clean this year, they have yet to play Jeffery Simmons, who can disrupt the interior and place linemen in the QB’s lap. The positive play of Denico Autry and Rashad Weaver adds another element to the Titans’ effective pass rush who have had six straight games of at least three sacks. Look for the Titans’ defense to continue that trend v.s the Packers.

Aaron Rodgers vs. Titans’ Secondary

  • As much as Aaron Rodgers has struggled this season with early season OL shuffling and without a go-to receiver or big-play receiver, he is still tied for 5th in passing TDs (17), 9th in yards passing, and 10th in QB rating. There is no doubt that he can play better, but if last week is any indication, they are not ready to pack it yet. There is finally some continuity in their offensive line, and the receiver group is starting to get healthy. 
  • Amazingly, the Packers pass catchers have justtwo2 100-yard receiving games so far this year,one1 by Allen Lazard in Week 4 and the 3 TD breakout performance by 2022 2nd rounder Christian Watson last week.
  • Lazard has been the closest thing to a go-to receiver for Rodgers to rely on. Hisfive5 receiving TDs are tied for 9th in the league. He is a big physical receiver who lines up outside and in the slot. Rodgers likes to hit him on slants where he can use his body to shield the defender from the ball. He does a nice job locating and tracking the ball and can high-point over small defenders. Given his size, he could dominate these matchups more and come up with a few more contested catches. 
  • You can see why the Packers traded up in the 2nd round to draft Watson. He has a rare combination of height and explosive vertical speed. Conversely, you can also understand why it is taking him some time to adjust to the NFL game. He is not only adjusting to a more complex offensive scheme, but he is also facing much more difficult competition,n and he can’t just rely on his talent advantage. He didn’t show the strongest hands at North Dakota State, and that same deficiency has shown up this year. Watson hasthree3 drops in just 22 targets this season. His first target against Dallas was a drop over the middle, and on his second target, he failed to make a contested catch on a 3rd down. The positive is that he had the confidence to bounce back. His next target was a 58-yard TD in which he beat the corner off the line, got him stacked, and tracked the ball over his shoulder while being contacted by the defender. His acceleration, both off the line and after the catch, is elite. He needs to improve his spatial awareness and get on the same page with Rodgers. He’s probably going to be the deep threat for the rest of this season and get some work on crossers and overs as he continues to work on the nuances of the game. 
  • Rodgers is 7th in play-action passing attempts with 92 this season, and it has always been a part of his success. He is one of the best there has been executing ball fakes. 
  • Rodgers may not be as quick when he escapes the pocket, but he is still elite with his pocket movement and ability to make throws on the move or off platform. His lower body torque and arm strength are still outstanding. If anything, he has to not try to do too much and remain patient while his supporting cast catches up.
  • Tennessee is ranked 31st in yards passing per game allowed (272.6), but they are ranked 1st in 3rd down defense (27.87%). They have given up over 300 yards passing in 5 games. 
  • Tennessee has been one of the worst defenses in the league against play-action passes. They are ranked 29th in QB rating against (119.2), tied for 29th in TD passes allowed (8), and 30th in yards allowed (880).
  • We watched the Tennessee secondary closely justtwo2 weeks ago before they faced the Chiefs. They only gave up 20 points, but they surrendered 422 yards passing to Patrick Mahomes and company. Tennessee’s secondary is banged up now with all kinds of uncertainty on who will suit up on a short week going into a forecasted cold and windy night game. Kristian Fulton has been their best corner this year, but he missed last week v.s Denver with a hamstring injury. Elijah Molden stepped into the nickel role last week while Terrance Mitchell started. And Molden left in the second half with a groin injury which had kept him out for the firsteight8 games of the season. Safety Andrew Adams has been playing a lot in the absence of Amani Hooker, and he has played well. He is a good tackler and good with the play in front of him, but he is not a real fluid mover and can get turned when he has to play deep. Roger McCreary has played nearly every snap at corner this season. He is physical and highly competitive, but the Packers could exploit his lack of size with Watson and Lazard.

Extra Point

  • Green Bay is -5 in turnover differential and tied for worst in the league with eight fumbles lost, but Aaron Jones has not lost a fumble this season.

Titans’ Keys to Victory

  • Keep Aaron Jones bottled up and harass Rodgers in the pocket.
  • Control the game with Henry.

Packers’ Keys to Victory

  • Have balance with the running game, so Rodgers can work the play-action game.
  • Don’t give in to the Titans’ game plan. They play a disciplined physical style and wait for their opponents to make game-crushing mistakes. 

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