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Sport: Grading what went right for Tennessee Titans in decisive win over Green Bay Packers

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GREEN BAY, Wis. − The Tennessee Titans went to Lambeau Field and leapt the Packers.

Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) celebrates with fans after the team's NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer) © Mike Roemer, AP Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) celebrates with fans after the team's NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)

The Titans defeated the Green Bay Packers 27-17 on Thursday, putting up a season-high in points while holding Aaron Rodgers and the Packers' offense to virtually nothing. For the Titans (7-3), it was arguably their best offensive game of the season, showing off a diverse attack highlighting quarterback Ryan Tannehill as well as he has been all season.

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Here are The Tennessean's grades for the Titans' game against the Packers (4-7).

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Offense: A-

It's hard to call that anything but the Titans' best offensive performance of the season. Running back Derrick Henry didn't go for 200 yards, but he didn't need to. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill was efficient, receivers Treylon Burks and Robert Woods got involved in the action and Henry contributed in different ways, including a 42-yard catch and a touchdown pass. Most importantly, the Titans controlled the game's pace and sustained long drives, keeping Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers off the field and grinding out possessions in cold, punishing temperatures against the Packers defense.

Defense: A

The Titans' vaunted run defense won the battle against the Packers' dominant rushing attack. Unfortunately, that just meant Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers had the opportunity to show off some of his vintage form. Rodgers dissected the Titans' secondary, and the Packers' game plan allowed for timing and rhythm passes that neutralized Tennessee's pass rush. The defense forced a couple of first-half three-and-outs, came up with a red zone stop to force a third-quarter field goal and got ample stops in the fourth quarter, keeping the score low, and that's what matters most.

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Special teams: B

A mixed bag. Too many penalties on kickoff returns. Packers had some success on kick returns of their own. Replacement kicker Josh Lambo missed an extra point. But defensive tackle Denico Autry blocked an extra point and return man Hassan Haskins had success on the penalty-free returns. The good outweighed the bad in value, even if there was a little more bad.

Coaching: A-

Give the coaches credit for some creativity in the play-calling, but this one felt more about players executing than coaches scheming up a win. The offense consistently got ahead of the sticks and leaned into its personnel advantages on second- and third-and-shorts. The defense continued to thrive against the run as it always does. It's hard to give the coaches credit in the short term but the long-term trends that make this team good were on full display.

Overall: A-

In so many ways, this followed the script of the Sunday Night Football game in Kansas City a few weeks ago. Play a perennial contender in primetime on the road, build an early lead, try to hold on against an all-time great quarterback. The Titans did enough to win in both games. This time, they did it. The process matched the positivity.

Contact Nick Suss at [email protected] Follow Nick on Twitter @nicksuss.

This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Grading what went right for Tennessee Titans in decisive win over Green Bay Packers

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