We didn’t land a prediction last week, and we weren’t especially close, either. It turns out we didn’t do particularly well in the specific or the general sense as we tried to nail down what would happen in the Packers’ Week 10 win over the Cowboys.
But that’s okay! We were mostly down on the Packers, and they delightfully proved us wrong.
What’s in store for this week? Big plays. Lots of them. Here are what we’ve come up with.
Rcon14: Rudy Ford makes an impact, in a different way
Rudy Ford’s impact in the Cowboys game was mostly felt with turnovers. This week I think he racks up a good number of tackles as Green Bay relies heavily on their safeties to fill in the run game. If Ford reaches 10 tackles, I would not be surprised.
Paul Noonan: Chigoziem Okonkwo scores a TD on a 50 yard bomb down the seem.
The backup tight end to Austin Hooper, Okonkwo has been used effectively as a down-field threat off of play action lately, and with the Packers ganging up to stop Derrick Henry, they’ll take at least one big shot to him.
Tex Western: Christian Watson gets another touchdown of 50-plus yards
The Titans’ defense is weird this year. Their rushing defense is elite, allowing the third-fewest yards per carry and ranking first in DVOA. Their passing defense has strange splits, though; they rank 31st in passing yards allowed but that ranking improves to 18th in net yards per attempt and 13th in DVOA.
Looking deeper into DVOA, however, we see a story of a team giving up big plays down the field while keeping offenses limited when throwing the ball short. The Titans are last in the league in defending deep passes, particularly outside the numbers, with DVOA numbers over 100% both deep left and deep right. The Packers and Aaron Rodgers should attack this weakness with Christian Watson, who will be the fastest player on the field on Sunday. I think the Packers get Aaron Jones going just enough to get another deep bomb to Watson off play-action for a score on Thursday night.
Jon Meerdink: Rashad Weaver gets a sack
The Packers will need to throw it a bit to beat the Titans, whose run defense is pretty stout. When they do take to the air, I think edge rusher Rashad Weaver will get a sack.
This is mostly for poetic reasons. The Titans took Weaver with the 135th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, which they’d acquired from the Packers in the trade up to get Amari Rodgers. After releasing Rodgers this week, I think it’d be darkly funny if a guy taken with one of the picks they traded to get him was responsible for a big play for the other side.