Titans vs Packers Preview
Jeff Fisher deviated from his norm last week by not using the third preseason game as the team's dress rehearsal. We'll now see that Thursday night, as Fisher indicated most of the starters would play into the third quarter.
For Titans fans going to the game, it will probably be the last time they'll see future Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre in action. It will be brief, because Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Favre will only play two or three series.
Favre will be without his top weapons, WR Donald Driver (foot injury) and the top two RBs, Vernand Morency (knee) and Brandon Jackson (concussion). Starting RG Jason Spitz is also out.
Bearing in mind the Packers will be without their top playmakers, I don't expect them to mount much of an offense.
Defensively, Green Bay starting corners Al Harris and Charles Woodson will watch from the sidelines as the coaches give some playing time to their backups. Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila (knee), now strictly a situational player, is also out, as is veteran SS Marquand Manuel, who may be released.
For the Packers, this game is strictly about talent evaluation and resting some injured players.
The first half and start of the third quarter will basically amount to Tennessee's first team against Green Bay's second stringers. If you're trying to evaluate players, it's tough. If the Titans starters look good, they're supposed to be better than the second string they're facing. If they play even with them, it looks bad.
I do expect the rest of second half to be more competitive, when the Titans take out the rest of their starters. The second half will also feature marginal players on both teams trying to make final impressions to win roster spots.
While they're in the game, the Packer stars to keep an eye on are Favre, DE Aaron Kampman, MLB Nick Barnett and WLB A.J. Hawk.
On the Titans' side, there has been a rotation in the starting spots at several highly competitive positions. Calvin Lowry, Cortland Finnegan and Stephen Tulloch are in line to get their turns. I'm expecting LenDale White to be the starting running back, giving him another chance to impress and possibly claim the job for Opening Day. It doesn't make sense to me for Chris Brown to start. Fisher knows what he can do.
Antwan Odom (hip) and Nick Harper (thigh) are two Titans who may not start, and if they do, they won't play into the third quarter. Reserves Ben Troupe (foot) and Chris Henry (hamstring) are also questionable.
I'm hoping to see new DT Corey Simon get a dozen snaps. If you're watching for him, he'll be easy to spot. He'll be the guy almost as big as Albert, wearing number 96.