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Green Bay Packers running back James Starks (44) rushes against Tennessee Titans middle linebacker Wesley Woodyard (59) during the first half Sataurday night at LP Field. (Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports)

Packers fall to Titans in preseason opener (updated)

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Packers fall to Titans in preseason opener (updated)
Superior Wisconsin 1410 Tower Ave. 54880

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Reuters) — Jackie Battle scored on a 7-yard run late in the fourth quarter as the Tennessee Titans defeated the Green Bay Packers Saturday night on a rain-soaked LP Field.

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The came in the debut for new Titan head coach Ken Whisenhunt.

New Tennessee backup quarterback Charlie Whitehurst completed 10-of-15 passes for 94 yards, including a 5-yard scoring pass to rookie Bishop Sankey.

James Starks and Rajion Neal combined for 88 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries for Green Bay, which played without starters Aaron Rodgers, Jordy Nelson, Eddie Lacy and others.

The Packers’ offense struggled in the team’s NFL preseason opener and late in the game little-used fourth-stringer Chase Rettig was quarterbacking and surrounded by reserves.

It was Titans rookie quarterback Zach Mettenberger who made the key plays on the game-winning 80-yard drive, completing two long passes to set up Jackie Battle’s 7-yard run with 5:02 to play in the fourth quarterback.

One drive earlier, Mettenberger was intercepted by Korey Jones deep in Tennessee territory to lead to Mason Crosby’s go-ahead 32-yard field goal with 7:02 left.

With several regulars sitting out, veteran running back James Starks started and rushed for 49 yards on the opening drive. He scored from 20 yards out for a 7-0 lead and then sat out the rest of the game.

Tennessee running back Shonn Greene cashed in on rookie Davante Adams’ muffed punt return with a 13-yard scoring run later in the first quarter, but the Titans missed the extra point. The NFL is experimenting with making PATs 15 yards longer during the first two weeks of the preseason.

Green Bay rookie Raijon Neal ran 12 yards for a touchdown midway through the third quarter for a 13-6 lead. The Packers’ two-point conversion failed.

Titans backup quarterback Charlie Whitehurst hit Bishop Sankey with a 5-yard TD pass late in the third to tie the game at 13.

Green Bay................................ 7          0           6           3    —                   16

Tennessee............................... 6          0           7           7    —                   20

First Quarter

Green Bay — James Starks 20 yd run (Mason Crosby kick), 10:34

Tennessee — Shonn Greene 13 yd run (missed kick), 4:22

Third Quarter

Green Bay — Rajion Neal 12 yd run (failed 2pt Pass from Scott Tolzien), 8:07

Tennessee — Bishop Sankey 5 yd pass from Charlie Whitehurst (Travis Coons kick), 2:32.

Fourth Quarter

Green Bay — Mason Crosby 32 yd FG, 7:02

Tennessee — Jackie Battle 7 yd run (Maikon Bonani kick), 5:02.

Individual Stats

Green Bay

Passing

 .............................................. COMP   ATT     YDS       TD  INT

S. Tolzien................................... 8         12        124         0    0

M. Flynn..................................... 5         10         49          0    0

C. Rettig.................................... 1          3          10          0    0

Totals....................................... 14        25        183         0    0

Rushing

 ................................................ CAR    YDS     AVG       TD

J. Starks..................................... 6         49        8.2          1

R. Neal........................................ 5         39        7.8          1

D. Harris.................................... 7         18        2.6          0

L. Perkins.................................. 10        18        1.8          0

S. Tolzien................................... 1         13       13.0         0   

M. Flynn..................................... 3          9         3.0          0

M. Hill......................................... 2          1         0.5          0

C. Rettig.................................... 1          -1        -1.0         0   

Totals....................................... 35       146       4.2          2   

Receiving

 ................................................ REC    YDS     AVG    LONG

C. Harper................................... 2         55       27.5        38

B. Bostick.................................. 1         24       24.0        24

K. Dorsey................................... 3         23        7.7         13

D. Adams................................... 2         22       11.0        13

A. Gillett..................................... 1         21       21.0        21

M. White..................................... 1         12       12.0         12

R. Rodgers................................ 1         10       10.0        10

J. Perillo..................................... 1         10       10.0        10

D. Harris.................................... 2          6         3.0          6

A. Quarless................................ 0          0         0.0          0

Totals....................................... 14       183      13.1        38

Tennessee

Passing

............................................... COMP   ATT     YDS       TD  INT

C. Whitehurst........................... 10        15         94          1    0

Z. Mettenberger....................... 4          7          87          0    1

J. Locker.................................... 1          2           5           0    0

Totals....................................... 15        24        186         1    1

Rushing

 ................................................ CAR    YDS     AVG       TD

B. Sankey.................................. 13        37        2.9          0

S. Greene................................... 4         20        5.0          1   

D. McCluser.............................. 3         19        6.3          0

C. Whitehurst............................ 3         11        3.7          0

J. Battle...................................... 2          9         4.5          1

A. Andrews................................ 2          4         2.0          0

Z. Mettenberger....................... 3          3         1.0          0

J. Locker.................................... 2          2         1.0          0

Totals....................................... 32       105       3.3          2

Receiving

 ................................................ REC    YDS     AVG       TD

B. Robiskie................................ 1         38       38.0         0

B. Sankey................................... 3         38       12.7         1

T. Thompson............................ 3         33       11.0         0

C. Coffman................................ 1         26       26.0         0

I. Williams.................................. 1         16       16.0         0

J. Battle...................................... 1         11       11.0         0

M. Mariani.................................. 2          8         4.0          0

M. Preston................................. 1          7         7.0          0

J. Hunter.................................... 1          5         5.0          0

J. Schepler................................. 1          4         4.0          0

Totals....................................... 15       186      12.4         1

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