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Packers can provide a titanic challenge; GREEN BAY at TENNESSEE SKY SPORTS 1 6pm NFL.

Byline: By Simon Milham

TENNESSEE silenced a few detractors with a 31-21 victory over their AFC South rivals Indianapolis on Monday.

Seven wins and no defeats and leading the AFC by two clear games from nearest pursuers Buffalo, the Titans are four games ahead in the AFC South. But they can be opposed on the handicap tonight.

The Packers, who arrive in Nashville with a clean bill of health after their bye followed back-to-back wins over Seattle and Indianapolis, might even hand the Titans their first loss of the season.

Tennessee's defence don't give up big plays. Against the Colts, they did not allow a run of more than 25 yards, no passes of more than 40 yards, no turnovers and no big kick returns.

They have conceded only three touchdown passes all season and opposing teams have managed an average of just 5.73 yards per pass against them - only Pittsburgh's defence is more stingy.

The Titans lead the league in scoring defence (12.4 points per game), turnover margin (pluseight), takeaways (16) and fewest touchdowns allowed (ten).

Their offence is simple. They run the ball with the combination of hefty LenDale White (327 rushing yards and a league-leading ten touchdowns) and speedy rookie Chris Johnson (626 rushing yards, 18 receptions and five TDs).

And if running doesn't work, experienced QB Kerry Collins will keep the chains moving. The offensive line has allowed just two sacks all season.

So why should we jump off this bandwagon?

They have had a very soft schedule - facing only one team with a winning record - and they are simply not as good as their record suggests.

Green Bay have the passing game which can hurt most teams and though they have been unable to stop the run, allowing 141.9 yards per game on the ground, Indianapolis used four linebackers to slow the Titans down. It didn't work for them, but the blueprint is there.

The Titans' other main weakness is in punt return coverage and in Will Blackmon the Packers have one of the fastest return men in the game.

With cornerback Al Harris and safety Atari Bigby rested and set to return from injuries, the Packers appear to have the weapons to make a fist of it.


Green Bay +5.5 1pt 10-11 Coral, VCbet


Green Bay

Wide receiver James Jones (knee), deefensive ends Jason Hunter (hamstring) and Mike Montgomery (ankle), linebacker Desmond Bishop (hamstring), cornerback Al Harris (abdominal) and safety Atari Bigby (hamstring) are all rated questionable.


Defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch (ankle), cornerback Reynaldo Hill (illness) and linebacker Colin Aldred (groin) face late fitness tests while cornerback Chris Carr (back) is also rated questionable.


Venue LP Field, Nashville, Tennessee

TV Live on Sky Sports 2, 6pm tonight

Surface Grass Weather Sunny, light wind, 63F


Probable starting offence rank 18

LT C Clifton 76, LG D Colledge 73, C S Wells 63, RG J Spitz 72, RT M Tauscher 65, WR D Driver 80, G Jennings 85, RB R Grant 25, FB K Hall 35, QB A Rodgers 12, TE D Lee 86.

Probable starting defence rank 17

LE A Kampman 74, DT J Jolly 97, R Pickett 79, RE M Montgomery 96, LB A Hawk 50, N Barnett 56, B Poppinga 51, CB C Woodson 21, A Harris 31, SS A Bigby 20, FS N Collins 36.


Probable starting offence rank 23

LT M Roos 71, LG E Amano 54, C K Mawae 68, RG J Scott 73, RT D Stewart 76, WR J McCareins 19, J Gage 12, RB L White 25, FB A Hall 45, QB K Collins 5, TE A Crumpler 83.

Probable starting defence rank 4

LE K Van den Bosch 93, DT T Brown 97, A Haynesworth 92, RE J Kearse 90, LB D Thornton 50, S Tulloch 55, K Bulluck 53, CB N Harper 20, C Finnegan 31, SS C Hope 24, FS M Griffin 33.


Tennessee running back Chris Johnson has played a key role in their unbeaten start
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Nov 2, 2008
Previous Article:McCain: Bannister Lane is in 'tremendous nick'.

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