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Packers fall to Titans in preseason opener

Green Bay Packers tight end Richard Rodgers (89) is tackled by Tennessee Titans middle linebacker Wesley Woodyard (left) and Titans cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson in the first half at LP Field in Nashville, Tenn., on Saturday. The Packers lost 20-16 in the preseason opener. Jim Brown / USA Today Sports

Playing in a deluge minus starters Aaron Rodgers, Jordy Nelson, Eddie Lacy and others, it wasn’t a surprise that the Green Bay Packers’ offense struggled in the team’s NFL preseason opener against Tennessee on Saturday night.

By the end of a 20-16 loss to the Titans at LP Field in Nashville, 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.