- Image 1 of 2
- Image 2 of 2
PHILADELPHIA – Zach Mettenberger and the Tennessee Titans gained more confidence after watching the Aaron Rodgers pick apart the Philadelphia Eagles.
Big difference between Mettenberger and Rodgers, though.
"Green Bay has a helluva quarterback named Aaron Rodgers," Mettenberger said. "I don't know if I can put myself in that department quite yet. Hopefully we have the same type of success they did."
The Titans (2-8) are double-digit underdogs when they visit the Eagles (7-3) on Sunday, so Philadelphia's 53-20 loss at Lambeau Field didn't discourage oddsmakers.
But the way Rodgers and his receivers had their way with the Eagles' secondary encouraged the Titans.
"I see some big plays to be made when we watch the film," tight end Delanie Walker said. "We see things we can do to them."
Mettenberger makes his fourth start for the Titans while Mark Sanchez starts his second game since replacing Nick Foles. Sanchez played well in three quarters against Houston after Foles broke his collarbone and was outstanding in a Monday night win over Carolina. But he struggled along with everyone else in Green Bay.
"When we take care of the football, we're pretty successful," Sanchez said.
Here are some other things to watch for Sunday afternoon:
TRUSTING FLETCH: Eagles defensive coordinator Billy Davis is sticking with cornerback Bradley Fletcher despite a poor performance against Rodgers and Jordy Nelson. Fletcher allowed seven catches for 147 yards and two touchdowns in the 53-20 loss to the Packers. But Davis likes the way Fletcher responded in the second half and isn't benching him, though he considered putting Nolan Carroll in during the game.
"As a coach, I try to make a fair standard and say the best players who are playing the most consistent technique are out there," Davis said, "and, right now, Fletch had a couple bad plays but he had some good ones, too."
REINFORCEMENTS: The Titans expect to have Walker back in the lineup. Walker sustained a concussion against Baltimore on Nov. 9 and missed one game. He has been Tennessee's most dependable receiver all season, and leads the team with 512 yards receiving. The Titans, who lost two other tight ends to season-ending injuries, had to scramble without Walker. Chase Coffman, who was released in August, had a leaping 4-yard TD catch vs. Pittsburgh.
"Our tight ends stepped up and played a great game in my absence," Walker said.
PROTECT THAT QB: The Eagles are second in the NFL with 33 sacks, but the Titans aren't far behind with 29. With Ray Horton calling the blitzes and pressures as Tennessee's defensive coordinator, the sacks also are spread out. Defensive lineman Jurrell Casey has a team-high four sacks and 14 other players have at least one. Connor Barwin leads the Eagles with 10 1/2 and 23 of the team's sacks are from their linebackers. The Titans didn't allow any sacks against the Steelers.
"He's shown a lot of toughness and resiliency standing in the pocket," Eagles coach Chip Kelly said of Mettenberger. "He doesn't seem to be affected by the rush. Sometimes you worry about that with a young quarterback. Is he going to look at the rush or look down the field and try to complete the ball? He stands in there and throws the ball and delivers it."
M & M GUYS: Jeremy Maclin and Jordan Matthews are racking up the catches, yards and TDs for the Eagles. Maclin has 57 receptions for 921 yards and nine TDs. Matthews, a rookie second-round pick, has 44 catches for 558 yards and six TDs. The Titans have the ninth-best passing defense, but the second-worst run defense.
"We certainly liked him when he was coming out, felt like he had a chance to be a good player," Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt said of Matthews. "He's getting opportunities, and he's taking advantage of those."
KICKING GAME: Eagles rookie Cody Parkey has made 15 straight field goals, tying for the fifth-longest streak in team history. Parkey is 18 for 19, including 5 for 5 from beyond 40 yards. Parkey has a pair of 51-yarders and a 54-yarder. Titans veteran Ryan Succop is 12 for 14 with his longest field goal from 47 yards.
AP Pro Football Writer Teresa M. Walker contributed to this report.
AP NFL websites: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL
Follow Rob Maaddi on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AP_RobMaaddi