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Angered by scouting report, Delanie Walker made Packers pay

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- He banged into people, ran through them, powered them with stiff-arms.

Tight end Delanie Walker did as much to set the Tennessee Titans’ smashmouth tone in Sunday’s 47-25 victory over the Green Bay Packers as anyone.

It was fueled in part by his disappointment over the bad result the previous week in San Diego, in part by the sea of Packers fans at Nissan Stadium and in part by a scouting report at a fan site called Lombardi Ave.

“Sometimes you’ve got to bully,” Walker said. “I was a little upset. I read an article that was out there that was saying me, Kendall Wright and Rishard Matthews were trash and that we only had DeMarco Murray and Marcus Mariota.

“I take that as disrespect, it’s like you smiled at my face and talked behind my back, so I was kind of upset.”

Disrespect is generally overplayed as motivation in the NFL and the whole league knows Walker is a fine player. But in this instance, what he read was clearly a trigger for Walker.

"For the Packers to win this game, they’ll probably need to force Mariota to throw the ball in unfavorable down-and-distances," the post read. "The Green Bay offense can’t be counted on to put up 30 points every game. But though Mariota is a talented passer, the Tennessee passing game is devoid of weapons.

"Even with the Packers’ limited supply of cornerbacks, they should be able to shut down Rishard Matthews, Tajae [Sharpe], and Delanie Walker."

Walker caught nine of 11 targets for a team-high 124 yards, including a 10-yard touchdown pass from Murray.

“With him being physical, stiff-arming guys, getting first downs, breaking tackles, along with DeMarco’s running, I thought that was a tempo-setter,” Mariota said.

“Delanie was a beast out there,” Titans linebacker Brian Orakpo said.

The write-up was not inaccurate. It’s hardly a secret the Titans' offensive strength is not on the perimeter, though they’ve gotten better there.

Mariota had probably the best game of his career outside the numbers near the sidelines against the Packers.

Per ESPN Stats & Information, he completed 13 of 16 passes for 217 yards and three touchdowns. Mariota entered the game with a 57.6 completion percentage and six TDs with four picks on such passes this season.

During the Titans' third touchdown drive, Walker converted consecutive third downs.

On the first, a third-and-7 from the Packers’ 49 yard-line, he crossed from the left and collected Mariota’s pass two yards short of the first down right in the middle of the field.

Safeties Morgan Burnett and Micah Hyde converged, with both going low. Burnett bounced off Walker’s waist while Hyde came to balance but kind of bumped into Burnett and had Walker sidestep him with strength as he went to the ground.

As he neared the sideline, Walker delivered a brutal stiff-arm to another defensive back, Kentrell Brice, putting him to the ground as he fell forward out of bounds with a 14-yard gain.

Walker popped up, signaled first down, patted his chest and nodded at a defender or two.