The 11*-4 Green Bay Packers defeated the 5-10 Tennessee Titans 55-7 at frigid Lambeau Field today. This was a fun one to watch. The Packers poured it on the Titans. They also clinched the third seed in the playoffs.
In order to move any higher they’ll have to have help from Seattle on Sunday night, but at this point they’re in a good position no matter what happens on the left coast.
This was the four quarters team beat down for which we’ve all been waiting. Had this performance come against a better team I would have enjoyed it even more, but I can’t complain (much) about any 55-7 Packers victory. I just hope they have some left for the Vikings next week!
Chest Bumps and Thumps (just a couple for the sake of balanced reporting only) from Titans-Packers:
Chest Bump- to the Packers run defense. This was a game in which it was thought that Johnson might break a long one and might even help keep Tennessee in the game. Didn’t happen. Locker actually outgained Johnson today. The Packers did an excellent job of controlling the line of scrimmage and keeping Johnson hemmed in. He only rushed for 28 yards on 11 carries. Locker had 32 but his 22 yarder was the majority of it. The Packers will need this kind of performance next week against Minnesota. Now we know they can do it.
Chest Bump- to Randall Cobb for his brainy play on the second half kickoff. Cobb realized that by rule if a receiver is out of bounds when he takes possession of the ball on a KO the ball is ruled out of bounds, just as if the ball had been kicked out of bounds. Result was the Packers got the ball at the 40. Nice headwork 18! Hope that ankle isn’t serious though. Get well soon “Cobbernicus”!
Chest Bump- to Ryan Grant for his strong running and ball security. Grant looked like he was going to get to 100 yards in the game but instead ended up with 80 yards and 2 rushing TDs. Rushing TDs are like crackers and ketchup packets after the apocalypse. You just can’t have too many. The Packers actually scored 4 TDs on the ground today. Rodgers had one and so did Harris. This Packers run game is growing on me.
Chest Bump- to Jeremy Ross for his outstanding work on punt returns. When Cobb went out in the 3rd quarter after an ankle injury returning a punt Ross stepped in and returned one 58 yards to set up the first Grant rushing TD. He more than made up for his role in the punt-pass-drop play last week in Chicago. I personally don’t think he had to make up for that, but he did. He’s square with the house and then some now.
Thump- to Aaron Rodgers for uncharacteristically overthrowing his receivers. Rodgers was under pressure and his game was tight most of the day, but there were a few really badly thrown balls in this game. When 12 gets to the QB room to watch the film he’ll wish he had those throws back. I wish he had them back now. The one intended for Cobb early was on his hands but I scored that as an error on the throw. This has happened a few times in the last few games. I know I’m reaching on this one. 27 of 38 for 342 yards and 3 TDs plus one on the ground, does not make for a somber meeting room on Monday. The overthrows won’t go away until they’re addressed though. Is it routes, receiver speed, or just pressure on Rodgers? Could be all three, but it needs to be looked at.
Chest Bump- to the Packers receivers. Jones had 100 yards. Cobb 62. Jennings 45. All had TDs. Finley had 70 yards and a couple of clutch catches to convert third downs. He also had a spectacular near-catch that would have been a top play of the day candidate. All battled for YAC and blocked well. This might have been their best collective effort this season. Packers receivers (all 8 who caught a pass today) did a great job.
Collective Chest Bump- to the Packers for committing one penalty for 10 yards in the game. It just won’t get much better than that in the NFL. Tennessee did their best early to blow any chance they might have had to get on the board by shooting themselves in the foot with penalties and turnovers on their first few possessions. The Packers played clean ball and that translated to the bottom line in a game like this one.
Chest Bump- to Brad Jones for 7 tackles, 3 assists, and a sack. Jones seemed to be all over the field today and indeed he was. He had a couple of nice no-gain tackles and his sack was huge at the time.
Chest Bump- to Mike Neal for being the disruptive force the Packers need him to be. Neal had two tackles and a sack, but he was blowing up blocks all day and in so doing he helped facilitate the other 6 sacks the Packers put on the Titans today. It’s great to see 96 back and with any luck healthy for the playoffs.
Thump- to MM and coaching staff for leaving Rodgers, Matthews, and Shields (among others) on the field for longer than what many fans thought necessary. It was great to score 55, but much less would have won this game. OK…Look- I said I had to put a couple of thumps in here for balance. I’m still reaching! Work with me.
Collective Chest Bump- to the Packers offensive line for a solid performance today. Evan Dietrich-Smith did a good job at C. There were no issues with snaps or egregious blocking assignment calls that I saw. Barclay did a good job at RT. Yes Rodgers was sacked once and pressured a bunch, but O line play has been much worse this season. If they have to go into the playoffs with Newhouse at LT, Lang at RG, EDS at C, Sitton at RG and Barclay at RT they could be worse off. A similar performance against the Vikings next week would be even better.
Chest Bump- to the Packers pass rush for 7 sacks in the game. Jones, Hawk (2), Neal, Matthews, Shields, and Moses all got to Locker. Hayward should have gotten one but Locker made it back to the line of scrimmage before 29 got him down. This was as dominant performance as the defense has had this season. It wasn’t all about the quality of the opponent either. Scheme and individuals making big plays when needed were the primary factors.
Chest Bump- to Mason Crosby. Number 2 did not miss a kick all day. So what if one of his 2 FGs was a doink job. It went through didn’t it? And 7 of 7 PATs on top of 2 for 2 on FG attempts makes for a good day. Keep it up and pretty soon fans will begin to believe again! Happy for Crosby!
Here are the tweets I broadcasted during the game- last ones listed first. Scroll down to read from the beginning of the game. I think they frame the comments made above. Yes there are a whole lot of them. Following me on Twitter is like drinking from a fire hose, but nobody has told me they don’t want to see them any more either. Review them at your own risk:
- Final 55-7 Packers. This was finally a fun one to watch! More later on http://LombardiAve.com . Go Pack GO!
- Aww man! Looks like the shutout is off the table after the long pass to Britt. (Shutout goes away with 1:42 left. Bummer.).
- Brad Jones with a sack of Locker…then a shameless sack dance. Packers look strong today but will need every bit against Vikings next up.
- Harrell has GOT to learn to get his feet under him! Yikes! (Harrell trips and falls again in the backfield).
- No hex no jinx but Crosby has not missed a kick. All day. Packers up 55-0 with 6:25 left.
- Grant with another rushing TD. Kuhn shaded to the right then led left and Grant had a mostly clear path to the EZ. Nice to have you back 25.
- Harrell throws a laser to Jones to set up 4th and 2. Grant picks up 2 and a half to convert 4th down.
- Vikings playing HUGE in Houston today. Up 23-6 with about 4 minutes left. Texans don’t play catch up ball well at all.
- Now THAT was a great looking TD run on the left side of the OL by Grant. And Harrell didn’t trip or fumble!
- Ross returns punt 58 yards with great blocking. Get ready for another TD Packers fans!
- Sam Shields with a sack! They’re sending everything at the Titans today!
- Hayward with the stop of Locker on a designed QB run. Too bad he won’t get a sack for that one.
- 41-0 Packers at 14:00 left to play. I’d feel better if they played like this against a better team but this is still fun to watch.
- Nice running after catch by Jones and the ball in the EZ for a TD! Packers pouring it on. Can we sit some guys NOW MM? (obviously I figured he would sit 12 and 52 at least. Wrong.).
- Packers up 34-0 at the end of the 3rd quarter. Time to sit some starters MM!
- Taylor fighting for YAC to get the first down. Packers receivers working it hard today! (haven’t seen official YAC stats yet but they were big in this game).
- Jones with some nice hard-fought YAC!
- Come on MM…you don’t need 12 in there to hand off.
- Neal with the sack of Locker to force the punt.
- Time to rest some starters MM? Please? Get 12 and 52 out of there.
- I did smell 34-0! Grant with nice catch and carry to get the ball to the 1 and Jennings with the TD catch and lunge. Pack pouring it on.
- Jennings with the big drop. Rodgers hurting after getting roughed. All for naught as offsetting penalties nullify play.
- Rodgers uses the ref as another blocker while scrambling but pass goes nowhere.
- Jones with the good catch to convert 3rd down and YAC for more.
- Good stop for Pack D. Bending not breaking again. Pack O next up…I think I smell 34-0.
- Hawk with another sack! Nice up the middle rush and puts Titans in 3rd and 19.
- Raji with a no doubt tackle of Johnson for loss. Love it!
- Harris makes it TWO rushing TDs in this game. That sounds so awesome! Nice work by Barclay too. Pack up 27-0. (Barclay is proving to be a good run blocker).
- Rodgers does not need to be taking LBs on while he runs. Slide 12.
- Smart play by Cobb picking the ball up while out of bounds. Gets the Packers the ball at the 40.
- 20-0 Packers at the half. Pack O starts with first 2nd half possession.
- Rodgers has overthrown at least two long passes where receiver had a half step on defender. Earlier to Cobb and now to Jones. (Rodgers also overthrew Jennings).
- Finley with almost the catch of the year. Would have been nice. (Nice one haded attempt ended up touching the turf before he corralled it).
- Rodgers induces encroachment to gain 5 yards. Nobody better at that in today’s NFL.
- Rodgers with the jump pass. Nice! (Rodgers goes vertical to get his pass to Finley).
- Dierdork just enjoys making home crowd TV audience squirm. (Dan heaped praise on the Titans for the touchback-saving play. I guess he had to be balanced in his reporting too.)
- It sure looked like that punt broke the end zone plane before Titans player saved it. (It was so close to a touchback!)
- Defense tightens again and the Packers get another chance before the half.
- Don’t really want to see the Vikings team that’s up 13-3 on Houston next week.
- Moses collects low hanging fruit sack by falling on the fallen Locker. He’ll take it though!
- Love the shot of McCarthy applauding relievedly after Crosby doink. The applause for Crosby. The smile for MM. WHEW!
- Crosby doinks one through. Gotta love it!
- Rodgers gets hammered on 3rd and 6 pass play. Can’t let him take hits like these all day coaches!
- Nice uncalled PF facemask on Grant during the 4th down run. Thanks for nothing refs.
- Instead of running on 3rd and short the Packer try a pass and don’t convert. Who’s calling plays today? (They ended up going for it anyway).
- Was that run by Rodgers on 2nd and 2 a designed play? I hope not! (Couldn’t tell if that was designed or a broken play).
- Kuhn with the first down catch and run. What was that leap stuff though? (Kuhn left his ordinarily well-planted feet at the end of the play even though he had the first down).
- Harris in at RB now for Packers.
- Titans try a Packers play…passing on 4th down. Incomplete. Pack takes over. Bend don’t break? I liked it better when they stopped Titans.
- Packers D suddenly seems suspect. Better tighten up D. (Titans moved the ball initially but ended up stalling).
- Crosby makes the FG to put the Pack up 17-0. Like it. Love it. Want some more of it!
- Rodgers’ bionic ankles working well today. He’s scrambled for about 6 yards forward and nearly 60 side to side so far today.
- Too bad Rodgers couldn’t find somebody open but if he had it would have been a spectacular play. (Rodgers scrambles around for about 18 seconds but can’t find anybody open).
- End 1st QTR Pack up 14-0 and threatening to put another 7 up on the Titans. Two Titans TOs and a bunch of penalties. Can’t win that way.
- Walden with the LB pick! Nice return too. Pack O in business again at the Titans 14.
- NICE sack by Hawk! DC Capers dialing up the pressure today.
- Matthews with a nice tackle of Johnson for loss. Johnson looks like he might have a bad wheel now.
- Blitz caved the O line and Rodgers goes down. Take no advantage of the TO. There will be more opportunities though. Gotta capitalize!
- Too bad Cobb couldn’t haul that one in. (First down pass just out of Cobb’s reach)
- Sam. Shields. Pick. Sam played the ball better than the receiver did. Simple as that. Nice work 37!
- And Titans longest play of the game…is a QB sneak.
- Another TD pass to Cobb. Nobody makes that throw but Rodgers. Nobody. (Rodgers scrambles right and throws a dart to Cobb for the TD).
- Short field for Pack O again.
- Johnson has GOT to be feeling that tackle by Neal. That had to hurt! (Neal makes a statement tackle of Johnson for no gain).
- I disagree with the IG call but it’s against Titans so you go refs! (Refs called intentional grounding with RB receiver right there).
- Rodgers with a nice up the middle TD run. Good thing 38 missed though. Pack up 7-0. (Afalava had Rodgers noggin in his sights before 12 ducked).
- Grant making one cut and going for 20. Then a nice 10 yarder. Nice runs by 25.
- Grant carrying with both hands on the ball for the first down. Keep it up 25!
- Thanks Titans for messing that series up. Packers fans eat that stuff up!
- How did he get that open? (pass to WIDE open Thompson initially ruled a catch but wasn’t).
- That was on Rodgers. He overthrew it. That’s that. Lucky it wasn’t picked. Come on D! (3rd and 7 pass to Cobb was hot and high).
- Harris needs some holes O line. Get him some daylight to run through!
- Cobb was so close to breaking that 2nd down pass for much more!
- Nice 3 and out by Pack D. Batted pass, stop of Johnson for loss, and a sack. It gets no better!
- Raji with the batted pass. Nice work.
- Starting Pack O line RT Barclay, RG Sitton, C EDS, LG Lang, LT Newhouse.
- Neal and Moses starting. Defense stiffens before the first play.
- Settling in at Tailgators for Titans at Packers. COLD at Lambeau. Packers need the win. We think Packers get it. It’s their kind of weather.
With regard to the Fearsome Predictions I made prior to the game, I’m always happy to underestimate the Packers. I don’t need a mulligan when they perform like they did today. In my defense I did hit the totals on INTs with 2, and one by a LB (Walden). Shields got the other INT instead of Hayward. I hit Rodgers’ TD pass total. Nobody dropped a pass in the end zone. Penalties were down. Way down. Refs didn’t hit Shields with a penalty but he still had an awesome game. So I figured Johnson would have more yards. Who didn’t? But I’m more than happy he only ended up with 28. That was one of his lowest totals of the season!
The 11*-4 Green Bay Packers next visit the Metrodome, unless the roof caves in again and they have to play someplace else, to take on the 9-6 Vikings. They’ll still have Adrian Peterson and they showed today in their win at Houston that they are a dangerous team. Maybe Houston had nothing to play for. The Packers certainly do. The Packers will have their work cut out for them. It should be a good one!
Bring on the Vikings! Go Pack GO!