The Green Bay Packers play the Tennessee Titans today at noon. Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
All of Packers Nation is hoping for a great Christmas, and what could be better than a Green Bay Packers win today against the Tennessee Titans?
I don’t think there is a single pundit who is expecting the Packers to lose today, but we all know this is the National Football League where anything can happen on any given Sunday. A trap game? For sure. Will the Packers lose it. We doubt it.
See our predictions below and why we feel the Packers are on their way to a win and hoping for the number two Playoffs seed.
Thomas Marquardt: I honestly think this is going to be a ‘statement’ game for the Packers in that the will flex their collective muscles on both sides of the ball. Chris Johnson is a dangerous runner, so I think the Packers will bring plenty of run support from the secondary and force Jake Locker to throw the ball on 2nd and 3rd downs when our pass rushers will take over.
On the offensive side of the ball, I think McCarthy will continue with his dedication to establishing the run and give EDS a chance to direct the O-line. This will be a playoff prep game and Rodgers will make plays as he always does in the passing game. I expect Jennings role to continue to increase this week as he gets back to full game speed.
Overall, after last season’s finish, the Packers know they need to peak going into the playoffs and I expect them to deliver. With near perfect Packer weather, sunny and in the mid-20s, I see the Packers rolling:
Packers 34 – Titans 14
Patrick Hughes: In the NFL there is no such thing as a “gimme” game, but if there was, the Packers opponent this week would fall into that category. The Tennessee Titans come into Green Bay with a 5-9 record, but fresh off a victory over the lackluster New York Jets.
They are led by a promising young quarterback, Jake Locker, and running back Chris Johnson. However, the Titans offensive line is decimated by injuries, which has made it difficult for Locker to be effective. Chris Johnson, on the other hand, has still managed to collect over 1,100 yards rushing.
The Packers might be tempted to rest a few players this week. But Coach McCarthy has made it clear that there will be no letting up as he wants to roll into the playoffs with a full head of steam. Though if the Packers take a commanding lead I would not be surprised to see a few guys get a much needed break.
News also came out this week that Evan Dietrich-Smith would start for Jeff Saturday. However, word came out Saturday that Don Barclay is questionable for this game. If Barclay can’t go then that plan would most likely be nixed. As it is assumed that TJ Lang would slide over to RT and Dietrich Smith to LG and Saturday back in at center. Nonetheless, this is an interesting move by McCarthy to insert Dietrich-Smith at center with the playoffs approaching. Dietrich-Smith, often touted as the center of the future by quarterback Aaron Rodgers, might provide the Packers a little something extra the 37-year-old Saturday has shown he can’t deliver.
I’m sure the Titans will give the Packers a fight initially. But my gut feeling is this is the game the Packers’ offense has the performance Packers Nation has been awaiting. It really clicks on all cylinders, and Aaron Rodgers has a field day at the expense of the Titans 23rd ranked defense. Look for Greg Jennings and Jermichael Finley and Randall Cobb to have big games. On defense, I think the line is going to gain a little confidence by beating up on the collection of backups the Titans have up front. Clay Matthews III will chalk up a couple more sacks. The defensive backs should come away with a couple of picks as well.
Packers 35, Titans 14
Bill Walton and his Family are all-in with the Packers today
Bill Walton: Hmmm … let’s see. Makeshift O-line with Barclay newly-questionable with illness, necessitating Saturday coming back off the bench so Lang can shift to RT and EDS can move back to LG – check. Three RBs (Kuhn, Starks and Green) either out or nursing injuries – check. Crabtree, Nelson, Woodson, and Wilson all out, too – check. Aaron Rodgers running on a “sprained” ankle suffered in the Bears game – check.
Looks like your standard-issue Packers game lineup to me. We should all be used to it by now, folks! Rodgers’ ankle would concern me, but he says he doesn’t tape ’em so they’re stronger than your average ankles. Bionic ankles aside, I hope he can move around well on Sunday because that patched together O-line simply can’t do as good a job of protecting 12 as the “normal” crew.
Wife Deneen took time out from wrapping to throw a Packers 31 Titans 14 score at me. Son John, he on Christmas break, took time out from his break to convey his Packers 28 Titans 13 prediction. I figure the Packers win this one 35-14.
Jason Hirschhorn: It’s been quite a week for the Packers’ offensive line. First, we find out that T.J. Lang had suffered a concussion and was in doubt for Sunday. Then, right before he was to be tested, he fell ill, costing him yet another day of practice. Next, all the Lang news was overshadowed by the benching of center Jeff Saturday for Evan Dietrich-Smith.
Finally, Lang returned, but Don Barclay became ill (possibly with the same illness that befell Lang) and is questionable. If he can’t go, Lang will take his spot at right tackle, leaving Dietrich-Smith to handle left guard duties and thus Saturday won’t be benched at all. All caught up now?
While this would normally create major concerns about the Packers’ chances of winning, the opponent this week is Tennessee. Their season is over, and they’ve already had their “Super Bowl” against the Jets a week ago. They’re not playing for anything.
Alex Green may miss the game, but the Titans are in the bottom third of the league is stopping the run. The tandem of Ryan Grant and DuJuan Harris should suffice. Tennessee also isn’t particularly adept at defending the pass, which means Aaron Rodgers will do Aaron Rodgers type things to them. This one shouldn’t be a problem.
Packers 35 – Titans 17
Jerry Bulone: The Titans do not really do anything particularly well on defense. They are ranked 30th in points allowed, have a -5 turnover ratio, and have problems getting to the quarterback. Not good when you are playing the MVP of the NFL at home late in the season.
On offense they are led by Jake Locker who has just as many touchdowns as interceptions and is 28th in the NFL in quarterback ranking. Their star running back, Chris Johnson, is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are gonna get. He could rush for 11 times for 4 yards, or 18 times for 195.
Meanwhile, for Green Bay, the benching of Center Jeff Saturday is long overdue, and while there may be a slight adjustment phase during this game, our best 5 Offensive lineman are now on the football field, so that’s a good thing.
The bottom line: I expect Green Bay to win this game pretty easily. They still have a lot to play for, so there is no threat of them overlooking the not-so-mighty Titans.
Packers 24, Titans 13, with two more missed Mason Crosby field goals
Ray Rivard: If this game had been played earlier in the season, one could say it could be a trap game for the Green Bay Packers.
But not now.
The Packers hold their playoff destiny in their own hands. Keep on winning and they have the chance to secure the second seed. Lose and they will drop. With that on their minds, there’s no way the Packers get beat by the Tennessee Titans today. The question is how much do they win by?
In my mind, this is the breakout game the offense needs. Despite the injuries, despite the makeshift offensive line, despite the fact that the team really hasn’t had a dominant game since they played at Houston way back when – this is the time to shine. And shine they will
I see Aaron Rodgers throwing for more than 300 yards today, Randall Cobb grabbing a couple of touchdown passes and the running-game-by-committee gaining at least 120 yards.
Don’t be surprised to see Donald Driver hit the field, too, and for Aaron Rodgers to target him – This will be Double-Ds final regular season game at home … that is, if he is active.
The defense should have a field day today against the Titans’ patched-up offensive line and don’t be surprised if Clay Matthews has a couple of sacks and a couple others come from a defensive lineman or two.
This should be a cakewalk for the Packers playing their final regular season game at home.
Packers 38 Titans 16
Tim Thomas: The Packers have locked up the division and now need to win out and hope the San Francisco 49ers slip up to get a first-round bye as the Packers have a winable game against the Tennessee Titans at Lambeau.
The Packers will be without Charles Woodson and Jordy Nelson for Sunday’s game as I wouldn’t be surprised if we don’t see of them play again till the playoffs. However, the Packers offense will be fine Sunday as Aaron Rodgers and company could tear the Titans to pieces as a final tuneup before the playoffs as Rodgers and other starters might get rested next week.
Clay Matthews is healthy again and I expect him to terrorize Jake Locker Sunday while the one player who might test the Packers is Chris Johnson as the Packers have struggled against very good running games.
However, the Packers should cruise Sunday against the Titans as this will be a blowout win and a statement to everybody else in the NFL.
Packers 38, Titans 7