Game Recap: Packers Roll Past the Titans in 40-14 Win

Sarah Kelliher recaps the Packers’ week sixteen win against the Titans.        

It’s the most wonderful time of the year- winter at Lambeau Field. The Green Bay Packers (12-3, 4-1 NFC North) had a monster 40-14 statement win over the Tennessee Titans (10-5, 4-1 AFC South) in a snowy Sunday night football matchup in week sixteen.

Green Bay was the first team to get a shot at six Sunday and, just as they have numerous times this season, cruised down the field on their opening drive. The Packers went 60 yards in 8 plays and shaved 5:05 off the clock before quarterback Aaron Rodgers connected with wide receiver Davante Adams for a 5-yard touchdown. According to ESPN stats, Rodgers was 5/5 for 40 yards on the drive. Kicker Mason Crosby missed the extra point, giving Green Bay a 6-0 lead.

The Packers’ d-train came up huge on their opening drive, slowing down the Titans and keeping star running back Derrick Henry contained. Safety Darnell Savage Jr. had a key pass break up on second down and Tennessee was later forced to punt and put the ball back in Rodgers’ hands.

Sooner or later, they’d have to pay for that result too. Rodgers continued to stay in rhythm and led the way on another touchdown drive for Green Bay. After an illegal hands to the face penalty kept the drive going, Rodgers connected with wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown for his first career touchdown off a 21-yard pass play. The Packers attempted to go for two but failed to convert, extending their lead to 12-0.

Then, Savage came up huge for Green Bay’s defense (yet again) and picked off Titans’ quarterback Ryan Tannehill and returned it nine yards. The offense, with an assist from several strong runs from rookie running back AJ Dillon, took advantage. Rodgers connected with Adams, again, this time for a 7-yard score to make it 19-0 Green Bay.  

The Titans finally got on the board at the end of the first half, thanks to a couple catches from wide receiver AJ Brown, after Tannehill connected with tight end Jonnu Smith on a 12-yard touchdown pass to cut the Packers lead to 19-7.

Tennessee wasn’t going down without a fight either. They came out strong to open the second half and used Henry to distract the entire Packers’ defense as Tannehill rushed 45-yards up the middle untouched for a touchdown to cut Green Bay’s lead to just 19-14.

From there though, the Packers responded and took complete control. Running back Aaron Jones rushed for 58 yards on the Packers next drive and put them in the red (aka gold) zone in just seconds. Then, Rodgers connected with Adams for his third touchdown of the night and a 26-14 Packers lead.

Savage once again came up huge on defense and helped force a three and out for the Packers on the Titans next drive. Then, Green Bay went 74 yards in 9 plays on their most impressive drive of the night. With first downs from Adams and Dillon, help from an offsides penalty and another first down from Adams, Dillon rushed for 30 yards on fourth and one for his first career touchdown to extend Green Bay’s lead even more to 33-14.

Then, after back-to-back interceptions plays from the Packers (linebacker Christian Kirksey) and the Titans (corner Malcom Butler), the Tennessee had a real chance to try and make this one interesting. However, Pro Bowl cornerback Jaire Alexander came through for Green Bay on fourth down and forced a Tennessee turnover on downs.

To close the game, Dillon and Adams continued to dominate for the Packers and, after an insane 32-yard catch from Adams, Dillon rushed for 7 yards and his second touchdown of the night to give us our final score of 40-14.  

 

What we learned: It all comes down to next week

Since the Seattle Seahawks defeated the Los Angeles Rams 20-9 earlier on Sunday, the impact of the Packers’ win over the Titans won’t be determined until the end of next week. If they want to control their own destiny, Green Bay will need to beat Chicago to guarantee the number one seed in the NFC.

Thanks to their win tonight though, Green Bay can still claim the number one seed in the NFC regardless of next week’s outcome with a Seahawks loss to the San Francisco 49ers next week.  

 

What went right: Containing Derrick Henry and Unleashing AJ Dillon

Heading into this game, a lot of people were concerned (and rightfully so) with how the Packers’ run defense would match up against Titans’ running back Derrick Henry. Luckily for Green Bay, their defense got the job done. They held Henry to just 98 yards on 23 carries and no touchdowns on Sunday (ESPN stats). According to ESPN stats, Henry’s longest run on the night was just 10 yards.

And, to makes things even sweeter, Green Bay finally unleashed running back AJ Dillon and he absolutely shined. The rookie rushed for 124 yards on 21 carries and bagged his first two career touchdowns on Sunday (ESPN stats).

 

What went wrong:  Special Teams

This itself is a stretch, but I needed to pick something, and special teams was Green Bay’s weakest link Sunday evening. I know the snow played a part but there were still some questionable moments. Crosby, after being perfect all year, missed the extra point on the first touchdown of the game and had a brief scare after one of his field goal attempts was blocked in the first half. Luckily, the refs called a close offsides call on the Titans, but the call itself was questionable. Like I said, this was very picky criticism from me but if the Packers end up with home field advantage during the playoffs the snow is something they will have to work through on special teams.

 

Offensive MVP: Davante Adams

Have a day, Davante Adams. The Packers superstar had a hat trick on Sunday night and put up the numbers to go with it. According to ESPN stats, Adams had 11 receptions for 142 yards and 3 touchdowns on Sunday. He continues to shine and has 17 receiving touchdowns in just 13 games- one shy from tying Sterling Sharpe’s single-season Packers franchise record of 18- according to the NBC broadcast.

 

Defensive MVPs: Darnell Savage Jr. & Rashan Gary

Darnell Savage and Rashan Gary continued to show their worth in week sixteen. Both continued to make play after play, and it was a joy to watch. According to ESPN stats, Savage had a total of 5 tackles on the night, 2 of which were solo, 3 pass deflections and an interception. Gary also had 5 total tackles, 3 of which were solo (ESPN stats).

 

A look at some of your takeaways!

  • “Snowy conditions or not,, the defense looked borderline possessed. Played like they want to be equal partners to the offense for a superbowl run. Special teams doe.....” - @fritzafied
  • “Patrick Mahomes is an amazing Quarterback, will win a to. Of awards and championships by the time he retires. This years MVP is (and should be) Aaron Rodgers and will frustrate me to no end if he isn’t.” - @CFKvatekPhoto
  • “An absolute statement of a win.” - @KarryTheG
  • “Most complete game of LaFleur era” - @Bill__Robinson
  • “Best & most complete game of the season against great competition. Young guys stepping up huge everywhere: EQ, Jenkins, Dillon on offense; Jaire is a lock-down all pro CB, Gary was everywhere, Savage looks like a ballhawk on defense. Looked dominant and poised to make a run.” - @WolfgangDood

 

Up next, the Green Bay Packers hit the road to face off with the Chicago Bears for their final regular season game. Kickoff is set for Sunday, January 3 at 4:25 p.m. EST.

 

 

 

 

 

Sarah Kelliher is a contributor for CheeseheadTV and a podcaster with Pack-A-Day Podcast. She can be found via Twitter @sarahkelliher4

 

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Comments (25)

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Lphill's picture

December 27, 2020 at 11:13 pm

Bears seem to be clicking now I hope next week is not a letdown .

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Thegravedigger's picture

December 27, 2020 at 11:26 pm

Yeah after this monster game. Showing the world what we can do in lambeau with aj dillon in december. They HAVE to win that game.

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Mojo's picture

December 28, 2020 at 12:23 am

Packers played their best game of the season, but as nice a game as it was, it doesn't effect much.

I'd take a win next week over this one, even if it isn't as convincing.

I don't see Seattle losing against SF. The Bears are playing by far their best football of the season. They actually have much more to play for than GB who are already in the post-season. Besides, I'm sure they're sick of losing to GB.

It would doubly suck if the Bears got into the playoffs by beating GB and Seattle getting the bye.

Lafleur needs to emphasize how important this game is and what a carrot it would be to the players to have a full week off.

I've done the calculation; teams with byes have never have lost in the first round of the playoffs.

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HankScorpio's picture

December 28, 2020 at 07:14 am

"The Bears are playing by far their best football of the season"

I'm not one for making predictions on what happens in the future since the NFL is so unpredictable. So I'll just say their QB is still Mitchell Trubisky.

That smells an awfully lot like "here, stand on this rug, Bear fans. I promise it won't be pulled from underneath your feet. No foolin'. This time it is for realsies. And you won't ever have to worry about hearing Patrick Mahoomes and DeShaun Watson mentioned again"

We'll see if the smell matches the results on Sunday, I reckon.

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HankScorpio's picture

December 28, 2020 at 07:04 am

"I hope next week is not a letdown ."

With the #1 seed on the line against their most hated rival (Sorry Minneyhaha, you ain't it), there better not be any let down.

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cinpackback's picture

December 27, 2020 at 11:15 pm

Nice roundup, Sarah. Let’s go Pack!

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Guam's picture

December 27, 2020 at 11:20 pm

Crosby has not been perfect on extra points this year - he has missed three before and one more tonight. He has been perfect on field goals and that record was fortunately kept intact by a very questionable offside call on Tennessee.

The only off-putting part of the game tonight was the officiating, but the breaks all went the Packer's way. The questionable offside call on a blocked field goal, the early step out of bounds by Jones that the refs missed, and a couple of ticky-tacky defensive holding calls made this a poorly officiated game. But I will take the breaks after Fail Mary and a few other ghosts from prior years.

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Stroh's picture

December 27, 2020 at 11:25 pm

Packers dominated with or without the officiating!

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Thegravedigger's picture

December 27, 2020 at 11:27 pm

Yeah they didnt need the refs to win this one.

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Guam's picture

December 28, 2020 at 08:22 am

Agreed, the Packers would have won this one without help from the zebras, but it is still nice to see the breaks go our way for a change.

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HankScorpio's picture

December 28, 2020 at 07:16 am

"Crosby has not been perfect on extra points this year - he has missed three before and one more tonight."

I keep telling myself it is better to get the misses out of the way on 1 pt conversions instead of 3 point FGs. But yeah, that's not good.

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PhantomII's picture

December 27, 2020 at 11:22 pm

Great team win. Executing a complete game in sloppy weather conditions. Defense did a good job setting the edge and reacting to run or pass. Alexander was incredible in coverage. Enjoyed the big Defensive fronts on 1-2 down...like you're suppose to with a big run team. That's the way you do it guys. Some missed tackles but with these conditions it seemed to slow up the runner long enough for someone else to finish him off. Offense was clicking with Adams getting it done. Hats off to ML for finally playing the Dillon card. He was a load to bring down for the Titans and (2) TD's. Things to clean up: ST xtra point miss and poor blocking for 3 point kick which was blocked. Tannehill run play nobody was in position to stop. I liked Rodgers for the most part moving the chains mixing in pass/ run to eat the clock. Just the way you need to do it to keep your Defense fresh and their Offense off the field and build an insurmountable lead. Get well Williams. I am liking this 3 headed RB monster we have put into our bag of tricks. Now let's go beat the Bears.

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Stroh's picture

December 27, 2020 at 11:23 pm

I said it would come down to the Packers winning TOP. Not Tenn so much!

Any questions people??

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JohnnyLogan's picture

December 27, 2020 at 11:27 pm

Big test for LaFleur and he passed with flying colors. One of the finest team wins in years. Beating Bears next week a must because Packers will have home field throughout and just showed they can play in cold and snow. Been a big critic of Pettine and Gary but both showed well tonight. Happy to eat crow. Good day for Packer fans because the future looks bright as well whether we sign Jones or not. I'd love to keep the 3 headed monster of Jones, Dillon and Williams but it won't happen. Hope at least two remain.

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Turophile's picture

December 28, 2020 at 05:52 am

I understand how you could have been a critic of Pettine. there have been times when his gameplan was poor (and that from me, who was a HUGE Pettine fan when he was first picked up by the Packers).

But why on earth would you have been a big critic of Gary ? EVERYONE knew Gary was raw when he came out and would take time to reach his super-athletic potential. To make matters tougher for him, he went from college DE to a big OLB in the Packers system. This is only his second year with the team and he is now starting to show just how good he might become. To have been really down on him before giving him a reasonable time to develop is very unrealistic.

As for the game itself, one of the most complete games I've seen the Packers play. That Packers 5 man defensive line completely frustrated the Titans marquee RB Henry and QB Tannehill's play action off of Henry's running.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

December 28, 2020 at 09:12 am

Well, he was raw yet he played 3 seasons at a top college program without learning pass rushing tools. How is that possible?

Time will tell. We got more production out of Gary than I expected in 2019. I had hoped for more production than we've seen in 2020 but 1) covid probably set him back since there were no OTAs and it was probably harder for Gary to get some coaching on OLB technique and 2) it does appear that he is a hard worker who is in fact improving his skills and his productivity.

He reminds me of Nick Perry, though I think he has better physical gifts.

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Alberta_Packer's picture

December 28, 2020 at 03:31 pm

Of course the best game of the year - with 2 positive halves = one complete game. Main reason for the offense was the absurd amount of time that Rodgers had and A.J. Dillon - especially in the 2nd half - as he Derrick Henry'd the Titans D. Meanwhile it took only 15 games for Pettine to figure out how to stop a potent run game. Enough with the 3-4 .

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Coldworld's picture

December 27, 2020 at 11:34 pm

You aren’t wrong to call out special teams. That offsides removed a play that might have been the worst example of ineptitude yet.

This cannot continue and shouldn’t be obscured by all the good in other phases. It looks like JK Scott has been practicing tackling at least, but having your holder as the final line of defense on your own field goal attempt ...

If there was a technical offsides, it was so minimal as not to erase culpability.

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stockholder's picture

December 27, 2020 at 11:49 pm

Nice Recap. The only thing missing was a little dubbing. NFL PRIMETIME SONG WORKS.

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rasmika's picture

December 28, 2020 at 01:30 am

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Packer_Fan's picture

December 28, 2020 at 05:47 am

Best game this year. Dillon outplayed Henry. And just moved the pile forward. Rodgers to Adams was perfect all night. And finally, a great defensive game. Pettine deserves credit for using the six man line to stop Henry. Defense played down hill and with inspiration all game. Savage should have had two interceptions. And wow, Alexander is a beast. In the second half, would not allow a completion. Only suggestion would have been to go for the field goal again.

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Packer_Fan's picture

December 28, 2020 at 05:47 am

Best game this year. Dillon outplayed Henry. And just moved the pile forward. Rodgers to Adams was perfect all night. And finally, a great defensive game. Pettine deserves credit for using the six man line to stop Henry. Defense played down hill and with inspiration all game. Savage should have had two interceptions. And wow, Alexander is a beast. In the second half, would not allow a completion. Only suggestion would have been to go for the field goal again.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

December 28, 2020 at 09:13 am

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JordyBahringer's picture

March 26, 2021 at 05:08 am

Wow,

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