Maggie's Pre-Game Six Pack - 2021 Week 16

Ho Ho Ho. In this week’s Holiday Six Pack, we’ll preview a festive Christmas Day matchup between the Cleveland Browns and Green Bay Packers. With only three regular season games left to play, the Packers are looking to maintain their status as the NFC’s No. 1 seed: 

1. Will Santa Bring a W?

Green Bay will finish off its slate against the AFC North with a home game against the Cleveland Browns. It is just the third time the Packers will play on Christmas, and each of the last two games also happened at Lambeau Field. In 2005, the Bears beat Green Bay 24-17. Then in 2011, Chicago came to Lambeau once again, but this time the Packers prevailed 35-21. 

There have been NFL games played on Christmas since 1989, with the first game also an AFC North vs NFC North contest between the Bengals and Vikings. The home team Vikings won that game 29-21. For what it’s worth, the Packers are the only undefeated team at home this season. 

2. Miracle on 443rd TD 

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers tied Brett Favre’s franchise record of 442 touchdown passes against Baltimore on Sunday, tossing three touchdowns to Jones, Davante Adams, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling.

He needs only one touchdown now on Saturday against the Browns to reach 443 and take sole possession of the franchise record. Receiver Davante Adams has caught 65 of those touchdown passes from Rodgers, which ties Jordy Nelson for the most touchdown receptions to a single receiver. With a score either on Saturday or during the rest of the season, Adams will take his rightful place at the very top of Rodgers’ touchdown reception list. 

Rodgers has thrown 30 touchdowns so far this season and only four interceptions. Interestingly enough, he’s thrown 15 touchdowns at home and 15 away, despite having played one additional game on the road. That’s an average of 2.5 touchdowns per game at home through the air, so if you’ll be in attendance on Saturday, you should feel pretty good about your chances of seeing the record broken live. 

3. No Toys in that Sack  

Myles Garrett is a first-team All-Pro, and deservedly so. He’s having his best season, too, posting 15 sacks through 14 games, which is tied for third in the NFL with Nick Bosa behind only T.J. Watt (17.5) and Robert Quinn (16). Those 15 sacks also set a franchise record for the Browns, eclipsing the previous single-season sack record from Reggie Camp of 14, set in 1984. 

In addition to his sack total, Garrett has one forced fumble, one fumble recovery returned for a touchdown, and 28 quarterback hits. His best game of the season came against the Bears in Week 3 when he had a career-high 4.5 sacks in one game. The Packers offensive line has given up three sacks in back-to-back weeks, while Rodgers has taken 27 sacks on the season. 

All of that said, Garrett is dealing with a groin injury and is officially listed as questionable for Saturday. If he isn’t able to go, or even if he plays but is limited, the Browns edge rush unit could be in a world of hurt against Green Bay, with Jadeveon Clowney still on the COVID-19/Reserve List (at the time of this posting), and Takk McKinley out for the remainder of the season with an achilles injury. 

4. A Holly Jolly Catchmas 

Davante Adams has 96 receptions for 1,248 yards and eight touchdowns through 13 games this season. He needs only 20 more receptions to break his own franchise record for most single-season catches of 115, which he set in 2020.

This past week against Baltimore, while Rodgers was tying Favre’s touchdown record, Adams was etching his name deeper into the Packers record books, too. His lone touchdown reception against the Ravens brought his total to 70 career scores, eclipsing Nelson for second in franchise history behind only Don Hutson (99). 

Adams is also inching closer to breaking his own personal career best of 1,386 yards in 2018. He needs 139 yards this season to set a new career high, and if he’s feeling ambitious, 278 yards in his final three games to beat Nelson’s single-season record of 1,519 yards. 

I know it feels like Adams is brought up almost every week in the Six Pack, but that’s because the numbers he’s putting up are truly historic, and every week they’re worth looking at. If he keeps this up, he’ll not only set every Packers record, but he’ll have a bust in Canton. 

5. Dashing Through the Snow

If you’re a fan of running backs, you’re in for a treat on Saturday. For starters, Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon have put up some eerily similar numbers on the ground as a tandem this season. Jones has 151 attempts for 657 yards and four touchdowns, averaging 4.4 yards per carry. Dillon has 150 attempts for 636 yards with three touchdowns, averaging 4.2 yards per carry. 

In the receiving game, Jones (42) and Dillon (28) are second and third on the team in receptions behind only All-Pro Adam. The duo has combined for 614 yards and eight touchdowns. 

On the opposite sideline resides running back Nick Chubb, who currently has 190 rushing attempts for 1,017 yards and seven touchdowns in 11 games. Outside of his rookie season in 2018 when he fell four yards short with 996, Chubb has eclipsed 1,000 rushing yards in three consecutive years. He’s averaging a whopping 5.4 yards per attempt this season and has a career average of 5.3 yards per carry. He’s averaging 92.5 yards per game this year, too, so the Packers will have their hands full, even with Green Bay still yet to give up 100 yards to an individual rusher this season. 

6. Sleighing the Pro Bowl 

There will be plenty of Pro Bowlers on both sides of the ball when the Packers and Browns face off on Saturday. The Packers have three starters in Rodgers, Adams, and Kenny Clark, whereas the Browns have five selections. Guards Joel Bitonio and Wyatt Teller, Garrett, Chubb, and cornerback Denzel Ward all made the initial roster. Those five Browns players mark the most representatives Cleveland has had since the team had six players selected in 2013. 

This is Rodgers 10th Pro Bowl selection which sets a franchise record. It’s also the fifth-straight selection for Adams, and the second for Clark. Jones was named a first alternate, while other alternates include punter Corey Bojorquez, cornerback Rasul Douglas, and linebacker Rashan Gary. 

Alternates for the Browns include Clowney, fullback Andy Janovich, familiar face center JC Tretter, and tackle Jedrick Wills. That means four of the Browns starting offensive linemen earned Pro Bowl nods in some capacity this season.

 

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Maggie Loney is a writer for Cheesehead TV and podcaster for the Pack-A-Day Podcast and Pack's What She Said. Find her on Twitter at @MaggieJLoney.

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Comments (11)

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croatpackfan's picture

December 24, 2021 at 06:46 am

I believe this week Packers will be again 1:0. Even if they gave more than 100 rushing yards to Chubb. I would like to see Mayfield under the center, so Rasoul, Darnell, Adrian and/or Eric (finally) get their INT and/or pick six.

Only game I'm worried about is last game this season - vs Lions. I'm affraid of underestimation from Packers, no matter who will start at QB for either of teams.

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Packerlifer's picture

December 25, 2021 at 05:24 am

I believe it will depend on what the stakes are for the Packers at that time and whether the Lions pull off another win or two between now and then.

If the "top seed" is still in play and Detroit shocks somebody else again I can't see the Packers being complacent about them. They did lead at halftime of the earlier game this season at Lambeau.

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4thand1's picture

December 24, 2021 at 08:40 am

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE

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NickPerry's picture

December 24, 2021 at 09:17 am

With Rodgers next Pass making Packers history and Adams next TD pass from Rodgers making him #1 on Rodgers TD list, THIS game will be the game all those records are broken. THIS team is the best team in the NFL right now in spite of the ST issues IMO. Since it's Christmas and the Packers are at home, it just feels like this weekend will be special.

As great as Adams is, and I'm sure all the records will be his when he's done, I wonder what kind of numbers Jordy Nelson would have put up had he been in the position Adams has. Nelson played at a time when the Packers could line up 3 or 4 OTHER Pro Bowl worthy WR's at any given time. Jordy had to share the field and opportunities with Greg Jennings, DD, James Jones, Randall Cobb, AND Davante Adams. Adams, for the most part, hasn't had to share the opportunities.

Again, I'm not downgrading what Adams has done, but Jordy Nelson was a beast in his own right. I wonder what might have been if not for the knee injury in 2015 on that shitty surface at Heinz Field in the preseason no less.

GO PACK GO...Merry Christmas Everyone!!!!!

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croatpackfan's picture

December 24, 2021 at 09:40 am

Merry Christmas to all!

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murf7777's picture

December 24, 2021 at 10:23 am

Nice, creative headlines Maggie. Merry Xmas to all.

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Since'61's picture

December 24, 2021 at 10:41 am

Kenny Clark will be available to play tomorrow. He will help solidify our DL against a very solid OL and run game for the Browns. I expect the Browns to try to slow down the game with their running game.

The Packers need to build an early lead and make the Browns one dimensional. As long as our patchwork OL
holds up again we should be fine.

The Browns will be taking their best shot as they have yet to earn a playoff spot. Hopefully our STs do not become a factor in the game. GPG! Thanks, Since ‘61

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croatpackfan's picture

December 25, 2021 at 09:34 am

"As long as our patchwork OL
holds up again we should be fine."

I agree with your idea how to start the game. But I believe that this Packers OL should have more respect. They might not be the best OL in the NFL, but called them patchwork OL looks me like a little offensive to them.

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Guam's picture

December 24, 2021 at 10:58 am

Merry Christmas Everyone!

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x24's picture

December 24, 2021 at 12:20 pm

My BOLD prediction is Davante-vision until this record is in the rear view mirror

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Packerlifer's picture

December 25, 2021 at 05:31 am

I'm not quite sure why the NFL found it necessary to schedule games on a Saturday Christmas Day instead of sticking to the Sunday schedule but I'm sure it's all about money. I remember the uproar the league got back in 1971 when its playoff weekend fell on Christmas. That was the day of the NFL's longest game: the near double OT between Miami and Kansas City.

It was about this time last year that the Pack had something of a "coming out" game at Lambeau against an AFC contender when they beat Tennessee 40-14. Maybe they make a similar statement game on Cleveland today.

https://athlonsports.com/nfl/cleveland-browns-vs-green-bay-packers-predi...

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