Maggie's Pre-Game Six Pack - 2020 Week 16

Big Bob, high-powered offenses, and primetime matchups take center stage in this week's six pack. 

We’re already into Week 16, and that means there are only two games left in the regular season. Time flies when you’re 11-3 with the potential to clinch the No. 1 seed in the NFC. Here are six things to look for heading into Sunday Night Football against the Tennessee Titans: 

1. Ton(yan)s and Ton(yan)s of Touchdowns

Robert Tonyan’s touchdown on Saturday against the Panthers was his 10th of the season, tying Keith Jackson for the second most ever by a Packer in a season. Paul Coffman leads the franchise with 11 touchdowns, a record that’s stood since 1983. 

Should Tonyan haul in another touchdown against the Titans, it’ll be his sixth consecutive game with a score and will tie Coffman for the franchise record. Two scores, of course, would give him sole possession of the record. What’s more, Tonyan is the first tight end in Packers history to record a touchdown reception in five consecutive weeks. So far this season in five primetime matchups, Tonyan has recorded six touchdowns. But he’s not the only Packer who shines in the national spotlight. We’ll get to that in No. 4. 

2. Titans Pass Rush is Sus

The Titans are last in the NFL in sack totals, posting only 14 sacks in just as many weeks. For contrast, Green Bay is ninth in the NFL with 38. Another interesting note, Tennessee performs even worse on the road. Of Tennessee’s 14 sacks, nine have come at home with only five coming in opposing stadiums. Third-year pro Harold Landry leads the defense with 4.5 sacks on the season and 14 quarterback hits. 

Now, the Packers offensive line allowed a season-high five sacks last Saturday night against the Panthers, but there is good news. Center Corey Linsley has been designated to return from injured reserve, and while it’s uncertain whether or not he’ll be available for Sunday (though he has practiced this week), he’s getting close to playing, which is going to be huge for the offensive line come the playoffs. 

3. Run It Back x 1,000

While most of the conversations this week will center around the Titans running back, let’s not forget about #33 on the Packers. Aaron Jones, coming off his first Pro Bowl selection, is on the cusp of his second 1,000-yard season. 

Despite missing 2 games already in 2020, Jones has the potential to eclipse his 2019 rushing total. In 2019, Jones had 1,084 yards on the ground in 236 attempts, giving him an average of 4.6 yards per carry. So far this season, Jones has 968 yards on 180 attempts, giving him a 5.4 yard average. With 32 yards on Sunday Night Football, Jones will have his second 1,000-yard rushing season. 

Fun fact: After last week’s outing against the Panthers where Jones had 13 receiving yards, the running back now has exactly 1,000 yards receiving in his career.

4. Turn up the Lights

The Green Bay Packers have impressed this season on the national stage. Along with the AFC-leading Kansas City Chiefs, the Packers are the only other team to play in multiple prime-time games and be undefeated. Both conference leaders are currently 5-0 on the season in night games. 

Per the dope sheet, the Packers have averaged 33.2 points per game in their primetime contests, which ranks No. 1 in the NFL for teams that have played in multiple night games. Also per the dope sheet, the Packers lead the league in point differential in night games this season, with a plus-12.4 differential so far. What’s more, MVP candidate Aaron Rodgers has yet to throw a pick this season in primetime, compared to his 16 touchdowns. 

5. There’s a New Offense in Town 

Green Bay has been the league’s top offense for most of the season. The Packers average exactly 31 points per game and have scored a total of 434 points through 14 weeks. Well. Enter the Tennessee Titans. After last week’s dominant performance against the Lions, the Titans have eclipsed the Packers to become the NFL’s top offense in points for with 436 (averaging 31.1 points per game). The Packers dropped all the way to third place, and the Chiefs have crept into second with 435 points so far this season. 

The Titans have put up 40-plus points four times already this season, topping 30 points another five times. That’s nine games with at least 30 points scored. In fact, the Titans haven’t totaled less than 30 points since Week 10 in their loss to the Colts. 

While Derrick Henry is the obvious headliner coming into Sunday night with 1,679 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns so far this season, the Titans have plenty of weapons in the passing game, too. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill is having his best year as a pro, throwing 31 touchdowns and only five picks. His top two targets, A.J. Brown and Corey Davis, have combined for over 1,700 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns this season. This one could be a shootout. 

6. The Playoff Picture

There’s been some confusion about how the Packers can win the No. 1 seed in the NFC, so let’s make things super simple here. All Green Bay needs to do for the NFC playoffs to roll through Lambeau Field is beat the Bears in Week 17. 

That said, the Packers can clinch the No. 1 seed on Sunday Night Football with a win over the Titans, if the Rams beat the Seahawks. If the Seahawks end up winning, then the division matchups in Week 17 become especially significant. 

Right now, the Bears are on the outside looking in when it comes to that No. 7 seed and wild card spot, but a playoff berth is still technically possible for them. If the Cardinals lose on Sunday to the 49ers and the Bears beat the Jaguars, Chicago will have extra motivation during Week 17. But let’s be real. This is the oldest rivalry in sports. The Bears will still want to give the Packers their best shot in the hopes that they can knock Green Bay out of the No. 1 seed. 

Just beat the Titans and let the rest of the NFC work itself out. 

 

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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 (2)

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Lphill's picture

December 25, 2020 at 09:14 am

Thank you Maggie and merry Christmas, this game Sunday night has to be looked at like a playoff game , the Packers coaches have to have the Packers ready on both sides of the ball and they must execute on offense flawlessly, that's how they beat the Titans .

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PatrickGB's picture

December 26, 2020 at 04:14 pm

Happy Boxing Day. I hope that our offense has a lights out performance. The Titian’s whole offense is going to try to out score us.

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