Are You Not Entertained!?!
If you walked away from Green Bay’s dominating week 16 win over the Tennessee Titans with anything but a smile, I don’t know what to tell ya. The Packers put together the most complete game we have seen from them under Matt LaFleur. For an entire four quarters, Green Bay’s offense was balanced and dynamic, while their defense was disruptive and physical.
Tennessee’s defense has been atrocious all season, and the Packers took advantage. The Packers ran for 237 yards and passed for 231 more on their way to a 40-point performance on Sunday Night Football.
What wasn’t shocking was the Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams connection cooking early and often to the tune of 11 receptions for 142 yards and 3 TDs. This duo has been the best in the league, and as if they needed to another advantage, it appears Lambeau in the snow propels them to new heights.
What was shocking to many was Equanimeous St. Brown catching his first touchdown of his career on a relatively easy crossing route.
The Packers used the absence of Jamaal Williams (quad) to introduce the league to AJ Dillon. The 2nd-round rookie out of Boston College had 21 carries for 124 yards and 2 touchdowns in his breakout game. Dillon has looked fantastic every time he has been given an opportunity this year, but a long stint on the COVID list and just the reality of playing behind two extremely productive RBs has limited those opportunities — until now.
Dillon had some promising runs in the first half, but he exploded in the second half. Dillon’s first touchdown in the NFL could not have come at a more opportune time — 4th and 1 in a two possession game towards the end of the 3rd quarter.
Aaron Jones was a limited participant in practice all week with a toe injury, and he was sidelined for a bit in the first half because of a hip injury. However, he still almost reached the century mark with 10 rushes for 94 yards — 59 of which came on a long run down the sideline where he appeared to step out.
Dillon’s emergence has allowed the Packers to be patient with Jones and Williams’ injuries.
Green Bay’s defense had two sacks, two interceptions, two tackles for loss, one forced fumble and four QB hits while holding Tennessee’s third ranked scoring offense (31 points per game) to only 14.
Containing Derrick Henry is no small feat but that is exactly what the Packers were able to do on Sunday Night Football. Henry had 23 carries for 98 yards (4.3 yards per carry) and no touchdowns. While those are good numbers for most, Henry came into the game averaging 120 yards per game, 5.2 yards per carry and 15 touchdowns in 14 games.
The key to defending Henry is not allowing him to get to the second level untouched. Easier said than done, but the Packers executed this to perfection — Henry’s long run was for 10 yards.
The big bodies were able to contain Henry, but that left the DBs alone on the outside against a passing offense that has two 900-yard receivers. The former first-rounders, Jaire Alexander and Darnell Savage, rose to the occasion and flew around the field all night, combining for six pass breakups (3 each).
Green Bay’s consistent pass rush allowed the DBs to play aggressive and confident all night long. Turnovers and sacks are a recipe for success come playoff time.
For the first time all season, the Packers dominating play was nearly sustained for all four quarters. The Packers are playing their best ball at the best time, and they are only one win away from securing the #1 seed.