Rare is the National Football League contest that plays out almost exactly as you draw it up, but that was the case today as the Packers overwhelmed the Tennessee Titans 55-7 before 70,508 fans at sunny, 24 degree Lambeau Field. The Packers had a total of 14 posessions in the game and scored 9 times, piling up 7 touchdowns and two field goals in their first 12 posessions before they tried to run out the final 2:00 minutes and knelt down in the final 1:39 after the Titans averted a shutout. How complete was the 11th win of the year? Let me count the ways: 460 total yards to 180, Aaron Rodgers fired three touchdown passes, hitting 27 of 38 for 342 yards and a passer rating of 125.1. His counterpart Jake Locker, managed only 13 of 30 for 140 with two interceptions in the second quarter and a rating of 41. The Packers had four rushing touchdowns, two from Ryan Grant who put up a big day, 20 carries for 80 yards. DuJuan Harris had his second in as many weeks, even Rodgers opened the scoring with a six yard TD run. Chris Johnson, the ballyhood Tennesse back? He managed 28 yards on 11 carries, his longest rush was 8. Rodgers got sacked but once, while Locker was dropped 7 times. A.J. Hawk had two and Clay Matthews, Brad Jones, Mike Neal, Dezmon Moses and even Sam Shields got one. Shields and Erik Walden had the picks. Green Bay ran a whopping 76 plays to the Titans 59. The Pack committed only one accepted penalty. They had 28 first downs to 10. An unbelievable day, matching the most points scored since 1983 in a 55-14 rout of Tampa Bay.
The defense set the tone from the opening series, when Matthews sacked Locker to force a three and out. It took the Packers offense two series to get rolling when Rodgers ran up the middle for a six yard touchdown with 6:54 to play in the opening quarter. A third straight three and out set up the Pack at the Titan 43 and it took only three plays to double the lead. Randall Cobb reeled in a 20 yard strike from Rodgers in the right corner of the end zone. That's when the defense started taking it away. Shields picked Locker on an underthrown sideline route and when the Packers couldn't move, Walden snared a badly thrown ball and returned the pick 20 yards to the Tennessee 14. Give the Titan defense some credit for holding the Pack down but Mason Crosby knocked through a 26 yard field goal and on the next posession, got help from the right upright when his 48 yard boot glanced off the post to make it 20-0 at halftime. That's when the Packers really poured it on, scoring touchdowns on their first five posessions of the second half. DuJuan Harris capped a 60 yard drive with a 7 yard sweep off right tackle, Greg Jennings was left unguarded wide right and Rodgers hit him with a quick 1 yard strike, the TD set up by Ryan Grant's 34 yard catch and run with a swing pass to the one. Early in the 4th James Jones caught his league leading 13th touchdown from 12 yards out. Jeremy Ross, subbing for Cobb on punt return duty after Randall injured his ankle, returned a ball 58 yards up the sideline to the 7 and on the next snap, Grant barrelled in untouched over left guard to make it 48-0. Grant finished off the scoring with a 9 yard run on the next series. Tennesse averted the shutout when Kenny Britt caught a 39 yard pass from Locker to the two and on the next snap, caught a touchdown pass with 1:39 left in the game.
Cobb's injury wasn't beleived to be serious and the only other injury of note was Davon House with a bruised shoulder. The inactives were Charles Woodson, Jordy Nelson, Alex Green, James Starks, Tom Crabtree, C.J. Wilson and Jerel Worthy.
With the number three seed secure, the Packers will hope for Sunday night help from Seattle before heading to Minnesota to close out the regular season. The Vikings can clinch a playoff berth if they beat the Pack after winning impressively in Houston Sunday.
On the link below, the complete locker room report with quotes from Mike McCarthy and the boys on what will be a very merry Christmas.