Packers dominate Titans 55-7
Green Bay gets highest point total in nearly 30 years
The Tennessee Titans broke a four-game losing streak last week against the New York Jets. But the Green Bay Packers are not the Jets.
The Packers continued their surge to the playoffs, winning their fourth in a row and their ninth in the last 10 games with a 55-7 rout of the Titans on Sunday at Lambeau Field.
When the San Francisco 49ers (10-4-1) lost the Seahawks at Seattle on Sunday night, Green Bay (11-4) moved in front in the race for the No. 2 seed in the NFC playoffs. The top two teams get first-round byes.
"Nah, I'll probably be in bed," quarterback Aaron Rodgers said when asked if he'd watch the NFC West showdown.
By the time the Titans (5-11) got their initial first down, the Packers led 14-0, and the rout was on. Rodgers had three touchdown passes, a touchdown run and 342 passing yards in barely three quarters, and the Packers defense forced two turnovers and had seven sacks.
"Obviously, we didn't play very well at all today against a team that I thought we would play much better against," Titans coach Mike Munchak said. "On the offensive side of the ball, we struggled, turned the ball over and missed plays that were there for us. We got behind early and we were forced to throw much more than we wanted to. You aren't going to win many games when you go three-and-out the first three times and turn the ball over twice against a good team at home."
It was Green Bay's first 50-point game since a 52-3 win over New Orleans on Oct. 9, 2005, and its most points since a 55-14 win over Tampa Bay on Oct. 2, 1983.
"Frankly, what I talked about last night in the team meeting was the importance of winning this game for a number of different reasons, but what's most important was how we were going to win today," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. "It was important for us to go out and dominate the opponents late in the year. We have momentum going for us, particularly what we've done over the last nine weeks, 10 weeks, so we wanted to take the next step as a football team and I felt we were able to accomplish that today. So, I was proud of the fact that our guys locked in and played extremely well in all three phases."
The Packers had excellent field position throughout the first half en route to building a 20-0 advantage. Starting at its 44-yard line, Ryan Grant had runs of 18 and 9 yards to set up Rodgers' six-yard touchdown run. On their next possession, the Packers took over at the Titans' 44. On the third play of the possession, Rodgers rolled to his right and threw a 20-yard strike to Randall Cobb for the touchdown.
Late in the first quarter, Green Bay's Erik Walden intercepted a deflected pass and returned it to the Titans' 14. That set up a short field goal on the second play of the second quarter to extend the count to 17-0.
Tennessee's offense, meanwhile, was miserable. The Titans finished with 180 yards, with 53 of those coming in their final drive of the game, which resulted in their only touchdown. Star running back Chris Johnson, who extended his NFL record of 80-yard scoring runs to six last week, was held to 28 yards on 11 attempts.
"It is never easy to lose, especially like this," Titans quarterback Jake Locker said. "There are a bunch of things that you can point to today but it just seemed like there were a lot of opportunities that we didn't capitalize on today."
Green Bay buried the Titans to start the second half. A 31-yard completion to Cobb set up DuJuan Harris' seven-yard touchdown run, and Grant's 34-yard catch-and-run to the 1-yard line preceded Rodgers' touchdown pass to Greg Jennings.
On the second play of the fourth quarter, Rodgers hit James Jones for his league-leading 13th touchdown reception to make it 41-0. A 58-yard punt return by Jeremy Ross set up the first of Grant's two fourth-quarter touchdowns runs.
Locker broke up the shutout with a 39-yard completion to Kenny Britt to the 2-yard line and then a 2-yard touchdown pass to Britt with 1:39 to go.
Notes: Cobb, with a 12-yard punt return to open the game, broke Ahman Green's franchise record for combined net yards. Cobb entered the game with 2,241 yards on rushes, receptions and returns; Green had 2,250 in 2003. ... Cobb hobbled to the locker after injuring his right ankle on a third-quarter punt return, adding 101 yards to his total. ... Packers kicker Mason Crosby, who entered the game a league-worst 17-of-29 on field goals, hit from 26 and 48, with the latter bouncing off the right upright. ... In trailing 20-0 at halftime, Locker was 3-for-12 for 35 yards with two interceptions and a passer rating of 0.0. ... The Titans played without four of their starting offensive linemen, with only left tackle Michael Roos avoiding the injury bug. Kyle DeVan was the team's fourth starting center.