It’s an interconference battle between a team tied for their division lead and one that has wrapped up a division crown in prime time. The Tennessee Titans are on the road as they make the trip to face the Green Bay Packers on the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field on Sunday Night Football. Tennessee picked up a 46-25 home victory over Detroit last Sunday in their previous contest. Green Bay defeated Carolina 24-16 at home last Saturday in their latest game to keep their win streak going. The Titans own a 7-5 advantage in the all-time regular-season series, including a 47-25 home victory in the most recent meeting on November 13, 2016.
Tennessee Titans Try to Maintain At Least Share of AFC South Lead
Tennessee won their second straight and their fourth in the last five games as they hammered Detroit in their previous contest. The Titans enter the next to last week of the season with a 10-4 mark, leaving them tied with the Colts for the top spot but they hold the upper hand based on a better divisional record. Against the Lions, Tennessee never trailed and took the lead for good late in the first quarter on a Derrick Henry touchdown run. The Titans took a 21-7 lead early in the second quarter and led just 24-18 after three quarters before outscoring the Lions 22-7 in the fourth to earn the win. Tennessee held a 463-430 edge in total offense, picked up 28 first downs while allowing 27 and overcame losing time of possession by a 31:39 to 28:21 margin. The Titans forced three Detroit turnovers while not committing one though they did allow a safety in the game.
On the season, Tennessee is 19th in the league in passing offense as they average 238.9 yards per game through the air. The Titans are second in the league in rushing offense as they rack up 160.9 yards per contest this year. Tennessee is leading the league in scoring offense as they put up 31.1 points per game while they stand 21st in scoring defense as they allow 25.8 points per contest on the season. Ryan Tannehill has completed 286 of 430 passes for 3,482 yards with 31 touchdowns against five interceptions while getting sacked 20 times for 144 yards in losses. He is third on the team with 172 yards and four scores on the ground this season. Derrick Henry leads the team with 321 carries for 1,679 yards and 15 touchdowns while Jeremy McNichols is next in line with 47 carries for 204 yards and a score. Corey Davis leads the team with 60 receptions for 974 yards plus 945 yards and five scores this season. A.J Brown (56 receptions, 881 yards, 10 TD) along with tight ends Jonnu Smith (37 grabs, 410 yards, seven TD) and Anthony Firkser (36 catches, 358 yards, TD) all have at least 300 receiving yards this season. Stephen Gostkowski has hit 44 of 46 extra point attempts and 18 of 26 field goal tries with a long of 55 this season.
Tennessee’s bread and butter is pounding the ball on the ground with Henry to make life miserable for opposing defenses. The Titans rely on that to set up play-action passes and give Tannehill options when he drops back to throw. Green Bay has been decent against the run this season as they are 11th against the run by allowing 110.1 yards per game on the ground. The Packers see only 24.2 carries per game against their defense, mainly because the offense does a solid job. Tennessee is going to have to establish the run and stay in striking distance on the scoreboard to keep Henry involved in the contest.
Green Bay Packers Looking to Lock Down Top Seed in NFC
Green Bay won their fourth straight and their sixth in the last seven games as they downed the Panthers at home. The Packers have clinched the NFC North title and hold a one-game lead over New Orleans and Seattle for the top spot in the NFC, which carries the lone bye in the opening round of the postseason plus home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. Against Carolina, Green Bay took a 21-3 lead at the half and withstood a fourth-quarter rally by the Panthers to secure the victory. The Packers were outgained 364-291 in the contest and lost the time of possession by a 30:51 to 29:09 margin. Both teams finished with 20 first downs while Green Bay forced the lone turnover in the contest.
This season, the Packers are eighth in the league in passing offense with an average of 261.1 yards per game this season. Green Bay is 8th in the league in rushing offense as they grind out 128.9 yards per contest. The Packers are third in the league in scoring offense as they pile up an average of 31 points per game this year. Green Bay stands 14th in the league in scoring defense by giving up an average of 24.2 points a contest on the season. Aaron Rodgers has completed 332 of 477 passes for 3,828 yards with 40 touchdowns and four interceptions on the year. He adds 126 rushing yards and three scores. Aaron Jones leads the team with 180 carries for 968 yards and eight scores on the season. Jamaal Williams contributes 114 carries for 479 yards and two scores. In the passing game, Davante Adams leads the team with 98 receptions for 1,186 yards and 14 scores this season. Marquez Valdez-Scantling (31 catches, 603 yards, five TD), Robert Tonyan (49 grabs, 551 yards, 10 TD), Allen Lazard (29 grabs, 420 yards, three TD) and Jones (41 receptions, 298 yards, two TD) have all eclipsed the 250-yard mark for receiving yards. Mason Crosby has hit 50 of 53 extra-point tries and has drilled all 16 field goal attempts with a long of 57 on the season.
Green Bay thrives in the air and they get a chance to go at a Tennessee pass defense that has had all kinds of problems slowing the aerial attack. The Titans are 31st in the league in pass defense as they allow an average of 276 yards per game through the air. Tennessee has recorded 13 interceptions this season but they have only 14 sacks on the year, which is dismal. You can’t give Rodgers time in the pocket to systematically dismantle a defense so the Titans are going to have to find a way to ramp up the pressure.
This one is going to be a dichotomy of systems. Tennessee loves to run the ball and wear defenses down, then going with the play-action pass to work off of Henry’s bruising style. Green Bay does a ton of damage through the air this season with Rodgers sporting a ridiculous 10:1 TD:INT ratio this season. The Titans are going to have a tough time slowing the passing game for the Packers, which is going to make that ball-control style that much more dangerous. Tennessee is going to have to put points on the board with regularity and that could be tough given how quickly Rodgers can strike. In the end, playing at home gives the Packers the edge in this contest as they outgun the Titans.