Written by: Joseph Yun
The Titans travel to the Frozen Tundra is one of the most anticipated Sunday Night Football games in recent memory. December at the cathedral that is Lambeau Field is one of the most iconoclastic moments in all of sport. On top of the spiritual awakening, Tennessee will have to face the elite Packers offense led by future first-ballot Hall of Fame QB Aaron Rodgers.
Head coach Matt LaFleur hosts his former boss Mike Vrabel and protege Arthur Smith’s potent offense led by the indomitable Derrick Henry. Can the Titans’ infamously poor stop unit muster enough stops to make a difference?
This article and future weekly articles were written with the assistance of the Blitzalytics Prospect Encyclopedia, which you can buy a PDF or hard cover copy here. The Encyclopedia has many features such as prospects, top team stars, and other countless data points to expand your knowledge of the game.
Note: all numbers courtesy of profootballreference.com
Key Numbers + Info (2020 season)
Record: 11-3 (4-1 NFC North)
Points scored: 434
Points allowed: 339
Avg. yards per rush: 4.7
Avg. yards per rush allowed: 4.5
Avg. rush yards per game: 128.92
Avg. rush yards per game allowed: 110.07
Rushing TDs: 13 for, 14 against
Avg. pass yards per game: 261.07
Avg. pass yards per game allowed: 227.64
Passing TDs: 40 for, 22 against
Pass Completion Rate: 70%
Pass Completion Rate Against: 65%
Top Rusher: Aaron Jones (180 attempts for 968 yards and eight touchdowns)
Top Receiver: Davante Adams (98 receptions for 1186 yards and 14 touchdowns)
Top Tackler: Christian Kirksey (70 tackles, three passes defensed, one interception)
Key Additions: OT Rick Wagner, LB Christian Kirksey, OT Jon Runyan (rookie), QB Jordan Love (rookie), LB Kamal Martin (rookie)
Key Losses: LB Blake Martinez, LB Kyler Fackrell, TE Jimmy Graham, OT Bryan Bulaga, WR Devin Funchess (COVID Opt-out), OL Corey Linsley (injury), OT Billy Winn (injury)
Tennessee leads the all-time series 7-5
What Happened In The Last Game?
The Titans stormed out to a 21-0 first-quarter lead and largely dominated en route to a 47-25 victory.
Keys to a Titans Victory
- Play Keep Away - How do you help a much-maligned and beleaguered defense against one of the best quarterbacks of all time? Limit his opportunities by keeping the ball as much as possible. Fortunately for Tennessee, they employ one of the best running backs in the league to do just that in a system designed to grind it out. The Packers haven’t been the greatest in run defense lately, either.
- Composure - The mystique of Lambeau Field in December is still very well and alive. Tennessee would do well to get over the awe-inspiring sights and sounds of the venerated stadium quickly. Mike Vrabel’s team is nothing if not a resilient bunch after staging multiple comeback attempts over his tenure thus far. They will need every bit of mental toughness to beat Aaron Rodgers on the road.
Keys to a Packers Victory
- Keep on Keeping on - Which Aaron is going to cook the most? The Titans have one of the worst defenses in the league when it comes to the passing game. Not much more to be said when they have to face a true blue elite number one wideout in Davante Adams and solid secondary options in Robert Tonyan, MVS, etc. It’s going to get ugly for this Tennessee defense and fast. Aaron Jones is one of the most productive backs in the entire league and the Packers are deadly using the play action.
- Familiarity breeds contempt? - Packers head coach Matt LaFleur is very familiar with the Titans as he served as Mike Vrabel’s first offensive coordinator. He and current OC Arthur Smith laid down the skeleton of the potent Titans offensive attack before he left for Green Bay. Both coaches are intimately familiar with each other’s strengths and weaknesses as they served together on Mike Shanahan’s staff in Washington (alongside Kyle Shanahan and Sean McVay).
Blitzalytics Prospect Encyclopedia Prospects of the Week
5. OLB Rashan Gary and ILB 11. Kamal Martin
- Both young guys look like key building blocks for the next great Packers defense. Gary has had a breakout sophomore campaign with five sacks to date and 11 QB hits, which are good for second on the team. Gary has ably served as star Preston Smith’s backup. Martin has emerged as a rookie, filling in as needed for the constantly underrated Christian Kirksey.
What are the odds?
(all odds are courtesy of vegasinsider.com)
DraftKings has the Packers as 3 point favorites at -162 while the Titans are +140 dogs. The over/under has been set at 54.5.
The WestGate Superbook has the Packers as 3 point favorites at -155 while the Titans are +135 dogs. The over/under has been set at 54 even.
William Hill has the Packers as 3 point favorites at -160 while the Titans are +140 dogs. The over/under has been set at 54 even.
GREEN BAY 42