If you’re like me, you’ve been waiting all season for one Sunday – just one – where the Green Bay Packers completely overwhelm an opponent from start to finish.
One Sunday where you never spend a second worrying about the result.
Fitting that the Packers gave us that one game two days before Christmas, huh?
Green Bay throttled an overmatched and disinterested Tennessee Titans squad at Lambeau Field, winning by a 55-7 count. The win improves Green Bay’s record to 11-4 on the season and is its ninth win in its last 10 tries. The Packers also keep pace in the battle for the No. 2 seed in the NFC. But we’ll get to that in a bit.
For now, how about some takeaways from this blowout, huh?
- Pray for Randall Cobb’s ankle. Those gasps – followed by some expletives, no doubt – you heard were from Packers fans everywhere reacting to Cobb leaving the game in the third quarter after injuring his ankle on a punt return. He didn’t return today, not surprising as the game had long been decided. Cobb has become such a huge part of this offense, it would be a huge blow to lose him for any amount of time. If the Packers want to get deep into the postseason, they must have Cobb.
- Sorry to begin this on a down note.
- Green Bay looked like a team that wanted to set the tone early, beat the snot out of the opponent relentlessly and leave this game feeling great about itself. Check, check and check (minus the Cobb injury). That’s about all you can ask for from a game like this.
- That’s just about the quietest way possible for a quarterback to reach 342 yards passing, but that’s what Aaron Rodgers did today (his longest completion was 34 yards to Ryan Grant). He was, however, lethal, surgically taking apart a Titans defense that clearly had no idea what it was in for. And chalk up another rushing touchdown for a man who absolutely deserves to be in the MVP conversation. Again.
- We probably haven’t given James Jones enough credit for what he’s done this season on this site. But, seriously, Jones is turning in an outstanding effort. Seven more grabs for 100 yards and a score, his league-leading 12th? How many teams wish they’d signed this guy in 2011? He is showing more confidence than ever before.
- Another solid effort from Jermichael Finley. Rodgers seems to be looking his way more and more now and Finley is responding with improved confidence and performance. He may not be back in 2013, but he can be crucial the rest of the way here. Those last three points are the positives regarding the passing game.
- The negative is that Rodgers and his receivers are still not connecting on the deep stuff. Today the Packers were just a tick off multiple times, as has been the case most of the season. It’s frustrating to watch, because if this team can get that to click, they become exponentially more dangerous in the playoffs.
- Nice to see Ryan Grant turn in a big day, racking up 114 all-purpose yards on 21 touches (80 rushing, 34 receiving, adding two scores on the ground). And I just continue to like what I see from DuJuan Harris. Remember, this ground attack doesn’t need to lead the way. It just needs to give opponents something to think about. The Packers aren’t the Vikings. Well, right now the Packers are doing everything they need to in that area.
- A.J. Hawk turned in the best game of his pro career today. Two sacks, multiple pressures. That was the Hawk Green Bay drafted fifth overall in 2006. For at least one day, it was fun to see.
- Sam Shields – just another great effort. Almost expecting him to make at least one or two big plays a week now.
- B.J. Raji and Clay Matthews. Big-time players leading the way at the most important time of the year.
- After last week’s win, I mentioned that Mike Neal was quietly becoming a key cog on the defense. Not so quietly anymore. All of a sudden, Neal has become the player the Packers hoped he’d be all along. If he can stay healthy, his future now looks really bright.
- Pray for Randall Cobb’s ankle. Just thought I’d, you know, mention that again.
- I’m not saying I’m rooting for the Seahawks to win tonight, because, well, I hate them. But I will say I’m rooting for them not to lose. Because a Seattle win over San Francisco will put the Packers in the driver’s seat for the No. 2 seed in the NFC. A San Francisco win, however, virtually assures the Niners that spot as they close the year at home against the lowly Cardinals. Probably not losing that one, which would lock Green Bay into the No. 3 seed.
- Oh what the hell – it’s Christmas! GO SEAHAWKS!
- Happy Holidays to you and yours from OBOD!