The Week 17 Packers-Vikings kickoff has been moved to 3:25 p.m. CT next Sunday at the Metrodome. The game will be televised by FOX.
The Packers will be in control of their own destiny for the NFC’s No. 2 playoff seed and can lock up a first-round bye with a win. Meanwhile, the Vikings will need a win to get in the playoffs, while RB Adrian Peterson needs 208 yards to break Eric Dickerson’s single-season rushing record of 2,105 yards.
Tags: adrian peterson, packers, vikings
Posted in Packers.com Blog
Tags: #TENvsGB, instant replay, tennessee titans
Posted in Packers.com Blog
PACKERS TOP TITANS TO FINISH 7-1 AT HOME ON THE SEASON
– Green Bay beat Tennessee, 55-7, on Sunday afternoon at Lambeau Field to improve to 11-4 on the season. The Packers have won nine of their last 10 games.
– The 55 points scored were tied for the third most in a game in franchise history and were the most by the Packers since they recorded the same number vs. Tampa Bay on Oct. 2, 1983 (55-14).
– The 48-point win was the largest margin of victory by Green Bay since a 52-3 victory vs. New Orleans on Oct. 9, 2005.
– The victory gave the Packers a 7-1 record at Lambeau Field this season. It is Green Bay’s third consecutive season with seven or more wins at home, the second-longest streak in franchise history behind a span of five straight seasons from 1994-98.
– Green Bay has now won its home finale in eight consecutive seasons (2005-12). Over the past 21 seasons (1992-2012), the Packers have won their final home contest in every season but one (2004).
– The Packers improved to 16-2 in December/January regular-season games at Lambeau Field under Head Coach Mike McCarthy. Green Bay has now won 10 consecutive regular-season contests at home in December/January.
– Green Bay held its opponent to 20 points or less for the eighth time in the last nine contests. The Packers have held the opposition to 14 points or less in three of the last four contests.
– The Packers have won 20 of their last 21 regular-season games (.952) at Lambeau Field and 26 of their last 28 contests (.929) at home.
– Green Bay will travel to Minnesota next Sunday to take on the Vikings in the regular-season finale.
OTHER POSTGAME NOTES:
– Today’s paid attendance was 70,508. It was the 310th consecutive sellout (293 regular season, 17 playoffs) at Lambeau Field.
– With a 14-yard punt return in the first quarter on Sunday, WR Randall Cobb set the franchise record for most com- bined net yards in a season. He now has 2,342 yards on the season, which tops the previous mark of 2,250 yards by RB Ahman Green in 2003.
– With three TD passes today, QB Aaron Rodgers brought his passing-TD total over the past two seasons to 80. That sets a franchise record, topping the previous mark of 77 by Brett Favre from 1995-96. Rodgers’ 2011-12 total is No. 2 over a two-year span in NFL history, trailing only Saints QB Drew Brees (85 TDs, 2011-12).
– With 11 rushing yards today, Rodgers brought his season total to 259, his fourth straight 250-yard rushing season. He joins Tobin Rote (five straight, 1954-58) as the only quarterbacks in team history to accomplish that feat.
– Rodgers matched his season high with 342 yards passing on the afternoon (also at St. Louis, Oct, 21, 2012).
– Rodgers did not throw an interception for the third consecutive game.
– WR Greg Jennings’ third-quarter TD catch was the 51st touchdown grab of his career, moving him into sole possession of fifth place in franchise history. He had been tied with Max McGee (50).
– WR James Jones posted his 13th receiving TD on the season, which is tied with three others for the fifth most in a season in team history.
– Jones led the Packers with 100 receiving yards on the afternoon, which brought his season total to 722 yards receiving. That is a career high, topping his previous best of 679 yards in 2010.
– With 13 points today, K Mason Crosby brought his season point total to 103 points, his sixth straight 100-point season. That is the second most in franchise history behind only Ryan Longwell (eight, 1997-2004).
– LB A.J. Hawk matched his career high with two sacks on the afternoon. He also registered two sacks at Detroit on Sept. 14, 2008.
– CB Sam Shields became the 15th different Packer this season to post a full sack, which ties the team record (1987).
– With an interception in the first quarter, Shields has posted an INT in three of the last four games he has played in this season.
– The Packers’ 460 total net yards against the Titans were a season high.
– Green Bay’s four rushing TDs on the afternoon were the most in a single game since the team posted five vs. Seattle on Dec. 27, 2009.
– The Packers’ seven sacks vs. the Titans matched Green Bay’s season high (seven vs. Chicago in Week 2).
GREEN BAY PACKERS HEAD COACH MIKE McCARTHY:
(opening statement) “Very convincing victory for our football team today. Very pleased with how all three phases played. I’ll start with the defense. I thought we were dominant for the second week in a row, playing off of last week’s performance in Chicago. Today to sack the quarterback seven times, stop the run… I just really like the way our defense is playing. So many different guys contributing. Going onto special teams, I thought we covered very well and had good production in the return game. I haven’t seen the statistics, but I would think we won the field position battle. Turnover ratio was also a big factor for us, particularly and in the first half and the points that came off of the turnover ratio. Offensively, I thought we had very good tempo and play selection at the line of scrimmage. I thought Aaron did an excellent job. The offense was obviously very productive. [In terms of] point production, we left a little bit on the field in the first half. The way we played in the third quarter was what we were looking for. Tennessee’s defense challenged us and I thought Aaron did a very good job taking what was there. I’m very pleased with the victory here at home. We have eleven wins and we’re looking forward to going up to Minnesota.”
(on how it feels to be able to say all three phases played well) “Well, frankly, what I talked about last night in the team meeting was the importance of winning this game for a number of different reasons. What was most important is how we were going to win today. It is important for us to go out and dominate opponents late in the year. We had momentum going for us, particularly what we’ve done over the last nine or 10 weeks. We wanted to take the next step as a football team and I felt that we were able to accomplish that today. I was proud of the fact that our guys locked in and played extremely well in all three phases.”
(on if today’s game is an indication of where the team needs to be) “We’ve definitely taken a step in that direction. This was an important momentum game for our football team and it’s important for us to finish off the season the right way. We’re 7-1 at home and we have an opportunity to go to Minnesota, who is also playing for a playoff spot. We’re focused on sweeping the division two years in a row, that’s what I’m looking at. Obviously, we have Christmas. The next two days our football team will be with their families, right where they should be. We’ll be locked in, ready to go on Wednesday and get ready for the Vikings.”
(on if the commitment to the running game is now paying off in the passing attack) “I think to have a balance of run and pass gives you more capabilities and a better reaction in the action passing game, whether it’s play action fakes or QB movements. The ability to move the quarterback around a number of times today, whether we hit the play or not… I thought that really helped to get Aaron out in space. It really stressed the contain elements and the force elements of the defense. That’s the way we want our offense to look and that’s the way we want to play. We want to have the ability to hit all the different concepts and the different play types as far as the way we throw and run the ball. I thought we did a good job of that today.”
(on whether or not the number two playoff seed is that much more important than the number three seed) “You play the best you can. Everything happens for a reason. We’re at 11 wins because of what we put into it and we’re going to take whatever opportunity is in front of us. We’re going to play to win next week. I hope Seattle wins tonight. That’d be great. If it doesn’t happen, that’s fine, too. I don’t get as caught up in what seed is better, one, two or three. I understand the history and the statistics and all that would tell you. But at the end of the day, you have to play your best football. For us to do that, we need to go to Minnesota and win. That’s really all we’re worried about. I would definitely prefer the two over the three seed, but the three seed is fine.”
PACKERS QUARTERBACK AARON RODGERS:
(on peaking at the right time and this game being an indication of it): “We are playing good right now, and we have strung some wins together. This was a good team effort, and offensively, we did a good job. We were six for seven in the red zone and made the most of those opportunities. Defensively, they dominated the game. We had a bunch of sacks, turnovers forced… and those put us in good situations early in the game, and gave us some short fields. We have to be playing like this in the playoffs and it was nice to get a win like this kind of going away.”
(on head coach Mike McCarthy wanting to run no-huddle this week): “We are trying to be an up-tempo team as much as we can. We wanted to raise the tempo, especially at home when we can communicate a little bit better than on the road. When you can have a good run-pass option, you can be very effective. They played a lot more one-high (defense) than we expected, so we threw the ball a little bit more. I missed some throws, but got it going in the second half.”
(on the difference with the way the team is playing now compared with earlier in the year): “Offensively, we have added a little bit more balance. We have run the ball for over 100 yards for a few weeks in a row now. We got 20 good carries out of Ryan (Grant) today; he ran the ball real well. DuJuan (Harris) is a good change-up for us. We have been sticking with that a little bit more. Today, we had more opportunities to throw the ball down the field because of the number of guys in the box. We have to be able to adjust quickly, whether it’s a game you have to stick with the run a little bit more or it’s a game we have to get the ball in the perimeter’s hands.”
(on Evan Dietrich-Smith at center) “I thought Evan did a good job. I’ve probably been one of his biggest supporters since he got here and I am proud of him in the way he has developed. He has a bright future in front of him. I would have to watch the film to see. I am not going to be grading him, but I would guess he did a really good job.”
(on his confidence in Dietrich-Smith on the quick touchdown pass to Greg Jennings in second half) “It was a situation where they were making some personnel switches and we were trying to get some tempo going. Thankfully, we had our guys lined up. I had to kind of look out to the right twice to make sure Greg (Jennings) was really standing by himself. Evan (Dietrich-Smith) did a good job and everyone did a good job of getting up on the line of scrimmage and snapping it quickly and making it work.”
(on the importance of the No. 2 seed in the playoffs over the No. 3 seed) “Either way, I think, if we are able to get that two-seed and a week off, it would probably help a couple of our injured guys. If not, a couple of years ago we went the distance playing every week and making that work. We will just wait and see. We will know for sure we will be no worse than a three-seed, depending on what happens next week.”
(on the risk of changing centers this late in the season) “That wasn’t part of my job this week. I didn’t do any risk assessment. We have a lot of confidence in Evan. The feel that I had out there was that he played pretty good. He is a tough competitor, he is smart, he has been around the system for a while and I think he’s, like I said, going to have a bright future with us.”
(on getting back on the same page with WR Greg Jennings) “I think it does take a little bit. I missed him on what was probably a touchdown pass in the second quarter; I overthrew him a little bit, and I was frustrated by that. He’s such a smooth route runner. He understands the game and he’s been around for a lot of football. We have played a lot of football together. He’s a big-time player. I said last week, I need to be more conscious about giving him more opportunities. I felt like I was doing that a little bit more today. I just missed him on a couple that probably should have hit him.”
(on his first-quarter touchdown run) “It was actually just a spread formation and I was looking at Donald (Driver) in the slot there. In the pre-snap, the linebacker to his side, I believe was Zach Brown, was inside of him pretty good, and I was just going to throw it to Donald and maybe he could split it for a touchdown. As I took my drop and looked that way, the linebacker flew and it just kind of opened up in the middle there. As I made my way up in there, I tried to give a token pump fake that didn’t work and tried to protect myself, and luckily, I was able to sneak in there.”
(on next week playing for the No. 2 seed compared to last year’s final games): “Last year we were able to relax that week. I might not do that again in my career, but it was nice for that and nice to get (Matt) Flynn some playing time. It will be a good game (at Minnesota), obviously a rivalry game with us and the Vikings. There are some other subplots with Adrian (Peterson), I’m not sure how close he is to the record, but I am sure they’ll be trying to get him the all-time yards record and they are trying to get in the playoffs. We can do a number of things next week, potentially clinch the No. 2 seed, keep them out of the playoffs, and I’m not sure if it’s possible, but try to hold AP under 2,105.”
PACKERS RUNNING BACK RYAN GRANT:
(on the win) “It felt good. Just to be able to win like that, it set the momentum we want going into this next phase of the year. You look at that performance by the offense, the defense, across the board, all three phases… that was what we wanted all week. We didn’t talk about stats, we talked about playing a type of football, our caliber of football.”
(on the game being so one-sided) “It’s pretty rare, especially in this league. The level of competition is high. Of course they get paid as well. You’re playing the game at its highest level. The majority of the time it doesn’t come out like that, but you can definitely build off this. It’s exciting.”
(on his two-touchdown performance) “It felt good to be able to get back into the end zone and help the team dominate the way we did.”
(on if he thought a day like today would have been possible a month ago) “This game is a funny game, a crazy game, so I don’t put anything past it.”
PACKERS LINEBACKER A.J. HAWK:
(on if the lopsided win builds confidence) “We always feel pretty confident, but I think we needed a game like this. We’ve had some hard-fought games that came down to the wire and we’ve had to find a way to pull them out. I think at halftime we were up 20-0 and (Head Coach Mike) McCarthy’s message was, ‘put them away.’ We’ve kind of had a problem with that in the past, especially last year. We wanted to make sure that didn’t happen today.”
(on the defense’s ability to get to the quarterback) “It was good. I think we were just causing them some problems, finding ways to pick it up. When you can do that and get some pressure like that, you’re going to have a good day.”
(on setting a Packers’ record for most players with a sack ) “We have so many young guys who are stepping up every week, making plays. Our depth is amazing. With all the injuries we’ve had, you need that kind of depth and our guys have done a really good job with that. It’s fun. I think (Defensive Coordinator Dom Capers) is sitting up there knowing he can call anyone’s number at any time.”
PACKERS WIDE RECEIVER JAMES JONES:
(on scoring 55 points) “It’s good. You want to score 50 every game, but it doesn’t happen that way. They played us a lot of one high. A lot of teams have been playing a lot of cover two against us. They came in here and challenged us playing one high and we took advantage of it.”
(on if this is what he expects out of the offense each week) “We’ve got the people in the locker room to do that type of stuff every game. Each game presents its own challenges and it’s not going to be like that, but we feel like every time we take the field we should score every time we get the ball.”
(on staying sharp the entire game) “It’s getting down to playoff football. We want to be at the peak. We want to be playing our best football. We’ve been practicing all week. We wanted a lot of plays and we wanted to go out there and try to put up as many points as we can and just get in a good rhythm heading into the playoffs.”
PACKERS CORNERBACK SAM SHIELDS:
(on not being complacent and staying hungry throughout today’s game) “It’s very important. We’re treating each game like a playoff game and that’s what we’ve got to continue to do throughout the playoffs and on to the Super Bowl. Starting fast and getting off the field on third downs is our main thing.”
(on looking ahead to facing the Minnesota Vikings and RB Adrian Peterson) “I respect Adrian Peterson a lot. He’s a great running back. That’s one of our focuses that we’ve got to stop. If we stop him, things will be good for our defense. He’s a big threat and we need to stop him.”
TENNESSEE TITANS HEAD COACH MIKE MUNCHAK:
(on the offense) “Obviously we didn’t play very well at all today against a team that I thought we would play much better against. On the offensive side of the ball, we struggled, turned the ball over and missed plays that were there for us. We lost confidence in what we were doing because of having a lot of different guys playing due to injuries. 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 football team at home.”
(on QB Jake Locker) “He needed to deal with the fact that he wasn’t playing well early. There wasn’t a lot of support and help around him either. The offense didn’t play well early and that set the tone.”
(on the defense) “It seemed like the defense held them to a couple of field goals early and then held up well when they were put in bad situations. In the second half, the dam broke and the Packers started to make plays on offense and started to frustrate our defense. The fact that we weren’t doing well on offense put the defense out there a lot and put them with a short field a couple of times. Then all of a sudden you saw us miss some tackles, Rodgers was getting the ball out of his hands quickly and they took advantage of our frustration.”
(on if his team quit today) “It wasn’t pretty, but I think it is really hard to tell or say if anyone was quitting. I don’t think that at all. I never have and I never will. That is a pretty tough statement to say. By no means did we play our best. I look at it more of that we had a lot of frustration that made us not make good decisions more so than someone thinking that they won’t play as hard. Playing hard wasn’t the problem. It was more not playing smart and then letting frustration get the better of us.”
TITANS QUARTERBACK JAKE LOCKER:
(on his two interceptions) “We had guys open. The first interception was just unfortunate. I wasn’t able to get it out there like I wanted to. The second one was a little bit of a miscommunication. I was doing one thing and he was doing another and it ended up bad for us.”
(on the offense) “You have to make plays to beat a team like this. I thought that we had a great week of practice and that we prepared the right way. For one reason or another, we didn’t execute the way we needed to. It wasn’t good enough today.”
(on being blown out) “It is tough. It is never easy to lose, especially like this. You just have to keep working and find ways to overcome it and get better. There are a bunch of things that you can point to today, but it just seemed like that there were a lot of opportunities that we didn’t capitalize on today.”
TITANS SAFETY JORDAN BABINEAUX:
(on what the Packers did to them offensively) “They are a really good football team, and they are a playoff team for a reason. Their quarterback is what makes their offense go, and they have some good players at the skill positions. They had success staying on the field, and we didn’t.”
(on coming in this week after a win last week) “We certainly felt good about last week’s performance. Coming in here in a hostile environment, we knew exactly what we were up against, and in order to beat this football team, you have to darn near play a perfect game.”
(on how to move past this game and get to the season finale against Jacksonville) “Enjoy Christmas, that’s what you do.”
TITANS WIDE RECEIVER KENNY BRITT:
(on the struggles of QB Jake Locker) “It was a hard time for all of us out there. I can’t just put it all out there on the quarterback because we have a hurt O-line and we can’t get the ball off. Some of the times when he does get the ball off, he’s got somebody in his face or he’s getting hit.”
(on if the team is improving) “We’re coming together. We’re still a young team and I think we are getting better each and every week. You can tell that by the practice, even though you can’t tell it on the field. We got some guys injured and we couldn’t really get things going, so that really hurt us today.”
(on if the team was building momentum after last week’s win) “We definitely thought we had some momentum and had some good plays coming in. We knew we had some guys up front that were hurt, but being down
14-0, really didn’t hurt our pride because we knew we could make a comeback. We’re a professional team and we should be able to come back with a score like that.”
TITANS RUNNING BACK CHRIS JOHNSON:
(on how tough this loss is to take) “It’s really tough. It seems like the trend all year is we either do good or we do really bad, and that’s something that has to change.”
(on if the team had a good week of practice coming in) “I thought we had a good week. I thought it would be a way better game than this, but it just didn’t turn out. We just need to execute. The coaches can’t go out there and play for us. Whatever plays they decide to call, we have to make the most out of that play.
(on if the team quit today) “I don’t think anybody quit, I just think they came out there and were the better team today. They showed it out there, they executed, they played and stepped up on defense and they executed in all phases of the game.”
TITANS CENTER FERNANDO VELASCO:
(on if the shuffling of the offensive line affected the play up front) “I don’t want to use that as an excuse, because we’re all pros. Our coaches did a good job of getting everybody reps, so that isn’t an excuse. We just have to execute.”
(on the preparation going into this game) “The preparation was good, everybody was upbeat and in a good mood. We thought we had a great plan coming here and we all thought we had a good chance to come out of here with a victory.”
Tags: #TENvsGB, post-game notes & quotes, tennessee titans
Posted in Packers.com Blog
GREEN BAY–The Packers are a red-hot team heading into their final game of the regular season, following a 55-0 win over the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.
Aaron Rodgers threw for 342 yards, three touchdowns and a 125.1 passer rating, before being replaced in the fourth quarter by Graham Harrell. Rodgers opened the scoring with a 6-yard touchdown run. His touchdown passes were caught by Randall Cobb, Greg Jennings and James Jones. DuJuan Harris rushed for a touchdown and Ryan Grant broke the stripe twice.
At 11-4, the Packers await Sunday night’s game between the 49ers and Seahawks. A Seahawks win would put the Packers in position to clinch the NFC’s No. 2 playoff seed next week in Minnesota. The win over the over-matched Titans is the Packers’ ninth in the last 10 games.
Titans quarterback Jake Locker was sacked seven times, held to 140 yards passing, most of which came at garbage time, and was intercepted twice (Sam Shields and Erik Walden) by a Packers defense that left Locker with a 41.0 passer rating. It was also encouraging that kicker Mason Crosby, mired in a long slump, converted both of his field goal attempts, though the second one, from 46 yards, glanced over the right upright before going over the crossbar.
The lone bad news for the Packers was an ankle injury Cobb sustained in the third quarter. Should his injury be of any significance, it would be another reason to root for the Seahawks against the 49ers, which would put the Packers in position to win a bye for the first week of the playoffs.
Green Bay gained 28 first downs to the Titans’ 10, and 462 yards to the Titans’ 180. The win marked the Packers’ 20th win in their last 21 games at Lambeau Field.
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GREEN BAY–Aaron Rodgers threw for a touchdown and ran for another, and Mason Crosby was good on both of his field goal attempts, as the Packers took a 20-0 lead into halftime of today’s game against the Tennessee Titans at Lambeau Field.
The Packers jumped out to an early lead, as Rodgers capped a six-play, 56-yard drive with a 6-yard touchdown run, and then followed with a 20-yard scoring strike to Randall Cobb that was the third play in a 43-yard drive.
Crosby increased the Packers’ lead to 17-0 with a 26-yard field goal early in the second quarter. His second field goal was more exciting. It was good fron 46 yards but only after bouncing off the right upright and over the crossbar.
Tennessee’s offense posted anemic totals. Quarterback Jake Locker threw for only 35 yards and was intercepted twice, once by Sam Shields and then by Erik Walden.
Rodgers completed 15 of 25 passes for 152 yards, and Ryan Grant rushed for 47 yards.
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As Packers.com’s Mike Spofford mentioned in his Friday story, Evan Dietrich-Smith is taking over at center for Jeff Saturday for Sunday’s game against Tennessee. Ryan Grant will also get the start at running back in place of Alex Green, who is still recovering from a concussion. The following players have been declared as inactive for today’s Green Bay Packers-Tennessee Titans game at Lambeau Field.
Green Bay Packers
20 RB Alex Green
21 DB Charles Woodson
44 RB James Starks
83 TE Tom Crabtree
87 WR Jordy Nelson
98 DE C.J. Wilson
99 DE Jerel Worthy
Starting lineup changes: On offense, #89 James Jones will start at wide receiver for #87 Jordy Nelson. #25 Ryan Grant will start at running back for #20 Alex Green. #62 Evan Dietrich-Smith will start at center for #63 Jeff Saturday. On defense, #96 Mike Neal will start in place of #98 C.J. Wilson at right defensive end.
11 QB Rusty Smith
13 WR Kendall Wright
29 CB Ryan Mouton
52 LB Colin McCarthy
60 C Kevin Matthews
66 T Mike Otto
90 DE Scott Solomon
Starting lineup changes: On offense, #67 Mitch Petrus will start at LG for #61 Fernando Velasco. Velasco will start at C for #62 Kyle DeVan. #68 Byron Stingily will start at RT for #66 Mike Otto. On defense, #59 Tim Shaw will start at MLB for #52 Colin McCarthy.
Tags: #TENvsGB, evan dietrich-smith, inactives, tennessee titans
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