Packers trounce Titans in 55-7 routWisconsin Sports
-- The Green Bay Packers would clinch a first-round playoff bye with a victory at Minnesota next Sunday. The Packers locked up the NFC’s No. 3 playoff seed with a 55-7 thrashing of Tennessee yesterday at Lambeau Field. Then last night, the Packers moved a half-game ahead of San Francisco for the Number-two seed, after the 49’ers got crushed at Seattle 42-13.
GREEN BAY - The Green Bay Packers would clinch a first-round playoff bye with a victory at Minnesota next Sunday. The Packers locked up the NFC’s No. 3 playoff seed with a 55-7 thrashing of Tennessee yesterday at Lambeau Field. Then last night, the Packers moved a half-game ahead of San Francisco for the Number-two seed, after the 49’ers got crushed at Seattle 42-13.
The Packers’ victory was the ninth in their last 10 games, and they improved to 11-4. The only negative for Green Bay was the ankle injury suffered by receiver Randall Cobb while returning a punt in the third quarter. Head Coach Mike McCarthy could not say how serious the injury was – but he’s hoping it’s not bad. Cobb caught one of Aaron Rodgers’ three touchdown passes before he left. Rodgers had 342 passing yards, and he ran for 11 yards and a score before being relieved by Graham Harrell for much of the fourth quarter. Green Bay racked up 50-plus points for only the second time since 1983 – and they were just two short of the team record of 57 set in 1945.
Cobb broke the Packers’ all-time single season yardage record, with two-thousand-342 receiving, rushing, and return yards. Ahman Green had the previous mark of 2,250. Ryan Grant ran for 80 yards and two touchdowns, and Mason Crosby made both his field goal attempts of 48 and 26 yards. The Packer defense sacked Titans' rookie quarterback Jake Locker seven times and forced two interceptions – while Green Bay had a clean game with no turnovers and just one 10-yard penalty. The Packers blew the shutout late in the fourth quarter, when Locker threw a two-yard scoring strike to Kenny Britt with 1:39 left. Locker threw for 140 yards. Chris Johnson had 11 carries for 28 yards, and Damian Williams caught three passes for 39 yards as the Titans dropped to 5-and-10. James Jones had seven catches for 100 yards and a score for the Packers. A.J. Hawk had two of the seven sacks on Locker. Green Bay had 460 total yards to Tennessee's 180, and the Pack held the ball about nine minutes longer. The Packers have won four straight.
Next Sunday’s Packer game at Minnesota has been moved to the late afternoon slot, with a 3:25 p.m. kickoff. It was supposed to begin at noon – but the NFL and Fox decided last night to show it to a larger national audience, because of its post-season implications. A win by the Packers would give them the Number-two seed and a first-round bye in the NFC playoffs. Also, the Vikings remain in the hunt for a Wild Card spot at 9-6.
Both Minnesota and Chicago kept their playoff hopes alive with victories yesterday. The Vikings topped the Texans in Houston 23-6, while the Bears won at Arizona 28-13. Both teams are now 9-6 – and they would need to at least win next week to join Green Bay in the post-season. The Vikings hold the final Wild Card at the moment, after winning three-in-a-row. Adrian Peterson ran for 86 yards, ending his string of eight straight games with 100 yards or more. Christian Ponder threw for 174 yards and a touchdown. The AFC South champion Texans have lost two-of-their-last-three. The Chicago defense scored touchdowns on a fumble and an interception, as they halted a three-game skid against the Cardinals. Jay Cutler threw for 146 yards and a touchdown to Brandon Marshall. And Matt Forte ran for 88 yards and a score – but he left in the third quarter with an ankle injury and did not return.
Former University of Wisconsin quarterback Russell Wilson threw four touchdown passes in Seattle’s 42-to-13 home pounding of San Francisco. He completed 15-of-21 for 171 yards. Wilson said he’s getting more comfortable with his reads – and the Seahawks’ offensive line has been playing great. Seattle improved to 10-5, and can win the NFC West title next Sunday with a win over Saint Louis and a San Francisco loss to Arizona.