Key to the Game; Noteworthy Numbers

Packer Report takes a quick-hitting look at the Packers' 55-7 thumping of the Titans at Lambeau Field on Sunday. The key to the game wasn't merely the play at quarterback but the supporting casts surrounding the men pulling the trigger in the passing game.

Packer Report reviews the Green Bay Packers' 55-7 victory over the Tennessee Titans on Sunday at Lambeau Field.

Key to the game

Maybe, chalk this victory up to Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy for their draft-and-develop approach to personnel.

The Packers have been hit harder than most teams with injuries. And yet, playing large stretches of the season without Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, Clay Matthews, Charles Woodson and others, they entered this game with a 10-4 record, three consecutive wins and eight victories in their last nine games.

The Titans have been slammed by injuries, as well. Four of their five offensive line starters are on injured reserve. They started their fourth center of the season. The Titans, however, have not been able to overcome the injuries. If not for the Jets' overwhelming incompetence, Tennessee would have entered Lambeau Field with a five-game losing streak.

What's the difference?

The Packers have been able to overcome those injuries because of the depth on the roster and, of course, because Thompson hit a home run by using the 24th selection of the 2005 draft on quarterback Aaron Rodgers. The Titans didn't have a prayer on Sunday because they lack the playmakers around running back Chris Johnson and, at this point, they blew it by using the eighth pick of the 2011 draft on quarterback Jake Locker.

To be fair, most quarterbacks would struggle behind that offensive line. Defensive coordinator Dom Capers blitzed again and again and again and the Titans never found an answer. Locker finished 13-of-30 for 140 yards. Even those numbers were inflated.

Rodgers, on the other hand, wins with whoever joins him on the field, including his third right tackle and two running backs who weren't on the roster a month ago. Rodgers led the injury-plagued 2010 team to the championship and has the 2012 team pointed in that direction.

And that is the reason why quarterbacks deserve all the credit they receive.

Noteworthy numbers

1: Penalty by the Packers, matching their best figure of the season against Arizona on Nov. 18. In the five games since then, the Packers were guilty of nine, eight, 10, seven and eight infractions. Green Bay entered the game tied for 16th with 96 penalties, or 6.9 per game.

4: Number of third-down conversions by the Titans. Bizarrely, the Titans went 4-for-15 (26.7 percent) while the Packers went 2-for-11 (18.2 percent). Tennessee failed to get a first down on seven of 14 possessions and moved the chains just seven times on their first 13 possessions.

5: Games in which the Packers have allowed less than 120 net passing yards, breaking a tie with San Francisco and Seattle for tops in the league. The Packers allowed 101 on Sunday (140 passing yards minus 39 yards for sacks).

7: Sacks by the Packers' defense, tying a season high achieved in Week 2 against punching bag Jay Cutler.

8: Games in their last nine in which the Packers have allowed 20 or fewer points, including five games with 17 or less. If you're into parallels: In 2010, the Packers held seven of their last nine opponents to 17 or less.

8: Consecutive seasons in which the Packers won their regular-season home finale, and they're 20-1 in home finales over the past 21 seasons.

13: Touchdown catches by James Jones, tops in the NFL. That's tied for fifth in Packers history behind Sterling Sharpe (18 in 1994), Don Hutson (17, 1942), Jordy Nelson (15, 2011) and tied with Billy Howton (1952), Sharpe (1992) and Robert Brooks (1995).

15: Packers defenders with at least one full sack, with Sam Shields joining the club in the fourth quarter. That tied the team record established in 1987.

48: Net passing yards by Locker and the Titans' passing "attack" until their final drive of the game.

80: Touchdown passes by Aaron Rodgers over the past two seasons, the second-most in NFL history behind Drew Brees, who has 85 scoring passes over the same 2011 and 2012 seasons.


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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.


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