Titans at Packers
The Green Bay Packers are getting hot at the right time and look like one of the more dangerous teams in the NFC heading toward the playoffs. The Packers will be trying to position themselves for a first-round bye when they host the Tennessee Titans on Sunday. Green Bay locked up the NFC North with a win over the Chicago Bears last week but still sit a half-game back of the San Francisco 49ers for the No. 2 seed.
The Titans snapped a three-game slide with a 14-10 win over the New York Jets on Monday but struggled to get much going on offense aside from Chris Johnson's long touchdown run. Tennessee has averaged 16.5 points in its last four games. The Titans will likely need more than that to keep up with the Packers and quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who is coming off a three-touchdown performance. Rodgers has thrown 32 touchdowns and just eight interceptions in 2012.
TV: 1 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Packers -12.5, O/U 46
ABOUT THE TITANS (5-9): Quarterback Jake Locker has not been asked to carry the offense but has still made his share of mistakes. The second-year starter totaled seven interceptions during the three-game slide and is running even on the season with nine TDs and nine picks. Johnson broke loose for a 94-yard touchdown on Monday but managed only 28 yards on his other 20 carries as the defense loaded the box. His 122-yard performance did snap a string of three straight games under 100 yards, not coincidentally three losses. The Titans’ defense has stepped up of late. After yielding 34.2 points through the first nine games, Tennessee has held its last five opponents to an average of 17.6.
ABOUT THE PACKERS (10-4): Green Bay was a wild card team when it won the Super Bowl two years ago and lost as the top seed last season. Even so, the Packers are fighting for the first-round bye and home-field advantage in the second round. Green Bay will have to play hard to the finish line in order to keep that possibility alive, something it neglected to do last season. The Packers have to travel to Minnesota for the regular-season finale next week and play a Vikings team that could be fighting for a wild card spot. Rodgers, who sat out last season’s finale, might not have Jordy Nelson (hamstring) available in the passing game this week but should have Greg Jennings and James Jones, who caught all three of Rodgers’ TD passes against the Bears.
1. Jennings made headlines on Tuesday when he said he will likely not be back with Green Bay next season. The emergence of Jones, Nelson and Randall Cobb has made Jennings expendable.
2. Tennessee has taken three straight in the series, with the last win coming on Nov. 2, 2008.
3. WR-KR Cobb is aiming to become the first player in NFL history with 1,000 yards receiving (892) and returning (964).