- Entering Week 16, Tennessee (436) and Green Bay (434) both ranked in the top three in the NFL in total points scored
Tennessee heads to Lambeau Field for a December night game where at least some snow is expected on the frozen tundra. On paper, this game profiles as a shootout, and the game’s massive total reflects those team trends more than any concern about the weather. The Titans entered Week 16 as the NFL’s top-scoring team, with the Packers just two points behind them. And both of these defenses have shown weaknesses in the area the opposing offense likes to attack.
The Titans are a ground team, and they’re sure to lean on Derrick Henry as much as ever in a cold weather setting. Henry has been on a tear of late, while the Packers have been gashed by teams that have stayed in games with them long enough to stick with the running game. The Packers defense ranks 21st in success rate against the run, and though they defend the air better, Tennessee’s play-action heavy passing attack builds off its successful running game in a way that creates big plays and is tough for any team to cover.
Green Bay meanwhile prefers to attack through the air. Aaron Rodgers’ stretch of one ridiculous stat line after another came to an end last week in a comfortable win over Carolina, as Aaron Jones ran roughshod over an overmatched Panthers defense. But the Titans rank 30th in success rate against the pass, and Rodgers is likely in for another high-level performance, regardless of what the elements throw at him.
Of course, the Packers do have Jones to fall back on, and with Jamaal Williams doubtful, Jones could be in for a big workload. The Packers somewhat confusingly limit Jones to a rotation as they work in the less explosive Williams, but after Williams left Week 15 early, Jones played a 90% snap share, well above his previous season high of 71%. Jones is clearly one of the Packers’ top playmakers, and because Green Bay doesn’t seem to trust rookie AJ Dillon to the same degree as Williams, we’re likely to get a more optimal personnel rotation from Green Bay that features plenty of Jones.
Despite the weather, I fully trust these two offenses will find success and put up points. But the high total is a tough sell when we don’t quite know how much the elements could come into play. Instead, I’m looking to the spread, where the Packers are favored by three. That’s your standard home field advantage for two teams that match up reasonably similarly, but Aaron Rodgers at home in a snowy Lambeau Field isn’t your standard setup. The Packers are 6-1 at home this season, and after last week, Rodgers could use a huge showing to make a case for his third career MVP award. A snowy atmosphere might seem to favor Henry and the Titans’ ground game, but I’m on the Packers covering the field goal.
NFL Expert Picks
Packers -3 @ -110
NFL Free Picks
Sunday sees a number of matches with playoff implications, the Rams @ Seahawks being the most important. We'll also see the Jets and Jaguars play, with fans of the New Yorkers praying that Jacksonville wins and puts them back in the hotseat for Trevor Lawrence. The Titans face the Green Bay Packers on Sunday Night Football. Monday's game is a dead rubber in all reality, as the Bills travel to play the Patriots, with New England officially out of playoff contention.
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