Aaron Rodgers Is Now Highest-Paid Player In NFL History
The Green Bay Packers signed their franchise quarterback Friday to a five-year contract extension through the 2019 season. The deal, according to an anonymous source, is worth as much as $110 million, with $40 million guaranteed says the AP.
Rodgers has two seasons remaining on his current deal for a total of roughly $20 million. So this is essentially a seven-year contract, which means Rodgers will be the highest-paid player in NFL history, with an average annual salary of $22 million over those five seasons.
“I’m excited to know my future is here and I’ll be here for a lot longer,” Rodgers said inside the locker room at Lambeau Field.
Rodgers will be 36 when the deal ends. He said he thinks he has at least eight years left in his legs and his body, when asked if wondered if this would be his last contract.
“A lot of times you don’t see a deal all the way through if you’re playing well. It’s just the nature of some of these contracts. That’s a long way off. In order to even get to that conversation, it’s going to take many years in a row at a consistently high level of play for me, which I expect to do,” Rodgers said. “And I’m going to get myself in the best shape mentally and physically to do that, and hopefully we can have that conversation in seven years where I can still play and maybe we can keep this thing going.”
Donald Driver To Announce Retirement
Driver is set to announce it next Wednesday, Feb. 6, at 11 a.m. at the Lambeau Field Atrium
The team is making the announcement an event, open to fans, for free. A limited number of tickets, free of charge, will be available on a first-come, first-served basis in person at the Packers’ ticket office, beginning at 9 a.m. Friday, Feb. 1. Distribution will be limited to four tickets per person.
Driver is Green Bay’s all-time leading receiver in receptions and yards and a member of the Super Bowl XLV championship team.
“I played my entire career in Green Bay and have always enjoyed a special bond with the fans,” Driver said in the statement. “I can think of no better way to retire than to celebrate with them and the Packers organization.”
Packers president/CEO Mark Murphy, general manager Ted Thompson and coach Mike McCarthy will be in attendance. All three will speak about Driver, his career and his legacy.
NFL Divisional Round odds: Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers
The Packers and 49ers opened the year on Kickoff Weekend and will meet for the sixth time in the postseason. Green Bay has won four of the previous five meetings in the playoffs – most recently in 2001 – yet San Francisco defeated the Packers in Week 1 by a 30-22 score at Lambeau Field. Alex Smith, now on the bench, was 20 of 26 for 211 yards and two touchdowns while Frank Gore rushed for 112 yards and a touchdown. Aaron Rodgers finished 30 of 44 for 303 yards with two touchdowns and an interception, but the 49ers held him in check until late the in the game. Jermichael Finley had a 1-yard touchdown for the Packers.
he Packers dropped back to pass (including sacks and scrambles) on 52 of their 61 plays (85 percent) against the 49ers in Week 1 this season, including 84 percent of the 31 plays with the score within eight points. Both rates were the highest for the Packers since Rodgers became the starter in 2008. The Packers didn’t use a running back on 31 plays in Week 1, dropping back to pass on every one of those plays. Although Rodgers had his best success passing in the game from those sets, the lack of balance hurt the Packers. Green Bay is 2-14 when dropping back to pass at least 70 05percent of the time since 2008 (85 percent in Week 1 this season).
Green Bay defeated the division-rival Minnesota Vikings 24-10 in a Wild Card matchup last weekend behind Rodgers’ 274 yards and 104.9 passer rating. Rodgers, who hails from Chico, California, will make his first ever start in San Francisco. He enters the game with the highest postseason passer rating (105.4) in league history, including 16 touchdown passes and only four interceptions.
San Francisco will host a Divisional round game for the second consecutive year. The 49ers led the NFL with nine players selected to the Pro Bowl: linebacker Navorro Bowman, safety Dashon Goldson, running back Frank Gore, guard Mike Iupati, linebacker Aldon Smith, defensive tackle Justin Smith, tackle Joe Staley, safety Donte Whitner & linebacker Patrick Willis.
“We lost the NFC Championship Game at home last year,” says Whitner. “We want to take that next step this year and that’s our goal. We want to win the first playoff game, win the second and then go to the Super Bowl. We feel like we’re a top team in the NFL.”
The Packers sent five or more pass rushers 40 percent of the time in the regular season (fourth highest), including 46 percent of the time against the 49ers in Week 1. Smith completed 11-of-12 attempts against such pressure in the game and a league high 73 percent for the season. Colin Kaepernick’s 57 completion percentage was the 20th-highest in the league this season.
WAGERWEB.COM OPENING ODDS: 49ers -3 (44.5). Check our current odds.
PACKERS NOTES: Have won 13 NFL championships, most all-time. Team’s .638 postseason winning pct. (30-17) is best in NFL history. Club has 30 playoff wins, 3rd most in NFL annals. Team’s 28th playoff appearance, 3rd most in NFL history. Won division for 20th time in team history. Packers had 3 players selected to Pro Bowl: LB CLAY MATTHEWS (4th), QB AARON RODGERS (3rd) & C JEFF SATURDAY (6th) … QB Rodgers led NFL (108.0) in passer rating for 2nd season in row. Has 100+ rating in 4 consecutive seasons & joined HOFer STEVE YOUNG (1991-94) as only QBs to accomplish feat. Has 105.4 postseason rating, highest in NFL history. His 1.58 INT pct. (4 INTs, 253 att.) is 3rd lowest in NFL postseason annals. In career, incl. playoffs, Packers are 29-2 (.935) when Rodgers starts & has 115+ rating. Hails from Chico, CA & makes 1st career start at SF. In 3 starts vs. SF, has 109.4 rating…RB DU JUAN HARRIS had 100 scrimmage yards & TD in WC. FB JOHN KUHN had rush & rec. TD last week, 2nd career postseason game with rush & rec. TD. RB RYAN GRANT holds franchise single-game playoff records with 201 rush yards & 3 rush TDs (Div., 1/12/08 vs. Sea.) … WR-PR-KR RANDALL COBB is 1st player in NFL history with 900+ KR (964) & 900+ rec. (954) yards in same season. Led team with career-high 80 catches & 954 yards. Had 75-yard PR-TD in Week 1. WR JAMES JONES led NFL with career-high 14 rec. TDs, tied for 4th most in season in team history. Had TD in last meeting. WR GREG JENNINGS has 5 rec. TDs in postseason career, tied for 2nd most in team history. Since 2011 (incl. playoffs), WR JORDY NELSON is 2nd among NFL WRs with 22 rec. TDs. Jones is tied for 3rd among WRs with 21 TDs during that span. TE JERMICHAEL FINLEY had 61 catches, most in season by TE in team history. Had TD in Week 1 … LB Matthews had team-best 13 sacks & has 10+ sacks in 3 of 4 career seasons. Had 2 sacks, FF & FR in WC. In 7 career postseason games, has 6.5 sacks, 3 FFs & 3 FRs. Had 2.5 sacks in Week 1. CB CASEY HAYWARD led NFL rookies with 6 INTs, tied for 5th most by rookie in team history. Had team-high 21 PD. S MORGAN BURNETT led team with 122 tackles. LB A.J. HAWK ranked 2nd (120). CB TRAMON WILLIAMS has 15 INTs, tied for 2nd most in NFL since 2010 (incl. playoffs). Since joining GB in 2006 (incl. playoffs), CB CHARLES WOODSON has 38 INTs (3rd in NFL) & 9 INT-TDs (1st in NFL). Had 1.5 sacks & FF in last meeting. CB SAM SHIELDS had INT last week & has INT in 4 of past 6.
49ERS NOTES: Have won NFL-best 16 division titles since 1980. JIM HARBAUGH is 8th head coach since 1970 to win division title in each of 1st 2 NFL seasons. Team is 13-8 (.619) in Divisional Round. 49ers led NFL with 9 players selected to Pro Bowl: LB NA VORRO BOWMAN (1st), S DASHON GOLDSON (2nd), RB FRANK GORE (4th), G MIKE IUPATI (1st), LB ALDON SMITH (1st), DT JUSTIN SMITH (4th), T JOE STALEY (2nd), S DONTE WHITNER (1st) & LB PATRICK WILLIS (6th) … QB COLIN KAEPERNICK is 5-2 (.714) as starter, incl. 3-0 at home. In 7 starts, has 99.9 passer rating with 10 TDs vs. 3 INTs. In 3 home starts, has 116 passer rating & has 100+ rating in all 3 games … RB Gore rushed for 1,214 yards, his team-record 6th 1,000-yard season. Is franchise leader with 8,839 career rush yards & 51 career rush TDs. Rushed for 112 yards & TD in Week 1. Has TD in all 3 meetings vs. GB…WR MICHAEL CRABTREE had career-high 85 catches, 1,105 yards & 9 TDs. In past 3, has 19 catches for 344 yards (114.7 per game) & 4 TDs. Had TD catch in last year’s Div. Playoff. TE VERNON DAVIS has 10 catches for 292 yards (146 per game) & 4 TDs in 2 career playoff games. Aims for 3rd postseason game in row with 100+ yards & 2+ TDs. In playoffs, averages 29.2 yards per catch. Since 2009 (incl. playoffs), leads NFC TEs with 35 TDs. Has TD in all 4 career games vs. GB. In those 4, has 16 catches for 351 yards (21.9 avg.) & 4 TDs. WR RANDY MOSS has 10 rec. TDs in playoff career, tied for 3rd most in NFL postseason history. Needs 2 rec. TDs in playoffs to tie HOFer JOHN STALLWORTH (12) for 2nd. In 16 games vs. GB (incl. playoffs), has 77 catches for 1,390 yards (18.1 avg.) & 16 TDs. Aims for 9th in row vs. GB (incl. playoffs) with TD … Team had 16 giveaways, tied for 2nd fewest in NFL … 49ers led NFC in total defense (294.4 yards per game) & pass defense (200.2). Ranked 2nd in run defense (94.2). LB Aldon Smith has 33.5 sacks, most by player in 1st 2 seasons. Led NFC with team-record 19.5 sacks. Has 15 sacks in past 10. Has 10.5 sacks in past 5 at home. Has sack in both career playoff games. LB Bowman led team with 144 tackles. Had 24 tackles in 2 playoff games last year. Had INT in Week 1. LB Willis ranked 2nd on team with 120 tackles. Had sack in last playoff game. Has been selected to Pro Bowl in each of 1st 6 seasons. DT Justin Smith had sack in both playoff games last year. DT RAY MC DONALD had 2.5 sacks in last playoff game. S Goldson had 41-yard INT in last year’s Div. Playoff. CB CARLOS ROGERS had sack in Week 1 meeting.
WAGERWEB.COM TRENDS: Packers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 playoff games. Packers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games in January. Packers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall. Packers are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 games after allowing more than 150 yards rushing in their previous game. Packers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 playoff road games. 49ers are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 Saturday games. 49ers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 home games vs. a team with a winning road record. 49ers are 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 playoff home games. 49ers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 playoff games.
Saturday NFL wild-card odds: Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers
The NFC North rival Vikings (10-6), the conference’s No. 6 seed, and division champion Packers (11-5), the NFC’s No. 3 seed, will face off – this time at Lambeau Field. The teams split during the regular season, with Green Bay winning 23-14 at home in early December and the Vikings winning a thriller 37-34 last Sunday.
While the division foes meet in the playoffs for only the second time (2004 Wild Card), both have frequented the NFL’s second season as the Packers (46) and Vikings (45) rank fourth and fifth, respectively, for most postseason games all-time. With a 29-17 record, Green Bay also owns the league’s top postseason winning percentage (.630) and can become the third team in league annals (Dallas and Pittsburgh each have 33) with 30 playoff victories.
The Packers are led by quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who finished the season with the league’s top passer rating (108.0) and possesses the highest passer rating (105.5) in NFL postseason history. Rodgers has passed for more yards (2,840) and touchdowns (24) against Minnesota than any other opponent.
Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, who rushed for 199 yards and two touchdowns last week and tied Hall of Famer Earl Campbell (1980) for the most 150-yard games (seven) in a season in league history, registered 2,097 rushing yards in 2012, the second-most in a season in NFL history. In 12 career games against Green Bay, Peterson has 1,442 rushing yards (120.2 per game), his most against any opponent.
Peterson averaged 13.7 yards per rush outside the tackles against the Packers this season, picking up 36.5 percent of his total yardage on such runs for the season against Green Bay. The Packers allowed 7.0 yards per rush outside the tackles overall this season, second worst in the NFL.
Peterson’s amazing game in Week 17 against Green Bay propelled the Vikings into the postseason and left him 9 yards short of Eric Dickerson’s single-season rushing record. Peterson also rushed for 210 yards in the Packers’ Week 13 win. Including receptions, Peterson has averaged 7.4 yards per touch against the Packers this year. He runs smarter than ever with a great ability to set up defenders. He has rare abilities after first contact and has gotten more potent as an outside runner than he was early in the year. Not only is Peterson amazing, but his blockers have been superb, including fullbacks, tight ends and even wide receivers. The Vikings are one of the few teams that feature a blocking fullback. B.J. Raji has been playing extremely well of late and showed up huge last week for Green Bay. Getting Raji blocked will be of paramount importance.
“It’s playoff football,” says Packers head coach Mike McCarthy. “The door is open for the playoffs to begin. We’re one of six NFC teams with the opportunity to go to New Orleans. That’s what we’re focused on. This is the time of year we live for and work for. Our players know what this is all about. It’s the playoffs.”
From 1961 through the 2002 postseason, the Packers went 12-0 in home playoff games. From 2003 through the present, the Packers have gone 2-4 in home playoff games. And 1-3 in their last 4 home playoff games.
WAGERWEB.COM OPENING ODDS: Packers -9 (46). Check our current lines.
VIKINGS NOTES: Are participating in playoffs for 27th time in franchise history. Won final 4 games of regular season. Had 4 players selected to Pro Bowl: DE JARED ALLEN (5th), FB JEROME FELTON (1st), RB ADRIAN PETERSON (5th) & rookie K BLAIR WALSH (1st) … QB CHRISTIAN PONDER led team to 10 wins & passed for career-high 2,935 yards & 18 TDs. Had 4 games with 100+ rating. Has 0 INTs in past 3 games … RB Peterson rushed for 2,097 yards, 2nd most in season in NFL history & 9 yards shy of breaking HOFer ERIC DICKERSON’s record (2,105 in 1984). Had 7 games with 150+ rush yards, tied with HOFer EARL CAMPBELL (1980) for most in season. Has rushed for 1,598 yards (159.8 per game) & 10 TDs in past 10. In 2 meetings in 2012 vs. GB, rushed for 409 yards (204.5 per game) & scored 3 TDs (2 rush, 1 rec.). Aims for 5th in row vs. GB with rush TD. Has 10 TDs (9 rush, 1 rec.) in past 10 meetings. Since entering NFL in 2007, leads league with 8,849 rush yards & 76 rush TDs. Has 5 rush TDs in 3 career postseason games. In last playoff game (NFC Champ, 1/24/10 vs. NO), rushed for 122 yards & 3 TDs … TE KYLE RUDOLPH led team with career-high 9 TD catches, 2nd most in franchise history by TE (VISANTHE SHIANCOE, 11 in 2009). Rudolph tied for 2nd in NFL among TEs with 9 rec. TDs. Also set career-highs in rec. (53) & yards (493). WR MICHAEL JENKINS had TD catch in Week 17 meeting. Ranked 3rd on team with 449 rec. yards & tied for 3rd with 40 receptions. Rookie WR JARIUS WRIGHT had 3 catches for career-best 90 yards (30.0 avg.) in Week 17 vs. GB, incl. career-long 65-yard catch & rec. TD … DE Allen led team with 12 sacks, his 6th consecutive 10+ sack season. Since entering NFL in 2004, has NFL-best 117 sacks. Has 15.5 sacks in past 9 vs. GB, incl. 5 games in row vs. Packers with sack. Has 3 sacks & 2 FFs in past 3 postseason games. DE EVERSON GRIFFEN had career-high 3 sacks in Week 17 meeting. Had career-best 8 sacks in 2012; entered season with 4 total sacks in career. Is 4th Viking in franchise history with 8+ sacks & INT-TD in season. LB CHAD GREENWAY led team with 148 tackles. CB ANTOINE WINFIELD led club with 12 PD & was 2nd on team with 100 tackles. Rookie S HARRISON SMITH tied for 3rd in NFL with 2 INT-TDs … K Walsh set NFL single-season record with 10 50+ yard FGs. Made 35 of 38 FGs (92.1 pct.) & all 10 50+ yard att. Scored 141 points, most by rookie in team history.
PACKERS NOTES: Have won 13 NFL championships, most all-time. Team’s .630 postseason winning pct. (29-17) is best in NFL history. Club has 29 playoff wins, 3rd most in NFL annals. Team makes 28th playoff appearance, 3rd most in NFL history. Won division for 20th time in team history. Packers had 3 players selected to Pro Bowl: LB CLAY MATTHEWS (4th), QB AARON RODGERS (3rd) & C JEFF SATURDAY (6th) … QB Rodgers led NFL (108.0) in passer rating for 2nd season in row. Has 100+ rating in 4 consecutive seasons & joined HOFer STEVE YOUNG (1991-94) as only QBs to accomplish feat. Has 105.5 postseason rating, highest in NFL history. His 1.82 INT pct. (4 INTs, 220 att.) is 3rd lowest in NFL postseason annals. In 10 career starts vs. Min., Rodgers has 24 TDs, 4 INTs & 116.4 rating. In career, incl. playoffs, Packers are 29-2 (.935) when Rodgers starts & has 115+ rating … RB DU JUAN HARRIS rushed for career-high 70 yards in Week 17 vs. Min. RB RYAN GRANT holds franchise single-game playoff records with 201 rush yards & 3 rush TDs (Div., 1/12/08 vs. Sea.) … WR-PR-KR RANDALL COBB is 1st player in NFL history with 900+ KR (964) & 900+ rec. (954) yards in same season. Led team with career-high 80 catches & 954 yards. WR JAMES JONES led NFL with career-high 14 rec. TDs, tied for 4th most in season in team history. Had 5 TDs in final 3 games of season. Aims for 3rd in row vs. Min. with TD catch. WR GREG JENNINGS has 9 TDs in past 7 vs. Min., incl. 8 catches for 120 yards & 2 TDs in Week 17. Has 5 rec. TDs in postseason career, tied for 2nd most in team history. WR JORDY NELSON has 3 TDs in past 3 meetings. Since 2011, Nelson leads NFL WRs with 22 rec. TDs. Jones is tied for 2nd among WRs with 21 TDs during that span. TE JERMICHAEL FINLEY had 61 catches, most in season by TE in team history. In 2 career playoff games, has 10 catches for 196 yards (98 per game) … LB Matthews had team-best 13 sacks & has 10+ sacks in 3 of 4 career seasons. Has 5 sacks in past 4 vs. Min. & aims for 5th in row vs. Vikings with sack. In 6 career postseason games, has 4.5 sacks, 2 FFs & 2 FRs. CB CASEY HAYWARD led NFL rookies with 6 INTs, tied for 5th most by rookie in team history. Had team-high 21 PD. S MORGAN BURNETT led team with 122 tackles. LB A.J. HAWK ranked 2nd (120). CB TRAMON WILLIAMS has 15 INTs, tied for 2nd most in NFL since 2010 (incl. playoffs). Since joining GB in 2006, CB CHARLES WOODSON has 38 INTs (3rd in NFL) & 9 INT-TDs (1st in NFL).
NFL Week 17 odds: Green Bay at Minnesota
Green Bay has clinched the NFC North and is in line for the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye in the NFC playoffs. The Packers will lock up the bye with a win or losses by both San Francisco and Seattle. The Vikings are in control for a playoff spot. With a victory, Minnesota will advance to the postseason as a Wild Card. The Vikings can also advance to the playoffs with losses by Chicago, Dallas and the New York Giants.
The Packers crushed Tennessee 55-7 last week. Aaron Rodgers threw for 342 yards and three touchdowns and also ran for another score. Rodgers finished an efficient 27-of-38 passing to go with four carries for 11 yards, while Ryan Grant rushed for 80 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries. James Jones finished with seven catches for 100 yards and a score, while Randall Cobb and Greg Jennings each hauled in a touchdown pass for the Packers (11-4), who have won four straight.
Minnesota beat Houston 23-6. Adrian Peterson carried the ball 25 times for 86 yards for the Vikings (9-6), who have won three in a row and hold the final wild card spot in the NFC. Peterson has now rushed for 1,898 yards for the season, but his string of eight consecutive games with 100 yards rushing came to an end. Christian Ponder completed 16-of-30 passes for 174 yards and a touchdown for Minnesota.
The Packers have been inconsistent protecting Pro Bowl quarterback Rodgers, yielding 46 sacks. Minnesota is much improved defensively, especially at home. The Vikings will likely be aggressive with their defensive game plan, using seven- and eight-man blitz packages, but also can generate pressure out of a four-man rush. Defensive coordinator Alan Williams will clearly want to get Rodgers off his mark. Look for Packers coach Mike McCarthy to utilize more maximum and slide-protection schemes as well as chipping the edges to keep his signal-caller clean in the pocket.
Green Bay beat Minnesota 23-14 on Dec. 2.
WAGERWEB.COM OPENING ODDS: Packers -3.5 (46) Check our current lines.
PACKERS NOTES: Have won 12 consecutive division games. Clinch 1st round bye with win…Team scored 55 points last week, tied for most at Lambeau … QB AARON RODGERS has won 5 in row vs. Min. with 122.6 rating (14 TDs, 3 INTs). Packers are 27-0 when he starts & has 115+ rating. Has career 104.5 rating, highest in NFL history … WR-PR-KR RANDALL COBB aims for 4th in row with 100+ rec. yards or TD. Has 964 KR yards & 954 rec. yards. Can become 1st player in NFL history with 1,000+ KR yards & 1,000+ rec. yards. Had 80-yard PR-TD in 11/14/11 meeting. WR JAMES JONES leads NFL with career-high 13 rec. TDs. Had TD in last meeting. WR JORDY NELSON had 2 TDs in 11/14/11 game vs. Min. WR GREG JENNINGS has 7 TDs in past 6 vs. Min. … LB CLAY MATTHEWS has 4 sacks in past 3 meetings & aims for 4th in row vs. Min. with sack. CB CASEY HAYWARD leads rookies with 6 INTs. CB SAM SHIELDS has INT in 3 of past 4. S MORGAN BURNETT had 2 INTs in last meeting.
VIKINGS NOTES: QB CHRISTIAN PONDER is 6-1 in past 7 at home … RB ADRIAN PETERSON leads NFL with 1,898 yards & needs 102 to reach 2,000. Has 6 150-yard rush games & trails HOFer EARL CAMPBELL (7) for most in single season. Has 1,399 rush yards (155.4 per game) & 9 TDs in past 9. Since 2007, leads NFL with 8,650 rush yards & 75 rush TDs … TE KYLE RUDOLPH has rec. TD in 4 of past 6. Had TD in last meeting. In last home game vs. GB, WR MICHAEL JENKINS had 3 catches for 111 yards (37 avg.) & TD … DE JARED ALLEN has 42 sacks in past 40. Since entering NFL in 2004, has NFL-best 115 sacks. Has 14.5 sacks in past 8 vs. GB. LB CHAD GREENWAY leads team with 145 tackles. Rookie S HARRISON SMITH ties for 3rd in NFL with 2 INT-TDs. Had INT in last meeting. Had 1st career sack & FF last week. DE EVERSON GRIFFEN had sack in last home game vs. GB … Rookie K BLAIR WALSH has 9 50+ yard FGs, most in season in NFL history. Has made 32 of 35 FGs (91.4 pct.) & all 9 50+ yard attempts.
WAGERWEB.COM TRENDS: Over is 9-2-1 in the last 12 meetings in Minnesota. Packers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings. Favorite is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings. Home team is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings. Over is 7-2 in the last 9 meetings.
NFL Week 16 odds: Tennessee at Green Bay
The Packers need to win out and get some help for a first-round playoff bye, while Tennessee is playing out the string and on a short week after beating the Jets on Monday night.
In Green Bay’s 21-13 win over Chicago last week, Aaron Rodgers threw three TD passes on 23-of-36 passing for 291 yards. He took three sacks despite the Bears missing top interior pass-rusher Henry Melton, so the offensive line continues to be a big concern. All three of Rodgers’ scores went to James Jones (5-60). Randall Cobb (6-115) and trash-talker Jermichael Finley (5-61) both had good games. The Packers didn’t run the ball very well. Alex Green managed just 35 yards on 13 carries.
Tennessee forced Mark Sanchez into five turnovers in a 14-10 win. Chris Johnson went 94 yards for the longest touchdown run in the NFL since 2006. Johnson had his second touchdown rush this season of 80 or more yards against a box that has more defenders than available blockers. No other player in the NFL has any such touchdowns this season. Entering the game, Johnson had the second-most yards per rush (6.3) among qualified running backs against such defenses. Since 1940, there have been only three seasons where a player recorded three touchdown runs of at least 80 yards. Johnson has two of those three seasons, and the other was Barry Sanders.
Jake Locker’s first touchdown run of the season put Tennessee ahead to stay late in the third quarter, and the Titans intercepted four passes by Sanchez to snap a three-game skid. The Titans defense caught twice as many passes (4) as the Jets receivers (2) on Sanchez throws that traveled 15 or more yards downfield. It is the first time this season a quarterback has thrown four interceptions on such passes.
As evidenced by his 94-yard touchdown run on Monday night, Johnson is still extremely dangerous. But on his other 20 carries against the Jets, he mustered just 28 yards. The Packers have had an awful time stopping the run of late and have allowed a 100-yard rusher in three of their past four games. The Titans have struggled on first down and need to get more consistent production in this facet to better keep their offense out of difficult down-and-distance situations. Time of possession has also been a huge problem for Tennessee, which must sustain offense this week on the road against such a high-powered team as Green Bay.
WAGERWEB.COM OPENING ODDS: Packers -13 (46) Check current lines
TITANS NOTES: S: Aim for 4th win in row vs. GB … QB JAKE LOCKER passed for career-high 378 yards with 2 TDs & 0 INTs for 113 passer rating in last game vs. NFC. Posted 1st rush TD of season last week … RB CHRIS JOHNSON rushed for 122 yards last week, incl. club-record 94-yard TD run. Registered 5th 100-yard rush game of season. Has 24 career 125+ yard rushing games, 2nd-most in player’s 1st 5 seasons in NFL history (ERIC DICKERSON, 27). Has 6 career rush TDs of 80+ yards, most in NFL history … WR KENNY BRITT had season-best in catches (8) & yards (143) last week. WR KENDALL WRIGHT leads NFL rookies with 62 rec. Surpassed ERNEST GIVINS for 2nd-most catches by rookie in Titans history (BILL GROMAN, 72 in ’60)…LB AKEEM AYERS leads team with 90 tackles. Rookie LB ZACH BROWN had career-high 2 sacks vs. NYJ … S MICHAEL GRIFFIN & CB JASON MC COURTY each posted 2 INTs last week.
PACKERS NOTES: Clinched NFC North for 2nd consecutive season … QB AARON RODGERS has completed 174 of 272 (64 pct.) for 2,234 yards with 25 TDs vs. 3 INTs for 115.7 rating in past 8 vs. AFC (incl. SB). Packers are 26-0 when he starts & has 115+ rating, incl. last week (116.8). Rodgers has won 24 of past 26 starts at home. In those 26 games, has 64 TDs, 17 INTs & 110 rating … RB RYAN GRANT rushed for 86 yards in last meeting … WR-PR-KR RANDALL COBB had career-high 115 rec. yards last week & aims for 3rd in row with 100+. Has 964 KR yards & 892 rec. yards. Can become 1st player in NFL history with 1,000+ KR yards & 1,000+ rec. yards. Aims for 4th in row vs. AFC with 100+ rec. yards or TD. WR JAMES JONES leads NFL with career-high 12 rec. TDs. Had 3 TDs last week. WR JORDY NELSON has 6 rec. TDs in past 6 vs. AFC. WR GREG JENNINGS has 3 TDs in past 4 vs. AFC…CB TRAMON WILLIAMS has NFC-best 15 INTs since 2010 (incl. playoffs). LB CLAY MATTHEWS had 2 sacks last week. Has 10 sacks in 14 games vs. AFC. Has 7 sacks in his past 5 at home. CB CASEY HAYWARD leads rookies with 6 INTs. CB SAM SHIELDS has INT in 2 of past 3.
WAGERWEB.COM TRENDS: Titans are 2-6-1 ATS in their last 9 road games. Titans are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games in Week 16. Titans are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS win. Titans are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games after accumulating more than 150 yards rushing in their previous game. Titans are 1-5-1 ATS in their last 7 games following a S.U. win. Titans are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games in December. Titans are 1-7 ATS in their last 8 games when playing on Sunday following a Monday night game. Packers are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games in Week 16. Packers are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games in December. Packers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall. Packers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a S.U. win.
NFL Week 15 odds: Green Bay at Chicago
NFC North rivals will face one another at Soldier Field when the Bears host the Packers. Green Bay enters Week 15 with a one-game lead over Chicago in the division. With a victory on Sunday, the Packers will win the NFC North for the second consecutive season. Chicago, at 8-5, is just one game out of first place in the division and currently holds one of the two NFC Wild Card spots.
The Bears’ offense is more to blame for their recent 1-4 stretch. Not only are the quarterbacks turning the ball over more, the offense has been much less effective while it has possession of the ball. Jay Cutler threw eight interceptions in the first eight games of the season. Over the past five weeks, Cutler and Jason Campbell have combined to throw seven picks, tied for fifth-most in the league.
Although it might be difficult to find many faults in the Bears’ defense, it cannot be totally ignored when debating which unit is to blame for the teams’ 1-4 record over the past five games. During the Bears 7-1 start, Chicago’s defense accumulated 99.5 net expected points, by far the highest total in the league during the first nine weeks of the season.
In the past five games, the Bears’ defense has added a total of three net expected points. That’s a far cry from the two touchdowns per game they had been averaging through Week 9. The defense has been hurt by a lack of turnovers and struggles in the red zone. The Bears forced 28 turnovers in their first eight games, but just seven in their past five games. During the 7-1 start they allowed a touchdown on 10.1 percent of their opponents’ drives, second-best in the league. During this recent slide, that rate has ballooned to 17.2 percent, which is tied for 11th over the last five weeks.
Green Bay has won seven of its last eight games entering Sunday’s contest, which is tied for the second-best record in the league since Week 6 behind only Denver (8-0). Sunday will mark game No. 186 in the NFL’s oldest rivalry. The Bears hold a 92-87-6 edge in the series, which includes two playoff meetings (1-1).
The Packers have won five straight and seven of the last eight meetings against the Bears (including playoffs). Green Bay will be aiming for its third season sweep of the Bears in the last four years (2009, 2011). Green Bay’s current five-game winning streak against Chicago is its longest since a seven-game streak from 2000-03. Six of the last nine meetings between the Packers and Bears (including postseason) have been decided by seven points or less.
WAGERWEB.COM OPENING LINE: Packers -3 (43) Check current lines.
PACKERS NOTES: Have won 11 division games in row … QB AARON RODGERS aims for 6th consecutive win vs. Chi. (incl. playoffs). In past 3 vs. Chi., has 9 TDs, 2 INTs & 117.4 rating. Packers are 25-0 when he starts & has 115 rating. In past 9 vs. division, is 9-0 with 21 TDs, 4 INTs & 117 rating … WR-PR-KR RANDALL COBB is only player in NFL with 900 KR (927), 700 rec. (777), 200 PR (255) & 100 rush (132) yards. WR JAMES JONES ties for NFC lead with 9 rec. TDs. In past 2 vs. Chi., WR JORDY NELSON has 12 catches for 199 yards (99.5 per game) & 2 TDs. In past 2 at Chi. (incl. NFC Champ), WR GREG JENNINGS has 17 catches for 249 yards (124.5 per game). TE JERMICHAEL FINLEY had career-high 3 TDs in last game at Chi. In last meeting, P TIM MASTHAY threw 27-yard TD pass to TE TOM CRABTREE … Defense had 7 sacks & 4 INTs in Week 2. CB TRAMON WILLIAMS had 2 INTs in last meeting. Has NFC-best 15 INTs since 2010 (incl. playoffs). LB CLAY MATTHEWS had 3.5 sacks in last game vs. Chi. In past 2 meetings, has 3.5 sacks, INT & FF. CB CASEY HAYWARD leads rookies with 5 INTs.
BEARS NOTES: QB JAY CUTLER has won 9 of past 11 starts at home. Incl. playoffs, when he has 100 rating, his teams are 26-1 … In past 2 at home vs. GB (incl. NFC Champ), RB MATT FORTÉ has 242 scrimmage yards (121 per game), incl. 170 rec. yards. RB MICHAEL BUSH has 5 rush TDs with all 5 at home … WR BRANDON MARSHALL has team-record 101 catches. Is 4th player in NFL history with 4 100-catch seasons. Has 85 catches for 1,128 yards (112.8 per game) & 8 TDs in past 10 … Defense has 7 INT-TDs, tied for 3rd most in season in NFL history. CB CHARLES TILLMAN leads NFL with 9 FFs & ties for NFL lead with 2 INT-TDs. LB LANCE BRIGGS also ties for NFL lead with 2 INT-TDs. Since entering NFL in 2003, Tillman has 37 FFs, most by DB. Is only player with 30 INTs (32) & 30 FFs in that span. CB TIM JENNINGS leads NFL with 8 INTs. DE JULIUS PEPPERS had 2 sacks in last meeting. Has 6 sacks in past 7 vs. GB. DT HENRY MELTON leads NFC DTs with 6 sacks.
WAGERWEB.COM TRENDS: Packers are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 meetings. Under is 5-0 in the last 5 meetings in Chicago. Favorite is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 meetings. Under is 9-1 in the last 10 meetings. Packers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings in Chicago.
NFL Week 14 odds: Detroit at Green Bay
The Packers aim for their 11th consecutive division win when they host the Lions. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers has thrown a touchdown pass in 35 consecutive games at Lambeau Field, the longest such streak at one stadium in NFL history, passing Pro Football Hall of Famer Johnny Unitas (34 games at Memorial Stadium).
In last year’s meeting between these two teams at Lambeau Field, Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford passed for 520 yards and five touchdowns. Detroit’s passing offense leads the NFL this season (312.5 yards per game) with wide receiver Calvin Johnson playing a major role. Johnson, who leads the NFL with 1,428 receiving yards, is the first player in NFL history with four consecutive games with at least 140 receiving yards in a single season. He has also tied the NFL record set by Pat Studstill in 1966 with five consecutive games with at least 125 receiving yards.
Injuries have turned the wide receiver depth chart into a carousel for the Packers and accelerated the use of the running game. With WRs Jordy Nelson and Greg Jennings in and out of the lineup, the Packers rotated through the likes of Jarrett Boykin, an undrafted rookie free agent from Virginia Tech. QB Aaron Rodgers will have wide alleys to throw through against the Lions, who have allowed 21 touchdown passes and an average of 31.75 points during their four-game losing streak.
Putting up points is what the Lions do best. Johnson is in the midst of a dominant streak over the past five games — 45 catches for 790 yards and four touchdowns — including five catches for 143 yards and a touchdown against the Packers on Nov. 18. But he cannot do it alone, and WR Ryan Broyles (right knee) couldn’t finish last week’s game and is done for the year. The Packers sacked Stafford five times in the 24-20 win over Detroit last month, and won with 10-fourth quarter points. Keeping the running game going is the only route to survival for the Lions. Joique Bell has become a ready change-of-pace to Mikel Leshoure.
Green Bay has won six of its last seven games entering Sunday’s contest, which is tied for the second-best record in the league since Week 6 behind only Denver (7-0). The Packers have won six of their last eight games played on Sunday night. Green Bay is 19-6 all-time in Sunday night contests, a .760 winning percentage that ranks No. 1 in the NFL.
The Packers have won eight straight NFC North games at home, the longest streak by the team since a 10-game streak from 2000-02. Green Bay is currently tied with Chicago (8-4) for first place in the NFC North, two games ahead of Minnesota (6-6). The Packers beat the Bears in Week 2, and the teams square off again at Chicago in Week 15.
Green Bay has a 12-1 mark (.923) against the Lions under Head Coach Mike McCarthy. Overall, the Packers have won 13 of the last 14 and 21 of the last 24 in the series. The Packers have won 21 straight games against the Lions in the state of Wisconsin (including a 1994 playoff game). The streak started with Green Bay’s win over the Lions at County Stadium in Milwaukee on Dec. 6, 1992. Green Bay’s 20-game regular-season home winning streak against Detroit is the longest in NFL history, ahead of Washington’s 18-game home winning streak against the Lions (1939-present) and Pittsburgh’s 16-game streak versus the Cleveland Browns (1970-85).
The Packers’ offensive line is banged up and Aaron Rodgers has had less time to scan the field. The Lions’ secondary was exploited for 372 passing yards by the Colts in Week 13. Detroit has been inconsistent pressuring opposing quarterbacks and will need to get Rogers off his mark to have a chance. Look for defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham to be more aggressive with seven- and eight-man blitz packages to disrupt the Packers’ air attack.
WAGERWEB.COM OPENING ODDS: Packers -7 (52) Check our current lines.
LIONS NOTES: When QB MATTHEW STAFFORD has 105 rating, Lions are 10-0 … RB MIKEL LESHOURE has 6 rush TDs in past 5 … WR CALVIN JOHNSON is 1st player in NFL history with 4 consecutive games with 140 rec. yards in single season. Has 125 rec. yards in 5 games in row, tied for longest streak in NFL history. In past 5, has 45 catches for 790 yards (158 per game) & 4 TDs. In past 2 vs. GB, has 16 catches for 387 yards (193.5 per game) & 2 TDs. Since 2011, has 3,109 rec. yards, most in NFL, & his 111 yards per game avg. during span ranks 1st. Since 2008, has 50 rec. TD, most in NFL. Has 10 rec. TDs in past 8 vs. GB. Since 2010, TE BRANDON PETTIGREW is 3rd among NFL TEs with 211 rec…DE CLIFF AVRIL has 4 sacks & 2 FFs in past 3. Is 1 of 2 in NFL with 19 sacks (19.5) & 8 FFs (8) since 2011. DT NICK FAIRLEY had 2 sacks in last meeting.
PACKERS NOTES: Have won 10 division games in row … QB AARON RODGERS is 7-0 & has 100 rating in all 7 starts vs. Det. with 15 att. In those 7, has 18 TDs, 4 INTs & 118.6 rating. Team is 25-0 when he starts & has 115 rating. Incl. playoffs, has TD in 36 home games in row…WR RANDALL COBB has 6 rec. TDs in past 6. Is only player in NFL with 800 KR (851), 600 rec. (675), 200 PR (242) & 100 rush (132) yards. WR JAMES JONES leads NFC with 9 rec. TDs. In last home meeting, WR JORDY NELSON had 9 catches for 162 yards & 3 TDs. WR GREG JENNINGS has TD in 2 of past 3 meetings. TE JERMICHAEL FINLEY aims for 3rd in row vs. Det. with TD … S M.D. JENNINGS had 72-yard INT-TD in last meeting. Since 2010 (incl. playoffs), CB TRAMON WILLIAMS has NFC-best 15 INTs. LB CLAY MATTHEWS has 5 sacks & INT in 5 meetings. CB CASEY HAYWARD leads rookies with 5 INTs. S MORGAN BURNETT had 2 INTs last week.
WAGERWEB.COM TRENDS: Over is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings in Green Bay. Under is 5-2 in the last 7 meetings. Lions are 4-10-1 ATS in their last 15 meetings in Green Bay. Lions are 3-10 ATS in their last 13 meetings.