Packers have one huge advantage over Titans in Week 16
While the most anticipated matchup of Sunday night's showdown between the Green Bay Packers and the Tennessee Titans might center on Mike Pettine's defense against All-Pro running back on Derrick Henry, another crucial game of chess stands in the shadows, and it's one by which the Packers should enjoy a great advantage.
Two key situations where the Packers are on the offensive could play as big a role in deciding the winner on Sunday night as Henry did against Green Bay's running defense.
The importance of the matchup is staggering because of the packer supremacy potential.
The Titans' offense was great in both third place and the red zone, ranking in the top 10 in every category, but it's a whole different story for Mike Vrabel's defense. In fact, there may not be a worse situation defense in football this season.
The Titans' defense ranks last in terms of down conversion percentage (52.6) and 30th in terms of landing percentage in the red zone (70.9), a potentially disastrous combination of situational Incompetence to Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.
Matt LaFleur's team may have the best situation in football. The Packers rank third in the NFL on third downs (49.1) and first in the red zone (78.4).
Despite some problems finishing last Saturday night's game against the Carolina Panthers, the Packers were dominant and consistent in third place.
Rodgers leads the NFL in third place in passing yards, and he's second in passing touchdowns and yards per try and third in passerby rating. Receiver Davante Adams is the first to receive yards and the second to intercept the first descent on the third descent. Recipients Allen Lazard and Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Robert Tonyan turned 31 catches in third place into 29 first tees. Rodgers even fought eight first downs on the third down.
The Titans allowed three times as many touchdown passes for third descent (nine) as sacks for third descent (three). Five different quarterbacks got a 100.0 pass rating in third place against the Titans, and they were terrific at keeping third and short ranks. Of the 92 deals against the Titans on third relegation, 74 have scored first losses. And if the ball went down in third place, it was converted 28 times in 42 tries.
The red zone - or gold zone as the packers call it - was a magical place for green and gold. The Packers approach an 80 percent touchdown rate when they are within the 20-yard line, largely thanks to Rodgers. He leads the NFL with 29 touchdown passes for the red zone and has scored three more points. Overall, the two-time MVP caused 32 of the 40 touchdowns in the packer's red zone.
The Titans allowed 39 touchdowns in the red zone in defense, highlighting the bend of the group but also the break style.
Finishing third is probably not difficult and the red zone will decide the game on Sunday night. Or at least go a long way in determining a winner. Both offenses are dominant in situational football, but only one defense is in third place and the red zone in the race for the worst in the NFL.
Henry may be productive for the Titans, but the Packers can do far more damage if Rodgers and the Offensive take advantage of the showdown's biggest disparity.
Packers can't just focus on stopping Titans RB Derrick Henry
Packers have two different ways to get seed # 1 in NFC at week 16
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