published Monday, December 24th, 2012

Titanic debacle: Green Bay sends Tennessee to an 'embarrassing' loss

Green Bay Packers' Mike Neal (96) tackles Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson (28) in the first quarter of an NFL football game at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. Coming in to help Neal are teammates Clay Matthews (52) and Morgan Burnett (42).
Green Bay Packers' Mike Neal (96) tackles Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson (28) in the first quarter of an NFL football game at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. Coming in to help Neal are teammates Clay Matthews (52) and Morgan Burnett (42).
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

GREEN BAY, Wis. — In a season of bad losses, this might have been the worst one yet for the Tennessee Titans.

Jake Locker was sacked seven times, the defense gave up its most points in more than three years and it took Tennessee until 1:39 left in the game to avoid a shutout in 55-7 loss to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday that more than one of the Titans described as "embarrassing."

"That's just not acceptable, and we let it happen," coach Mike Munchak said. "Thank God we have that [game next week] because I wouldn't want this to be our last game of the year."

The Titans (5-10) finish the season next week against the Jacksonville Jaguars, and owner Bud Adams promised he'll move quickly afterward to make sure Tennessee doesn't endure another season like this.

A year after finishing 9-7 and missing the playoffs on a tiebreaker, the Titans have fallen apart.

They have lost six of their past eight, and given up 51 or more points in two of those defeats. Green Bay's 55 points were the most Tennessee has allowed since being shut out 59-0 by the New England Patriots on Oct. 18, 2009.

Aaron Rodgers threw for three touchdowns and ran for another, Ryan Grant scored twice and Green Bay (11-4) scored on nine of its first 12 drives.

"We can't keep losing games like we lost today, and I mean it," the 90-year-old Adams told TitanInsider.com in a phone call from his Houston home.

"We've played some good games and looked pretty good at times. But we just need to sit down and go over everything, which I'm not making any decision now. I have to sit down with them and get their views and their points on things and go from there."

The Titans thought they had some momentum after Monday night's win over the New York Jets, especially against a Packers team that's struggled to put away inferior opponents.

But Rodgers and the Green Bay offense may as well have been playing the Madden NFL video game for as easily as they piled up the yardage and the scores on the Titans.

Rodgers finished 27-of-38, and matched his season high with 342 yards passing despite sitting for most of the fourth quarter.

He connected with Randall Cobb (20 yards), Greg Jennings (1) and James Jones (12) for touchdowns, and also ran 6 yards for Green Bay's first score. The Packers also cracked the 100-yard rushing mark for the sixth time in the past seven weeks, and their four touchdowns on the ground were one less than they've managed the rest of the season combined.

It was the most points scored by the Packers since they put up the same number against Tampa Bay on Oct. 2, 1983, and their largest margin of victory since a 52-3 win over New Orleans on Oct. 9, 2005.

"It got uglier than it needed to," Munchak said. "We needed to make a stand somewhere and we didn't. I would never have thought this possible because I felt we had been playing better. But today we did not. Obviously we took a step back as a team."

Green Bay's defense, meanwhile, made life miserable for Locker and the Titans.

Tennessee's offensive line has been decimated by injuries -- it started its fifth combination Sunday — and the Titans also were without leading receiver Kendall Wright. But Locker didn't help matters. He was sacked seven times — he tripped over his own feet on one -- and picked off twice, and finished 13 of 30 for 140 yards.

Tennessee managed to cross midfield just three times during the game, and only avoided the shutout on Kenny Britt's 2-yard catch with 1:39 left.

"It seems like a trend all year is we either do good or we do real bad. It's something that we have to change," said Chris Johnson, who was held to 28 yards on 11 carries. "We're in a situation where we're all playing for ourselves and we're playing for everybody in this locker room. ... We've just got to go to practice this week, work hard and try to end this season on a positive note."

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