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Packers Time Capsule: AJ Dillon plows through the snow in 2020 win over Titans

Dillon ran hard and the Packers’ defense shut down Derrick Henry.

Tennessee Titans v Green Bay Packers Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The Packers and Titans have played some unusually one-sided games in their relatively limited history together. In four of their last five meetings, at least one of the teams has scored 40 or more points, including a 48-point outing by the Titans in 2004 and a 55-point avalanche by the Packers in a 2012 beatdown at Lambeau Field. The Titans also put 47 points on the Packers when they visited Tennessee in 2016.

The last time these two teams met, it was the Packers’ turn to be the hammer, and AJ Dillon personified that metaphor in the best game of his career to date.

On a snowy, chilly Sunday night, Dillon ran over, around, and through the Titans’ defense, finishing with 124 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries, bludgeoning Tennessee with a series of bruising downhill runs.

Dillon’s performance came just three weeks after he’d finished a long stay on the COVID-19 reserve list. He’d been hit so hard by the virus that he could wring sweat out of his bed sheets at night, but there he was in fighting form that night and showed it.

The Packers needed him, too. Fellow back Jamaal Williams had been ruled out with a leg injury, and Aaron Jones was dinged up during the game (though not before reeling off 94 yards on 10 carries, including a 59-yard scamper). Dillon came through, plowing through the snowy night and helping carry the Packers’ offense.

He was far from alone, though. Davante Adams was his typically excellent self against the Titans, putting up 142 yards and three touchdowns on 11 catches while still making his dominance look humdrum and routine. Equanimeous St. Brown also chipped in a score, his first — and only — touchdown as a member of the Packers.

But the offense was just a part of the story. The Packers’ defense also came to play.

The Titans’ Derrick Henry had been averaging 119.9 yards per game on the ground prior to his arrival in Green Bay, but the Packers held him to just 98 yards on 23 carries. He didn’t have a run of more than 10 yards, either. Henry still went on to lead the NFL in rushing, piling up 250 yards in Week 17, but the Packers’ efforts may have kept Henry from getting a shot at the all-time single-season rushing record. He finished the year with 2,027 yards, just 78 yards behind Eric Dickerson’s league record of 2,105.

The Packers also sacked quarterback Ryan Tannehill twice and picked him off twice more. Christian Kirksey had one of each in what may have been his best game with the Packers as Green Bay coasted to its biggest win of the 2020 season.