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Packers Jump on Panthers Early, Cruise

Randall Cobb and James Starks

This pretty much sums up the Green Bay Packers game with the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. It was broadcast nationally and Fox cut away from it midway through the third quarter to show a more competitive game.

The Panthers never should have deferred when they won the coin toss. The Packers scored on their first drive — a 59-yard catch and run by Jordy Nelson — and it was pretty much over at that point. The Packers would end up cruising to a 38-17 win.

They got there by putting up 21 in the first and 28 before Carolina even got on the board. In addition to Nelson, Aaron Rodgers hit Randall Cobb for a score and Eddie Lacy and James Starks added rushing touchdowns in the first half.

The Panthers were able to muster a field goal at the end of the half, but it was obvious from early on they were never going to be in the game.

Green Bay’s offense did pretty much whatever they wanted to the Panthers defense, which has gone from one of the best in the NFL to one of the worst in the span of an offseason.

Aaron Rodgers had arguably his most complete game of the season, going 19-of-22 for 255 yards, three touchdowns and no picks. While that’s swell, the statistic that best exemplifies Rodgers’ and the Packers’ offensive dominance is that the QB hit nine different receivers.

Chief among those was Cobb, who had six receptions for 121 yards.

The Packers also ran the ball effectively. Although they didn’t pile up huge yardage, they did average 4.1 per carry. Lacy led the way with 63 yards on 12 carries.

Obviously, the Packers defense was also on point. The Panthers haven’t been a good running team this year, so it’s no surprise they weren’t any good in that department on Sunday, even though they were facing the Packers. Playing from behind, it didn’t make sense to run and the Panthers mustered only 108 yards on the ground, much of that coming after the outcome was no longer in question.

The Panthers can throw the ball though. Or at least they could. Despite being without injured cornerback Sam Shields, the Packers shut down Cam Newton (205 yards, one TD, one pick) and the Panthers’ passing game, as well.

Newton didn’t get anything going until garbage time in the fourth quarter. He hit Kelvin Benjamin for the Panthers’ first touchdown with 9:43 left in the contest.

Although tight end Greg Olsen was predictably effective (eight catches for 105 yards), no other receivers did much and the Packers’ pass rush — led by Clay Matthews — was in Newton’s face all day.

Yes, you read that right. Matthews had his most effective game of the season. Although the line in the box score wasn’t terribly impressive (two tackles, half sack), Matthews was incredibly disruptive and that led to other guys making plays.

The real question is what we can take away from this game and the answer seems pretty simple. The Packers are starting to put it all together. They’re a team on the rise. However, we’re not going to call them elite.

The Panthers are clearly not the team they were last year when they won the NFC South. This was a should-win game for Green Bay. The way they dominated is a great sign, though.

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Monty McMahon

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.

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21 Comments

  1. Danforth Cuntingdon-Smythe October 19, 2014

    I think the lack of Brad Jones helped the D. Skip Bayless will start talking shit and criticize AR for not engineering a 4th quarter comeback.

  2. Shawn Neuser October 19, 2014

    This was the same Panther team that beat the Lions 24-7, and the Packers completely dominated them. They didn’t even belong on the same field.

    Great game by the Packers. If you forget the first quarter against the Jets, the Packers have been completely dominant so far this season at Lambeau. With 5 games left to play at home, coupled with some easier road games, the Packers are in great shape if they can play like this at home.

    The Packer offense is what we thought. Rodgers is balling right now. And the Packer pass defense is for real. Carolina might have had more success if they would have stuck with the run more, but for whatever reason, they took their shots against the pass D and paid the price for it.

  3. crash October 19, 2014

    Let’s not forget Davante Adams. Dude is out there killing it. Making plays when he’s thrown to, unlike your boy, B. BOSTICK who finally got the call to get the pack out of a tough spot and dropped the 3rd grade level catch. Ever think there’s a reason he’s not on the field more often? He’s obviously got a lot more growing to do before he’s game ready.

    Good win by the pack regardless, and one thing I will agree with is that the Packers need more production from the TE position. Although cleary Bostick is not the answer right now. RichRodge actually impressed on the blocking front, although he blew the touchdown play by not doing what QB1 was expecting, he’s shown a willingness to improve where he needs to improve.

    Overall, look out. If the Pack stays healthy into December, and can beat the Lions to the finish line, anything is possible. Good win today, enjoy it everyone. GPG!

    1. Savage57 October 19, 2014

      Easy now. 1 catch for 21 yards ain’t ‘killing it’ in anyone’s universe.

      1. Phatgzus October 20, 2014

        UUUhhh, he qualified that with the statement “Making plays when he’s thrown too”. If anything this was a comparison to Bostick’s performance; i.e. good players make plays when they have the opportunity, regardless of frequency (see Jordy’s 1-catch,60-yards plus, 1 TD game vs the Vikings). Reading comprehension is a beautiful thing.

  4. Chad Lundberg October 19, 2014

    As good as this when was, I have to admit I’m just a little nervous about next week though. The New Orleans Saints have got to be desperate. Its not like they have been blown out, they’ve won all their games and lost all their games very closely. We’re going to have a real tough fight on our hands next week no doubt about it.

    1. the real russ letlow October 19, 2014

      enjoy today’s victory! There will be enough time to worry about the next game.

      1. Chad Lundberg October 19, 2014

        Today’s win was so good it was boring, that’s why I can’t reflect on it, lol.

  5. Remedy October 19, 2014

    Matthews came to fucking play. Was great to see

  6. Mr. Carson October 19, 2014

    The Saints are in shambles – looking solid going into the bye. How about the secondary’s tackling?! Very dominant effort – although Skip Bayless would say Tom Brady would have only thrown 2 incompletions, instead of 3.

  7. Howard October 19, 2014

    The only thing that could have made the day better would have been a lions loss. Hopefully the Saints DB’s play as slow next week as they looked on the asshole Tate’s TD. It was good seeing some of the backups get some experience. Take advantage of your opportunities Bostick!

  8. E. Wolf October 19, 2014

    This game convinces me how sick and twisted I really am. The Packers took a sack of kittens and threw them in the river–and I enjoyed it.

    1. Savage57 October 19, 2014

      Sick and twisted? That would be taking said sack of kittens out on a frozen river and shoving them one by one through a hole in the ice and then watching them claw at the bottom of the ice as they panic and struggle for air.

      Go big or stay home!

  9. Brewtown Packer Backer October 19, 2014

    HHDC is a BEAST!!!!

    1. Brewtown Packer Backer October 19, 2014

      Oops… HHCD. I was thinking about AC/DC…

      1. the real russ letlow October 19, 2014

        close enough, we got it!

  10. TyKo Steamboat October 19, 2014

    “The Chicago Bears are a Superbowl contender & the best team in the NFC North.”

    “Jay Cutler is every bit as good as Aaron Rodgers & the Soldier Field crowd has the best fans in the NFL”

    -No one, ever

  11. Vijay October 19, 2014

    I’m liking this new NASCAR defense package by Dom Capers. Getting all 4 elephant type LBs in Matthews, Perry, Neal and Peppers on the field at the same time is a recipe for creating a lot of pressure on 3rd downs and a lot more 3 & outs.

  12. disposable hero October 20, 2014

    HHCD continues to prove that he was the best safety in the draft. R. Rodgers showed up and made some nice blocks on our long TD drive for Eddie and R. Cobb’s long catch and run, unfortunate that he missed that TD. What a great game on all sides of the ball. One more game until I can give my liver a break from the onslaught of Tito’s vodka.

  13. bob at 81 October 20, 2014

    where are all u nae sayers about DC going, and MM not calling good plays. . . .my my, u boys are sure easy to forget. Go Pack Go

  14. Packer Bob October 20, 2014

    Poor Monty. I bet he was ready to click submit on his magnum opus entitled “Clay Matthews really, really sucks”.

    Tell me, what’s like to be wrong every single week? Must be exhausting.