The Carolina Panthers (5-4) couldn’t get things done in Green Bay, losing to the Packers (8-2) 24-16. Offensively, the Panthers had momentum at the beginning of the game. After trading three-and-outs with the Packers on the first two possessions, the Panthers were able to move the ball down the field and scored on a 2-yard connection from Kyle Allen to Curtis Samuel. Samuel now has 12 career touchdowns (9 receiving, 3 rushing). This touchdown play was set up by a 38-yard catch by D.J. Moore who tied his career-high with nine catches for 120 yards. This is his second-straight 100-yard receiving game and third of his career. D.J. Moore is proving himself as a reliable and valuable weapon on this offense. Another reliable weapon for Carolina is Greg “Mr. Reliable” Olsen. He hauled in 8 catches for 98 yards.
Carolina’s run defense could be considered a culprit for the Panthers’ struggles. Coming into today’s game, Carolina ranked 26th in the NFL in run defense, allowing an average of 133.4 yards per game. Green Bay rushed for a total of 163 yards and three rushing touchdowns. This is the third time this season a Carolina opponent has rushed for over 150 yards. The Packers backfield of Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams averaged an impressive 6 yards per carry.
Aaron Jones finished the day with 93 yards and three rushing touchdowns. Jones averaged 7.1 yards per carry and is the third player with multiple rushing touchdowns against Carolina this season. Jamaal Williams averaged 4.7 yards per carry and finished with 63 rushing yards.
Tackling was an issue for the Panthers throughout this game. Many plays ended with the Packers getting extra yards after contact. The Panthers four leading tacklers were Donte Jackson (5), Eric Reid (4), Ross Cockrell (4) and Javien Elliott (3). It’s never a good thing when your leading tackler, let alone your top-4 leading tacklers, are all members of the secondary. The Packers were getting to the second and third levels of the Panthers defense consistently. The Carolina Panthers were without their no. 1 cornerback in James Bradberry. He was listed out before kickoff because of a groin injury carrying over from last week’s win against the Tennessee Titans.
Offensively Kyle Allen had a pretty good day. He completed 28 of his 43 passes for 307 yards and a touchdown. The downside to his performance? He lost a fumble which resulted in a Packers touchdown and he threw an interception in the Red Zone. Even though Allen had two turnovers, he still kept the offense in a position to win, driving down the field late in the fourth quarter. Allen connected with Jarius Wright on a fourth-and-long to keep their hopes alive and was able to get the Panthers on the Packers’ three-yard line before Christian McCaffrey was stopped short of the goal line as time expired. McCaffrey carried the ball 20 times for 108 yards and touchdown.
It wasn’t the prettiest of games but the Panthers fought all the way to the last second. The Panthers defense did not force a turnover against the Packers. In the Panthers five victories this season, the defense has forced 17 takeaways. But in their four losses, the Panthers only have two takeaways. The Panthers did hold Aaron Rodgers to 233 yards on 58% passing and no touchdowns.
Up next the Carolina Panthers will be at home to face-off against their division rival, the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons (2-7) are riding a huge upset win over the New Orleans Saints.
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