Breaking Down Week 7 vs. the Panthers

downloadThe Packers dodged a bullet last week in South Beach – but may not be so lucky on Sunday if sloppiness on both sides of the ball persists. Aaron Rodgers and the offense will look to regain momentum at Lambeau, where they have put up 30-plus points in both home field games this season.

Despite an impressive front seven on paper, the Carolina defense has allowed big games to Le’Veon Bell and Giovani Bernard this season, which has produced the 27th ranked run defense in the league. Now back at home, I expect Mike McCarthy to commit to the run early and allow Eddie Lacy to establish a groove before inserting James Starks into the mix later in the game. With sights set on playing into January, the Packers will need to establish a reliable rushing attack that can take burden off of Rodgers when the temperatures begin to decline.

With one of the NFC’s worst defenses statistically, Carolina has been forced to rely on their offense through six regular season games. Being undermanned at starting cornerback puts the Packers at an inherent disadvantaged when matched up against Cam Newton and the NFL’s 12th-ranked passing attack. The situation could be worse, though, as veteran corners Davon House and Casey Hayward would line up against a very average Carolina receiving corps and hybrids Micah Hyde and Jarrett Bush would round out any dime package.

The Panthers have been able to consistently score points this season – even on a Lions defense that completely shut down the Packers during Week 3. One familiar area of emphasis for the Packers D is putting pressure on Newton, who has been sacked 11 times this season. Better tackling is required when blitzing on Newton, when considering his sheer size and athleticism.

Like clockwork, the Packers have established their regular October rhythm with a pair of meetings with teams from the NFL’s worst division standing between them and the bye week. But, going up against two highly-potent offenses, these games will say a lot about the defense’s ability to compete down the stretch.

Breaking Down Week 7 vs. the Panthers

One thought on “Breaking Down Week 7 vs. the Panthers

  • October 17, 2014 at 7:31 am

    Good job Mike!

    This team knocked off the Bears and played a heck of a game on offense vs Cincy (who many think are serious SB contenders). They cannot be taken lightly. After our poor showing in Miami, I think this game has “upset” written all over it.

    I have no confidence in our run game. Our O-line has failed to open holes for Lacy and Starks in every game. The Panthers front 7 is the type that our run game struggles with the most, and they will be looking to improve upon their performance vs Cincy. I hope McCarthy doesn’t try to force the run game and become predictable on 1st downs. I’d rather see us passing to open the running game with occasional runs, as opposed to running to open the passing game with balance. McCarthy has a habit of run, run, pass – often putting us in 3rd and longs.

    And Rodgers will have to take what the D gives him, more short routes instead of looking for the home run every play. This is the type of front 7 which will hurt him if he doesn’t.

    This could be a barn burner for points. I expect we’ll have to score 35 or more points to win this game. The Panthers offense has been clicking lately and is much better than their current ranking. Over the last 2 games they average 34 points. We need scores early and often to put this team away.

    This is another game that we should win on paper, but this is why we play the games. My guess is that our D will have to generate some more turnovers, and our offense will need to use the clock while finishing with points, in order to pull this one out. Go Pack go!


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