The Green Bay Packers are firing on all cylinders as they improve to (5-2) after a 38-17 rout to the visiting Carolina Panthers.
It was over pretty quick as Aaron Rodgers cut the defense apart throwing 19-for-22, 255 yards, and three touchdowns in three quarters of play.
His 154.5 QBR was just short of perfection.
The Panthers won the toss and differed at Lambeau Field. Giving A-Rod the ball to start was their first mistake.
The Packers ran a no-huddle, methodical opening drive. Making it look easy, it was capped off by a perfect strike to Jordy Nelson for a 59 yard catch and score. Rodgers and Nelson hooked up on what may be their favorite play. It looks like a replay of the Jets game in Week 2. Nelson runs all go and catches up the seam, then cuts by the safety into the open field.
Nelson still leads the league with 712 yards as a receiver.Eddie Lacy walks in untouched for the easy touchdown.
The next Packers’ drive is much like the first, except it’s Eddie Lacy who barrels through defenders. He’s impossible to bring down one-on-one. It was noted he’s more comfortable running out of the power eye than shotgun sets. Coach Mike McCarthy has put Lacy in great play calls of late, still keeping the defense off balance with shotgun draws. Otherwise, the Packers’ offense would become predictable. And what do you know, with everyone spread out, Lacy takes the shotgun handoff for the easy score. (walks in untouched) Lacy scored his fourth touchdown of the year.
They weren’t even close to done. After another three-and-out forced by the Dom Capers’ defense, James Starks runs as the prime back for their third touchdown. Starks bounced outside and darted 13 yards and into the endzone.
It was 21-0 with two minutes left in the first quarter. It could’ve been much more barring a pass interference penalty nullifying a pick-six by Clay Matthews. That was the Panthers’ first first down of the game.Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb celebrate their touchdowns with a shake.
Meanwhile, Rodgers couldn’t get enough. His touchdown passes to Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, and Davante Adams make 18 on the year and counting. Rodgers might not like being sidelined in spite of a big lead, but it’s a good problem to have playing backups in a blowout once in a while.
And this four-game winning streak is in place because both sides of the ball are really playing winning football and having each other’s back. While A-Rod’s offense scores at will, the defense is making standout stops.
With the game out of reach, Panthers’ quarterback Cam Newton tried to push the pile on fourth-and-inches and was denied. The Packers held, being one of many impressive clutch stops this season.
But the “NASCAR” package in Green Bay is making some noise. This is where Clay Matthews, Julius Peppers, and the rest of the front seven, sometimes db’s, blitz from anywhere.The Packers are second in the NFL with 10 interceptions.
Dom Capers’ defense got to Cam three times, but pressured him all day. Peppers and Matthews even met at the quarterback for half a sack each.
Even with starting cornerback Sam Shields out due to injury, the secondary has showed depth. Casey Hayward has interceptions in back to back games. In case some forgot, Hayward’s rookie year in 2012 could’ve been award winning with six picks. Battling injuries, he’s back and playing strong as the nickel corner.
Everything is going well in Green Bay. They’re hitting their stride as they prepare for New Orleans on Sunday Night Football. Facing Drew Brees is always a tough test, but a win on the road under the bright lights would validate the Packers are for real.