Packers 31, Carolina 35

There are a lot of things I could talk about in this game. How do you let LB Brandon Chillar go in deep coverage against WR Steve Smith? How could C Scott Wells be playing with a concussion when he sent a shotgun snap flying over QB Aaron Rodgers' head? What was Rodgers thinking with under 2 minutes to go when he launched an INT into triple coverage? Could they replace P Derrick Frost, please? But I want to focus on two failures.

1. Kick coverage. Carolina's longest drive of the game was 55 yards. The Packers never made them work the length of the field. One drive happened after the bad shotgun snap fumble, but the rest was lousy kick coverage. It wasn't that WR Mark Jones is an awesome return man. He made one cut and ran straight down the field in the wide open running lane. One long return happened when DE Kenny Pettway injured his leg, fell down, and left a wide open running lane. But the rest was just lousy kick coverage. And lousy punts by Frost.

2. Run defense. I read Mike McCarthy's post-game press conference and they didn't ask him one fracking question about it. "Coach, how do you expect to win when your defense allows five fracking one yard TD runs in a single game! Did you practice a goal line stance this week?" It really burns that they get stuffed on two running plays on the 1 yard line by Carolina, and settle for a field goal with under two minutes to go. Then the defense gives up a big play and collapses when they have to stop Carolina on the goal line. They were so out of position on it that DE Aaron Kampman was tripled team at the point of attack. Carolina's tight ends had no one else to block except Kampman.

So many players played well in this game.

  • RB Brandon Jackson. After they decided to sit RB Ryan Grant in the 2nd half because he has a thumb injury, Jackson stepped in and averaged almost 8 yards per carry. It boosted his yards/carry average up to 5.5 for the season, while . He's been one of the best players on the team this season, but he hasn't had too many chances to show it.
  • C Jason Spitz. He slides in after Wells injury and plays well. It sure helped him that Carolina's defensive tackles are nothing special.
  • O-line, backs, and tight ends in pass protection. DE Julius Peppers had two sacks when he beat LT Chad Clifton, but Carolina couldn't get anyone else near Rodgers. There were several blitzes, but they held their blocks and gave him time or room to scramble.
  • QB Aaron Rodgers. He had a bad pick near the end of the game. Otherwise he threw for almost 300 yards and 3 TDs against one of the best pass defenses in the NFL.
  • It's really sad because they outplayed Carolina in so many ways.
Team First Downs 3rd Down % Total Yards TOP
Packers 25 50 438 37:52
Carolina 15 40 300 22:08
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