Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers rolled 38-17 over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. The Packers got on the board early, scoring on their first three offensive possessions of the game and never looked back. Rodgers went 19-of-22 (154.5 rating) and passed for 255 yards while tossing three touchdowns. Cam Newton and Carolina struggled to generate anything positive Sunday on both sides of the ball.
In case you missed the game, we provide you with a full recap below:
Carolina nearly forced Green Bay to punt on their first drive, but an offsides penalty on third-and-12 kept the drive alive for the Packers. Rodgers scrambled for a first down on third-and-2, which then set up a 59-yard touchdown to Jordy Nelson down the sideline on the next play. Nelson gained 39 yards after the catch once he faked Panthers safety Roman Harper on a cut back. Harper took a pretty bad angle and paid for it as Green Bay got on the board early, 7-0.
Rodgers and the offense continue to pace down the field with ease on their second drive. Randall Cobb returned the first punt of the game toward mid-field, and helped contribute to Green Bay's 9-play, 56-yard drive that was finalized by an Eddie Lacy 5-yard scamper. Those two easy scoring possessions started the game for Green Bay, as they continued to build their lead and went up 14-0 early.
On the defensive side, Green Bay was stout as well, forcing two quick three-and-outs for the Panthers on offense. The second drive was highlighted by a 12-yard sack from linebacker Nick Perry who registered his third of the season after creating great pressure from the outside before bringing down quarterback Cam Newton on third down.
Mike McCarthy gave Lacy a bit of a breather on the third drive of the game, with James Starks getting touches early. Starks generated a fair amount of yardage on the drive, but capped it off after making a nice cut to the left side of the field for a 13-yard score. Starks didn't have much room up north, but exploded and found a crease to the outside before extending across the chalk-line. With less than two minutes to go in the first quarter, the Packers led the Panthers 21-0.
Green Bay took the ball 94 yards down the field on the fifth drive of the game for the Packers. Randall Cobb took a short pass from Rodgers 47 yards after a short cut-back followed by great down-field blocking from Richard Rodgers and Nelson. Shortly after, Rodgers scrambled on third-and-12 to set-up a first-and-goal situation for the Packers. Cobb helped finish off the drive by scoring his eighth touchdown of the season to increase Green Bay's lead to 28-0.
Carolina managed to finally put some points on the board near the end of the half by connecting on a 33-yard field goal as time expired from Graham Gano. The Panthers were still down by a heavy deficit, 28-3 at the half.
Green Bay started their first offensive possession of the second half after Carolina was stopped short on a fourth-and-one situation near the middle of the field. It was more of the same as Rodgers connected with Cobb on a quick pick-play to gain 31 yards. On the very next play, Davante Adams got in on the action as he hauled in a 21-yard touchdown pass on a slant across the middle, the second touchdown for Adams on the season.
Tight end Brandon Bostick saw some action during the third, hauling in his first pass of the season for two yards. Aaron Rodgers looked for his rookie tight end Richard Rodgers in the end zone on the next play, but the pass sailed a little too high. Mason Crosby came on and hit his first field goal of the game to give the Packers a 38-3 at the end of the third.
Carolina scored their first touchdown of the season on a Kelvin Benjamin touchdown over Tramon Williams for 13 yards. That made the score 38-10, and of course didn't stop Mike McCarthy from giving his starting quarterback a rest. Matt Flynn checked into the game in the fourth, as well as Derek Anderson for Carolina on the other end. Anderson generated a late-game drive and threw a short 1-yard touchdown pass to Brenton Bersin.
Green Bay will enjoy the win, but will shift gears quickly as they get set ready to travel to New Orleans to face Drew Brees and the Saints in New Orleans next weekend.
The Panthers lost left tackle Byron Bell (elbow) and right guard Trai Turner (knee) to injuries in the game. Meanwhile, James Starks (ankle) left the field and got taped up in the third. He didn't return to the game, but with the way it was headed, there was no need for McCarthy to rush him back.
Stay with us here at APC for more game reaction and analysis, along with our game-threads for the afternoon slate of action.