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Cheese Curds, 12/26: Packers manage to win in yet another bizarre game

The Packers’ 2023 season has been filled with weird things, and they had a bunch more happen on Christmas Eve.

Green Bay Packers v Carolina Panthers Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Maybe it’s the fact that this team is extremely young. Maybe the phases of the moon and the planets are out of whack or something like that. Or maybe it’s just a weird year, and football is a weird sport where weird things happen.

Regardless of the reason, the Green Bay Packers played another bizarre, strange game on Sunday in their 33-30 victory over the Carolina Panthers. It was indeed a crazy game filled with some odd moments, and the opening coin toss just set the tone for what was to come.

As we have learned in the 48 hours or so since the game, the Packers’ most enigmatic player appeared to take it upon himself to go out for the coin toss, then almost cost the team a possession of the football. Then the game ended with a wacky situation that saw the Panthers spike the football with no time left.

In between, there were plenty of strange moments as well. Anders Carlson missed a PAT, then crushed a 53-yard field goal that would have been good from 65 yards out. The Packers got a 100-yard rusher for the first time this season, as Aaron Jones picked up 127 yards on 21 carries, but they couldn’t find a yard late in the game with a chance to completely run out the clock. And a penalty on a two-point conversion by the Panthers entirely changed the complexion of the fourth quarter.

Those are only a few of the strange situations that came up in this game. It might not have been as wacky a game as the Monday night game against the Giants two weeks ago, but it’s another contest that saw the Packers involved in some significant weirdness. At least this time they came out on top.

Green Bay Packers overcome 'mistake' during coin toss in win - ESPN
Jaire Alexander -- who wasn't even supposed to be on the field for the coin toss -- told the officials "I want our defense to be out there," which isn't necessarily the same thing as deferring to the second half. Thankfully, the official clarified that the Packers were deferring.

Packers’ game-winning drive burned as much clock as possible | Packers.com
Two plays accounted for 56 of the 61 yards the Packers gained on the drive, but they managed to kill just enough clock to make sure that that the Panthers weren't able to get off a potential game-tying field goal attempt.

Packers Got ‘Benefit of Doubt’ on Romeo Doubs’ Bobbled Catch vs. Panthers - Sports Illustrated
The Panthers weren't happy about the call on Doubs' catch nor the ruling that Bryce Young's spike hit the ground with the clock at zero. The first one was a more understandable gripe, but the second looked pretty clear on the replay.

Packers Rasheed Walker takes all the offensive snaps at LT vs. Panthers | Packers Wire
Is the left tackle rotation finally over? Walker appears to have taken the job back for good, at least for this season. Right guard is still an open question, however, with Sean Rhyan splitting reps 50/50 with Jon Runyan, Jr. and getting in the game earlier than usual: on the second drive.

New Zealand mayor clarifies there’s no need to ‘stop pooing’ amid town’s sewerage stench crisis | The Guardian
The residents of a town near Wellington can unclench themselves -- literally.