Packers vs. Panthers – First Impressions, Unfiltered: GB 30 CAR 23

Photo from PackersNews.com

The Green Bay Packers invade Charlotte NC, today to take on the Carolina Panthers and record-setting rookie  QB Cam Newton. The Packers are certainly hoping for a more comfortable win than last week’s game against the Saints.

The Panthers were 2-14 last season, but have spent 144 million on seven players in an attempt to keep a young core together, ala Green Bay. They already looked like an improved team last week, with Cam Newton a huge improvement over Jimmy Clausen.

The Packers’ defense, however, will be looking to bounce back and show the NFl last’s weeks points surrendered were more attributable to the Saints’ high-powered offense than the packers’ defense not playing well.


Inactive for the Packers tonight are:

DB Tramon Williams, DE Mike Neal, LB Frank Zombo, CB Davon House, LB Vic So’oto, T Derek Sherrod, RB Alex Green.

I’m very pleased that Tramon Williams is being held out if he’s not 100%. He is way too important to the Packers for them to risk aggravating the injury further.

With Williams out, M.D. Jennings makes the first game-day roster appearance of his career. With Williams out, Shields starts and Bush plays at nickel. Since Bush is also a backup safety, Williams comes on in case emergency safety help is needed.

The Packers go with seven active offensive linemen again, with Marshall Newhouse and Evan Dietrich-Smith the only reserves. With Clifton’s knee aching a bit more this week, Packers continue to roll the dice with inexperienced backups and only two of them.


Mike McCarthy Pregame Show on 620 WTMJ:

Noon start time: The players prefer it and so do I.

Cool temperatures: Exactly the type of weather we’ve been preparing in.

Tramon: It was close – smart for us to be cautious – he’ll be ready for Chicago.

Cam Newton: You have to be impressed – very talented young man – he’s a winner. I was impressed with the speed that he played with, which is usually a big hurdle for rookie QBs to overcome. And, he throws an excellent ball. A great athlete.

Steve Smith: He’s been such a big play receiver thorough the years. one of the best at going up to get the ball.



Packers vs. Panthers Week 2 Game Predictions from AllGreenBayPackers.com

Week 2: Green Bay Packers vs. Carolina Panthers
Name Record To-Date This Week’s Pick Score Prediction
Kris Burke 1-0 Green Bay Packers 27-13
Cam Newton continues to emerge, and the Williams/Stewart combo for Carolina keeps them in the game until the Packers pull away late. Packers initially struggle in what should be a gimme game.
“Jersey” Al Bracco 1-0 Green Bay Packers 34-10
Panthers RT Otah is out, starting an undrafted rookie there now. Say hello to Mr. Matthews… Packers D anxious to win some respect back and CMIII leads the way. Packers offense does what it does – score.
Adam Czech 0-1 Green Bay Packers 31-13
Cam Newton’s father took the blame for gifts his son was (allegedly) given at Auburn. But Cam’s daddy won’t be able to help him against the pass rush of Clay Matthews, or the defensive gameplan of Dom Capers. A bit ragged at times, but the Packers roll.
Thomas Hobbes 1-0 Green Bay Packers 27-10
I’m not completely convinced that Cam Newton is “422-yards” good, and if anything he might come in overconfident (I also would like to thank the Cardinals secondary for making this not a trap game as well).  Add that to the loss of two huge playmakers in middle linebacker Jon Beason and right tackle Jeff Otah (who would have been across Clay Matthews) and I think the Packers win this one.
Zach Kruse 0-1 Green Bay Packers 38-17
Cam Newton is brimming with confidence after his 422-yard debut, but Dom Capers will show him things Sunday he’s never seen at any level of football. Expect a couple of turnovers from him. There’s also no reason to think Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense will be derailed by a Panthers defense that lacks playmakers after MLB Jon Beason was lost for the season. Packers cruise to a three-touchdown win.
Chad Toporski 1-0 Green Bay Packers 37-13
Cam Newton had an impressive game last week, but he’ll be coming back down to earth against an elite defense. Capers will confuse him early and often. Oh, and Matt Flynn will be closing things out.


Green Bay Packers vs. Carolina Panthers Preview: 5 Things to Watch

The Green Bay Packers (1-0) and Carolina Panthers (0-1) face off in Week 2 of the NFL season Sunday.

The basics 

When: Noon CST, Sunday, September 18, 2011

Where: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC

TV: FOX, Ron Pitts and Jim Mora, Jr.

Radio: 620 AM WTMJ (Milwaukee); Packers Radio Network

Series: Packers lead, 6-4 (Panthers won last regular season game, 35-31, in Nov. 2008 at Lambeau Field)

Five things to watch

Cam vs. the doubters

In the past year or so, Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has been doubted about everything from the authenticity to his smile to his ability to pick up a simple NFL offense. While his 422-yard NFL debut emphatically silenced most of those critics, they’ve been replaced by new doubters who think there’s no chance he’ll do well against a more talented Packers defense Sunday afternoon.

I, for one, hesitate to doubt Newton, who has risen to nearly every football challenge laid before him. There’s just something special about Newton that’s hard to attribute with stats or scouting terms. He has that “it” factor.

This will arguably be the biggest test of his football career, however, as Newton has never seen a defense as talented or multi-faceted as the Packers team he will face Sunday. Can he rise to this task as well? He might not lead the underdog Panthers to an upset win, but it’s hard to bet against Newton playing well, especially with Tramon Williams potentially on the sidelines.

Spreading the wealth

Much has been made in the 10 days leading up to this game about the disappearance of receiver James Jones in the offense during the Packers’ Week 1 win over the Saints. I think any competitor would be upset in his shoes, and he’s voiced that opinion a few times this week. It’s been discussed more than it needed in the lead up to this game, in my opinion.

Every dog will have his day in the Packers offense, but every dog won’t be satisfied every week. That’s just how it will go this season. Would anyone really be surprised if Jones caught a handful of passes this season?