Christian On My Mind

We’ll learn a whole lot about the 2019 Green Bay Packers by how they respond after their flat, uninspired, shocking performance in LA.

With the bye looming, followed by another California trip, this time against the unbeaten 49ers, the Pack cannot afford to slip up again at home against the 5-3 Panthers and their superstar Christian McCaffrey. The young back is on a historic pace, with his sights set on the record for yards from scrimmage. And after watching what the previously inept Chargers rushing offense did to the Pack’s D, he may believe he can set the record on Sunday.

The Panthers announced this week that Cam Newton is done for the year, so for the first time on Sunday, rookie QB Kyle Allen takes the field knowing that his audition is over and that this is his team, at least for the rest of the year. He’s been more good than bad, with a 5-1 record–his one dud was a terrible game in San Francisco, where the Panthers fell 51-13. His main receivers, DJ Moore and Curtis Samuel are young and on the rise, and tight end Greg Olsen has been known to have big games against Green Bay.

But we all know the Panthers will stay in this game if McCaffrey consistently wins his battle against a Packers defense that has really struggled since Week 4, ranking 31st in yards per play and third downs and 30th in explosive plays. ‘McCaffrey’ and ‘explosive’ are two words that go together often. Expect BJ Goodson to be on the field a lot more than he was last week as Pettine can’t afford to live with just Blake Martinez in the middle. The return of Ibrahim Campbell, if he’s healed enough to take defensive snaps, could be huge, finally giving the defense a true replacement for Raven Greene.

There are injury concerns in the secondary. Jaire Alexander injured his groin in practice on Thursday. He was limited on Friday and is listed as questionable. Meanwhile, Adrian Amos is dealing with a hamstring that kept him off the practice field until Friday. The defense really needs rookie Darnell Savage to shake the rust off–he hasn’t looked the same since returning from his ankle injury. Then there’s Kevin King, who logged just 20 snaps last week as he deals with a groin injury–suddenly the secondary is kind of a mess.

All the more reason we need to see the Pack’s pass rush look a lot more fearsome than it did last week against the immobile Philip Rivers. Allen has been sacked 20 times in six starts and has thrown four picks. The key is to win some first and second downs, so Allen is forced to do more than turn and hand to McCaffrey or to find him on simple screen passes. He’s their second leading receiver.

Now, how does the offense respond to last week’s head scratcher? It has to start with running the ball and this needs to be an Aaron Jones, as the Panthers’ run defense is most susceptible on the edges. They’re ranked 25th against the run, so let’s hope the Pack recalls how the Jones vs. Zeke matchup worked out last week and looks to repeat in this matchup between Jones and the NFL’s best back.

Carolina’s defense is #1 in sacks and #2 in interceptions, this after beefing up the unit in the offseason by adding Bruce Irvin, Gerald McCoy, Tre Boston and rookie Brian Burns. You figure interceptions will be hard to come by against Aaron Rodgers, but they saw what Bosa and Ingram did to the Pack’s tackles last week and are poised to make things tough for #12.

If the Pack can get the ground game going, that will open things up for big plays. It feels like this is the week Davante Adams finally finds the end zone. And maybe this is the week tight end Jace Sternberger gets some snaps and makes a big play or two.

It’s going to be the first cold game of the year, with temperatures starting in the mid-30s and will drop as the game goes on. You’d like to think that works in the Pack’s favor. A win over the Panthers would be the Pack’s fifth against a team currently with a winning record. By contrast, the Panthers have beaten just one team with a winning record (a late September road win in Houston). They’ve fattened up on the likes of the Cardinals, the Bucs, the Jags and the Titans. The Packers have a better pedigree and figure to be angry, embarrassed and focused. At least, they’d better be. I’m going to believe they do just enough. McCaffrey will pad the box score, but Rodgers deliver a late victory.

Packers 27  Panthers 23

 

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10 Responses to Christian On My Mind

  1. larry says:

    every time I take the Pack to lose, they win, so I’m doing it again. not because of that. I just like the way Allen is playing, and with te Olson and Moore plus 22 is key of course. Samuel is banged up and may not play. it will all come down to getting off the field on 3rd down. if Carolina dominates the clock were done, As I have said all year this d is overrated. if they don’t get turnovers , there bottom 3rd in league. Every game they play , that there plus 2 or more they win. like most trams I guess too. BUT they really count on turnovers. I know the coach will better get 30 and 33 more involved again, but this comes down to the d and offensive line. they got dominated vs. the Chargers. and they looked like crap vs. the raiders. Hope I am wrong again, I see it we lose 31 to 23 unless there plus 2 on t.o.’s. again. Go Packers.

  2. Greg says:

    That tackle on Rodgers in the end zone……LULZLULZLULZLULZLULZLULZ…………..total game changer, brutal, head scratcher, ah what?…….Rivera walking off at half screaming at the refs. ticky tack pass intterfenence to give green bay a shot at the one was also unreal. NFL jobs are at stake, people get fired. Davey, do something about this. Go on KFAN and admit the smell that constantly comes out of Lambeau.

  3. Purple troll says:

    Greg you are such a stupid idiot,no points came off of the crappy call,us Vikings get those calls all the time,like the NFL is going to listen to Dave,What a fuck…g moron!!! Please stop embarrassing Minnesota fans!!!

  4. WendyfromWaseca says:

    😂HaHaHaHaHa Ha😂 we’ll put purple troll,Greg is a child!!!

  5. Greg says:

    The pack didn’t score, but Carolina has the ball at midfield and with your porous defense, I’d bet they score. Are you people seriously dense?

  6. Purple troll says:

    Our defense is looking good against Dallas Greg,you pay to much attention to the packers!

  7. WendyfromWaseca says:

    Do you have a crystal ball Greg,lots of things could ,have happened,you don’t know if they would have scored,what a stupid thing to say,woulda shoulda coulda,you’re the dense one,what about our porous defense.

  8. Greg says:

    Your right, we don’t know what would have happened, so good call refs, good call. LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

  9. Purple troll says:

    Our defense got shredded Greg,I’m sure you see nothing wrong,pay more attention to the packers moron!! Wow that’s Cousins big win.

  10. WendyfromWaseca says:

    What good is all your babbling Greg,you know we’ll choke in the playoffs like we always do no matter what happens to the packers.

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