Packers XLV

Packers Take Away Newton's Chance at Upset

Posted September 19th, 2011 @ 12:09am

This one was ugly from the start. But when you have designs on winning a Super Bowl title, sometimes you win ugly. The Packers found themselves trailing the Panthers 13-0 in the second quarter--the largest deficit they've faced since the '09 season.

But on a day when Cam Newton added to his burgeoning legend with a second consecutive 400 yard day, it was his three interceptions that allowed the Packers to hold off the Panthers and improve to 2-0. Mike McCarthy is now a perfect 6-0 in home openers.

As for Newton, he was beyond impressive. This stat says it all: in NFL history, there have been four 400 yard passing days by a rookie. Newton has two of them in two career starts. The Packers sacked him four times, but he was able to elude the pass rush for much of the day and had lots of time to find receivers. After a 150 yard first quarter where his tight ends, Greg Olsen and Jeremy Shockey were consistently wide open, the Pack switched to more zone coverage. From then on, the screen game worked well and his receivers made some big third down catches to keep them in the game late.

After two games, the Packers defense has given up two 400 yard passing days. Concerning? Yes. But there's plenty of time to figure things out. On a positive note, the run defense was ferocious: eliminating DeAngelo Williams from the attack and forcing Carolina to be one-dimensional. And like the opener, the defense stood tall and made big plays when it needed to. Cornerback Tramon Williams missed the game: he would have drawn the Steve Smith assignment for much of the game and allowed Charles Woodson to move around more.

Instead, Woodson played more in coverage and delivered a brilliant performance, with two interceptions and a forced fumble. Morgan Burnett had another strong outing--forcing Steve's Smith's fumble.

The offense got its act together in the second half, once Mike McCarthy remembered that running the ball was allowed in the NFL. I know he was behind in the first half, but there's no excuse for four rushing attempts in the first half. James Starks busted some nice runs on the first drive of the third quarter--putting play action in play, and voila: Rodgers and Jennings hooked up on a long touchdown pass. Through two games it's clear as day that Starks is the Pack's best running back--and it's not close.

At the time of this post, it appears that Nick Collins is going to be okay. His head collided with Jonathan Stewart's backside and he was carted off the field. After spending Sunday night in Charlotte as a precaution, he will return to Green Bay for additional tests--but he had "normal feeling and complete movement in his extremities," according to a Packer press release Sunday night.

The Pack will need him and Williams back in the secondary next week when they head to Soldier Field for a huge early season divisional game against the Bears. Chicago got pounded by the Saints and will be ready for a hard-hitting defensive tug of war. Green Bay will take the field tied atop the North with the Lions, who put up 48 on the Chiefs and look like a team that has officially arrived.

The Packers have not yet arrived with a complete performance in 2011. They're going to need one next week.

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Comments (23):

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on August 1st, 2012 at 08:00am

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on August 3rd, 2012 at 07:26am

No, but you can typed in 1996 Carolina Panthers Wiki and it shows you how many games they won(12-4) and their finished in their disivion that year. They finished in First place, remarkable achievements in only their second year in existent. They lost to the Packers 30-13 and it ended their season.References :

on May 18th, 2012 at 01:18am

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on May 18th, 2012 at 03:27am

When I originally commneted I clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service? Thanks!

on May 18th, 2012 at 03:39pm

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on May 18th, 2012 at 06:55am

When I originally conmtmeed I clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service? Thanks!

on May 18th, 2012 at 07:13pm

Aw, this was a really nice post. In idea I would like to put in witirng like this additionally – taking time and actual effort to make a very good article… but what can I say… I procrastinate alot and by no means seem to get something done.

on May 18th, 2012 at 08:59am

= ''; } Where can i find a free baseball auotcin league?Too Early to Judge Newton's Performance .recentcomments a{display:inline !important;padding:0 !important;margin:0 !important;}

on May 20th, 2012 at 03:27am

Josh, I love the section about the Defensive stats on your wesbite but one thing that is missing in your play recently is the FG%. I am all for downing treys because you ace those but the next time you think of shooting a normal jump shot, consider going in for a dunk or work your way in for a layup. Thay way you will have a perfect all round Defensive game and a respectable Offensive Game based on a decent FG%. Can you do me a favour and at least aim for a couple of monster 50%+ FG% in the next couple of games? I would be surprised if you guys are unable to win if you are able to achieve that Peace!Speed..

on May 20th, 2012 at 05:09am

What's up Smoove? Boy u are doin your thang this year and I love it. Yall keep playin like you have for the last few days you and the guys are just blailn outta control. Tell Joe I'm glad he got his shot back so the haters can shut up. Jamal,Al,Mike, and the rest of the team keep up the success and continue to fly under the radar. Tell Marvin to get well soon because he was playin well b4 the injury. alright PEACE!!!

on May 20th, 2012 at 05:30am

HEY josh, you are awsome! you are the graeetst dunker ever. i really like to watch the hawks you guys are awsome. I never miss a game.if i would get to meet you and the hawks i would be really happy! My b-day is on april 1st and i would love to see you play the celtics. If i did i would be so happy and if i got YOU GUYS autographs i would be super happy. P.S MY GRANDMA GOT ME YOUR JERSEY FOR CHRISTMAS AND I LOVED IT.

on May 20th, 2012 at 07:44am

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on May 7th, 2012 at 12:54pm

Ugly is right. This team is still trying to figure out it's identity on both sides of the ball. I was right about more running, but that's kind of finding something to be right about. We won (and lost) ugly early last year too. The "W's" are important and we'll figure it out as we go along. Now we get the Bears after the Saints exposed their sins. Time to give them their penance and keep the pressure on Detroit.

on September 18th, 2011 at 09:29pm

Much closer than I thought, but I love how we found a way to win despite the poor start. Clifton was pretty bad again, as was our line as a whole with all those penalties. I feel like our D plays its best with their backs against the was so interesting because I almost EXPECTED us to stop them on that critical 4th down late in the game when Clay got him a couple yards shy. I am not as worried about the defense yet really, we played brees week one and without tramon today. We havent been great (lack of a pass rush has been a factor) but we have made key stops in big could have easily been 17-0 or even 21-0 when the second quarter started...also Coach is 6-0 in road openers. type accident there.

on September 18th, 2011 at 09:33pm

We need to learn how to put these teams away, however, an ugly win is always better then a pretty lost.....

on September 18th, 2011 at 09:49pm

Gutsy win. Depending on how long Pickett will be out, we're getting dangerously low on defensive line players. It will be interesting to see what Ted does or doesn't do now.

on September 18th, 2011 at 10:25pm

Defense is the backbone of this team and was the reason we won the Super Bowl last year. Rodgers and the offense will put up their numbers week in and week out but the D needs to play better. The loss to the Cardinals in the playoffs was all due to Defense, and it looks as if teams are passing on us again like that. The rook threw for 432 on us which is brutal. On a positive note, we didn't blow a 17-0 second half lead at home. IALTO

on September 18th, 2011 at 10:59pm

Losing Nick Collins for the season is a huge blow....Charlie Peprah will have to step up big. Hope this is not the start of injuries like last year...we already have Neal, Pickett missing time.

on September 19th, 2011 at 07:00pm

A win is a win ....but some observations.....on the two most important stats....we lost on third down efficiency 46-42%....but the 4-1 turnover ratio was the key. Did Carolina take away Driver and Nelson most of this game outside of Nelsons only catch for the TD ?? or was this a MM decision ?? Agree with you the ball more.....when Starks carries they run behind Buluga who is turning into a nice lead run blocker that overcomes his slower feet for his pass blocking defiencies. On the positive side good red zone defense and the continued improvement of Morgan Burnett. It will help to get Pickett back for the D line. We miss Cullen Jenkins who had 2 sacks and 3 tackles in the Atlanta/Philly game and was a presence like he was for the Pack. Capers will come up with a scheme to pressure Cutler. Finally.....nice to see kick coverage was improved and did not give Carolina field position. GO PACK GO !!

on September 19th, 2011 at 08:49am

boy do i know my packers. what did i tell u all. called it to a t again. u all said this would be easy. they need to get more pressure on qb's we will miss jenkins badly. neal really hurts too. these guys get run down as the game goes on. i just knew watching the carolina and cardinals game, newton would put up 23- 24 points on us. thanks god for jordy's speed. i hate being right all the time but i know my packers. all my friends thought this would be a blow out too just like all the so called experts. i wish someone would pay me for my great packer mid as p.a would say. now i need to stop padding myself on my back and figure out next week against the bears, go world champs

on September 19th, 2011 at 10:41am

Cam looked good sometimes, awful others. This defense is not the same when woodson has to play outside the whole game. Capers said they didnt change the scheme but clearly the replacements are not as effective within the scheme. As bad as our D looked at times, i was more concerned with our lack of offensive rhythm. With 4 takeaways, this offense should have done more. Agree with the sentiment that we need to run a little more. Starks has looked great in games 1/2. GoPack.

on September 19th, 2011 at 11:23am

Larry, don't dislocate that arm.

on September 21st, 2011 at 08:55am

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