The Packers will be traveling down to Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina this Sunday.The Panthers are a very young, 0-1 team looking to upset the defending champs. What should we be looking for with Panthers fighting for the upset? I have a few options in mind, so let explore them so we are all on the same page…
Cam Newton leads the offense, and I do not know if anyone else is aware but the Packers are not that good against athletic QBs. Our new 3-4 defense is better than our old, but too many times, Donovan McNabb, Duante Culpepper and Micheal Vick toasted our defense, with running whenever there is no one open. It is the most aggravating thing in the world, having the opposition in 3rd and long, only to have the QB run for the first because we are playing prevent defense like Capers likes to do. Newton is very athletic, has some wheels, and is young so he knows how to use his legs but after seeing him throw for 422 yards in the opener, apparently he knows how to throw as well.
The Panthers have two TEs in Greg Olsen and Jeremy Shockey who are both very experienced and know how to find holes in the middle of a defense, which is there for the taking in Capers’ defense. The Pack gave up 4 catches for 58 yards and one TD last week to Jimmy Graham, so these two guys can definetly keep the chains moving. Olsen has played the Packers since being drafted by da Bears so he knows how our defense works.
The Panthers run game fizzled in the opener, only gaining 74 yards total, but they have a duo of RBs, with DeAngelo Williams as the leading rusher, with Jonathan Stewart coming in as the change of pace back. Cam Newton is always a threat to run as I mentioned earlier so having a spy on him, whether it be Walden or Hawk or Bishop, someone has to keep an eye on him. Stopping the run and forcing the rookie to throw is the way to go.
The Panthers have a young, athletic defense but was dealt a huge blow week one with their leader and best LB, Jon Beason blowing out his achilles tendon, ending his season. They have a good pass rusher in Charles Johnson, but not much after that. Their secondary is young, and full of risk takers. The Cards rushed for exactly 100 yards on the Panthers, so the rushing lanes are there for the taking.
Overall, the Packers should be able to move the ball well against the Panthers. The Packers overmatch Carolina at almost every aspect of the game, and should win by at least 10. I will never count a team out of any matchup, but the Packers are primed for a 2-0 start!