Green Bay Packers at Carolina Panthers 11/8/15 NFL Score, Recap, News and Notes
Final Score: Panthers 37, Packers 29
November 8, 2015
Mixed in with the Sunday Week 9 NFL matchups, we had a highly-anticipated game between two NFC powerhouses in the Packers and Panthers. Green Bay was coming off an embarrassing loss to the Broncos, while Carolina edged the Colts in Week 8. This was a game everyone was looking forward to, and it didn’t disappoint.
Let’s check out a few of the key stats and players from the game so that we can figure out why things played out the way they did. Afterward we’ll look ahead to Week 10 to see what’s in store for both teams.
What Happened: Things started out pretty evenly on the scoreboard in the first quarter. The Panthers struck first on a 20-yard Graham Gano field goal, but the Packers would take the lead on a 1-yard scoring strike from Aaron Rodgers to Richard Rodgers.
In the second quarter, Carolina kicked into high gear and the Packers hit a wall. Cam Newton would put the Panthers on top with a 1-yard run to cap a nice 80-yard drive. Shortly afterward, he’d find Greg Olsen on a 7-yard TD pass. Gano would nail another field goal from 49 yards out, and Corey Brown would finish off the first-half scoring on a 39-yard TD reception.
Meanwhile, the Pack couldn’t get anything going at all on offense, racking up 3-and-outs on virtually every possession.
At the break, it was 27-7 Panthers.
The Packers got the ball first in the second half and corralled some much-needed momentum on a stellar 53-yard TD hookup between Rodgers and Randall Cobb. The Panthers would respond with a Gano field goal later in the quarter to make it 30-14, and then things got interesting.
The fourth quarter was absolutely wild, with Green Bay storming back to make a game of it. Carolina initially looked like they’d put it away with a Newton TD pass to Devin Funchess from 14 yards out. Rodgers and the Packers got some help from their defense and scored twice on two pass plays (one to Rodgers, one to James Starks) to get themselves to a 29-37 score. A crucial drive late in the quarter culminated on a 4th and goal from the 4-yard line. Rodgers threw a desperation heave that was picked off, essentially ending the game. The Packers got one last brief possession, but the 37-29 score would hold.
Carolina stays undefeated with iron-fist control of their division, while the Packers drop another tough game.
USA TODAY Sports
The Stars: Carolina had a pretty solid all-around effort here, with all phases contributing to the win. Newton was just 15-of-30, but contributed to four touchdowns, 297 yards in the air and 57 more on nine rushes. Greg Olsen had a team-high four catches for 66 yards and a score. Defensively, the team came up with two turnovers and five key sacks.
On the other side, Rodgers bounced back from a shaky outing against the Broncos with 369 yards and four touchdowns. Randall Cobb (four grabs; 99 yards; TD) and Davante Adams (seven catches; 93 yards) were the main contributors there.
The Goats: Eddie Lacy is simply not the player he was last season. He rushed just five times for 10 yards and lost a fumble, getting thoroughly outplayed by the sure-handed James Starks, who had six grabs for 83 yards and a score.
The Green Bay defense tightened up late, but was in disarray for most of the game. B.J. Raji and Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix even got into an animated fight on the sideline at one point and had to be separated.
Injuries: During the third quarter, Panthers LB Luke Kuechly came out of the game with an ankle injury. (He would return, but was injured again during the fourth quarter.) The Packers’ Casey Heyward was injured a short time later on a tackle.
Early in the fourth, Cam Newton was slow to get up after diving for a first down but seemed to be okay.
Outlook: Looking ahead to Week 10, both teams will be back in action on Sunday, November 15 at 1:00 PM ET on FOX. The Packers will host NFC North foe Detroit, while the Panthers will travel to visit the Titans.
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