Packers vs. Panthers – First Impressions, Unfiltered: GB 30 CAR 23 All Green Bay Packers All the Time
Photo from

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.

Panthers running game: Williams and Stewart: They compliment each other very well. i really like their offensive line – we have to stop the run and try to make them one-dimensional.

Early Scoring: We want to get into an uptempo game right away. Very pleased with how we played on offense last week.



Packers vs. Panthers – First Impressions – First Half:

Packers Win the toss, but defer – McCarthy immediately looking to give the defense a chance to regain their swagger.

And, of course, the exact opposite happens. Panthers use a series of play action and roll outs to give Newton time, and he marches his team down the field.

Culminates in a TD where you see your classic Jarrett Bush man coverage… Never sees the ball.

Randall Cobb – Trying to hit the hole hard to make something happen, can’t avoid his own blocker. Need to keep that ball tucked in, Randall.

Did Dom Capers take the week off? Packers defense looking very confused…

Matthews spying Newton on 3rd down, Newton takes off with the ball, but Newton avoids his tackle in the open field, gains the first down.

More than anything, I’m surprised by HOW open Panthers pass catchers have been. Have to be blown coverages all over the field

I predicted last week, the Packers would beat the Saints by the D firming up and forcing some field goals. never would have imagined that scenario for this game.

Panthers D covering receivers very tightly. Contesting every catch…

Hopefully Capers has had some time during this Packers scoring drive to correct mistakes and rally the troops…

Brad Jones in at ROLB for Walden. Panthers run right at him on the first play, Doesn’t give an inch and play is blown up. Nice work.

Been keeping an eye out for Ryan Taylor on specials. Can see why he’s in on every unit…

I continue to be amazed how well Bush plays with the ball in front of him and how poorly with the ball over his head.

Beginning to think spying Newton with a LB is just not going to cut it. He’s too elusive…

McCarthy surprises me by going for it on fourth and four. Didn’t have a problem with it, but I didn’t like the resulting play. Throw a short high-percentage pass in that situation.

Panthers DBs are doing a hell of a job covering the Packers wide receivers. A hell of a job.

Never thought I’d be happy to only be down six going into halftime against the Carolina Panthers.

Second Half:

Was just saying to myself, with how tight the Panthers DBs are playing, why haven’t the #Packers taken a shot down the field?

Packers set that up nicely, coming out and running the ball to start the half, and then boom, play-action bomb.

Finley non-TD. Finley took four steps and hit the ground with his arm before his arm-carrying ball hit the ground and then the ball popped out. If that is not a TD, then it’s easily the most asinine rule I’ve ever seen.

Woodson back to his old opportunistic self today; two INTs and a fumble recovery so far.

Starks breaks a run to the second level, nice move and it’s a 40 yard gain.

Fantastic recovery by Bulaga saves a big hit on Rodgers. He was soundly beat but used the right angle to get back to the rusher just as he was about to hit Rodgers.

Was that Nelson’s first “target?” If it ends that way, does Nelson get the Jones treatment in the locker room?

Hardy hits Rodgers just after the throw.  And if that is roughing the passer, that is also asinine…

I can see why McCarthy talked up the Carolina O-Line in his pre-game interview. They have successfully kept the Packers off of Cam Newton.

Nick Collins wheeled off on a stretcher – is able to wave to fans.. I was thinking it’s just a stinger. Hope I’m right.

Packers once again can not gain a first down on a late, fourth quarter possession to use up the clock. Same script… Groundhog Day…

And Groundhog Day does in fact repeat; the defense is left to make a huge fourth down stop in the red zone. How long can they keep this up?

The nightmare matchup of CM3 against the Panthers’ rookie UDFA RT did not materialize. Packers had Matthews taking some snaps at ROLB late in 4th quarter.



Follow Jersey Al:

                    Add to Circleson Google+

Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for


14 thoughts on “Packers vs. Panthers – First Impressions, Unfiltered: GB 30 CAR 23

  1. Dom Capers – You have a whole lot of work to do. A WHOLE LOT OF WORK TO DO! Get it done!

    Pickett and Collins carted off! This is not good. The $5 mil or so for Jenkins? You screwed the pooch on that one TT.

    1. I agree in hindsight that $5 million for Jenkins would have been worth it but I think both the Packers and Jenkins himself thought he would command more ? Green could take the Pickett role ?

  2. Ugly win but still a win…
    D gave up a lot of yards again but was tough in the red zone which proved vital. Offense was much better when we started running the ball we had 100+ yards on only 15 carries. Morgan Burnett had a great game but will be much happier if Williams and Collins are in the secondary next Sunday..

  3. Latest on Collins test at the hosital were positive. He’ll probbly come home with the team tonight. Thank you Big Guy. Nothing on Picket yet.

  4. Maybe GB does need more pass rush from the DL, since they obviously aren’t going to get much of it from Walden. Maybe counting on Harell, I mean Neal, to replace Cullen’s ability there was a “mistake”.

    Call me a hater all you want. Until I see others step up and take some pressure of Raji and CM3, I will continue to state that Capers can’t scheme around so many defenders losing their one on ones.

    1. Bearmeat,

      Last time I checked 4 QB sacks and numerous pressures was considered a pretty decent job of pressuring the QB. That’s what happened.

      Just Sayin’.

    2. Two things:
      1) Carolina’s Offensive line is actually pretty good (when it comes to pass protection). So that the Dline didn’t overtake the game isn’t surprising. But we do have 7 sacks through 2 games, which would have put us first in sacks last year

      2) Watch the highlights of the Bears game. That is the o-line we face next. Tom Silverstein suggested that maybe Capers is holding back on blitzes until the Bears game. If we have a bad time getting to Cutler, then your concerns have a more legit foundation.

  5. Looks like Carimi went down for the Bears. I feel bad for a fellow Badger Alum. But, it is the Bears. By the end of the game Cutler was totally bonkers.

    1. Ron LC, “By the end of the game Cutler was totally bonkers”
      By the end of the game? When is Quittler NOT bonkers?

      1. Bub – just heard that he was having communincating to the offense. Apparently he got kicked in the throat and couldn’t project his voice. I guess that’ why he looked the way he did. Which is worse than usual.

  6. For those of you who believe the defense doesn’t have problems, you’ve got your heads in the sand. Newton had all kinds of time back there. If he’s more experienced the Pack don’t get the four sacks. The blitz isn’t getting home either. There is little, if any, D-line penetration on passing plays. The Pack should have resigned Jenkins – plain and simple. If he makes just a couple plays a game that his replacements can’t, the opponents lose a couple of long drives. We can’t expect to always win the TO battle and have that bail us out. In a passing league, you must have more than one or two players who can provide pressure on a consistent basis. I’m not saying the Pack can’t turn the D woes around, but much of what I’ve seen to this point gives me concern. They need one the OLB’s not named CM3 to step-up their pass rush. Only the brilliance of A-Rod has kept the Pack undefeated.

    OK, let me have it. I’ll wait for your “irrational exuberance”

    1. My only irrational exuberance is this:

      I’m pretty sure Cullen made the choice he was done with Green Bay when they allowed him to hit the FA market.

      Also of note, Jenkins played in just 31 of a possible 52 games in his last 3 years as a Packer.. And a good number of those games he did play in he was either mediocre or played limited snaps due to being hobbled with various injuries.

      I’m about the biggest Jenkins fan you’ll find; but I can understand why the Packers let him test the free agent market. I personally believe Cullen felt slighted by the Packers allowing it to get that far, and he made the decision to sign elsewhere rather than see what the Packers would have countered offered.

  7. What is still beating the poop out of me is how the D can sack Cam and then its 3rd and 22 then the D goes prevent and gives up a first down??? Just like that playoff loss to philly a few years ago. Why can’t Capers keep the D giving pressure instead of playing back on their heels??? Just like old Buddy Ryan said a long time ago, the only thing playing prevent D does is it prevents your team from winning!!!@

  8. Sam Shields had a horrible game.
    It’s like he’s afraid to tackle.

    And Clay has been invisible.
    We need that pass rush to get home!

Comments are closed.