Packers 38, Panthers 17: Game Balls and Lame Calls

Another game at Lambeau Field and another blowout victory for the Green Bay Packers.

The final score was 38-17 but the game against the Carolina Panthers was never really that close. The Packers jumped out to a 21-0 first quarter lead and never looked back. Green Bay eventually stretched the lead to 38-3 before giving up two garbage time touchdowns. Carolina never had a prayer.

Aaron Rodgers continued his stellar play, finishing with a quarterback rating of 154.5 after carrying a perfect 158.3 rating all the way until his last drive. The defense finally stopped a read-option quarterback in Cam Newton and that adds up to a fourth straight Packers victory.

Here are the people that stood out for better or worse in the 38-17 win over the Panthers.

Game Balls

QB Aaron Rodgers

Skip Bayless can go suck an egg. Rodgers is a ton of fun to watch play the game, alleged “lack of interceptions” be damned.

Rodgers had as many incompletions as he did touchdowns. That’s just insane. It seems like we are handing out a game ball to Rodgers every single week. He was surgical as well as absolutely deadly with the deep ball. Sure he took a couple of sacks, but that takes absolutely nothing away from his masterful performance on Sunday.

Everyone will be fawning over Peyton Manning breaking Brett Favre’s touchdown pass record this week and yes it’s deserved. He is one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game. What many won’t be taking about (because of all the Manning discussion) is how well Rodgers is playing. The Packers quarterback has a ridiculous 18 touchdown passes to only ONE interception.

Manning and Rodgers very well may have to split the 2014 MVP if both players keep up this production.

WR Randall Cobb

Jordy Nelson can’t have all the fun. After the veteran from Kansas State came out on fire through six games this year, it was Cobb’s time to shine.

Cobb has been money with touchdown receptions all year but the game against the Panthers finally saw him gain plenty of yardage (121 yards) go along with one touchdown catch. He finished just seven yards shy of a career-high.

Not even a little ketchup on the Lambeau Leap after his touchdown could keep him down. It was ironic given he had the Panthers secondary playing “catch up” all afternoon.

Defensive coordinator Dom Capers

The “Fire Capers” crowd sure has gone silent lately.
Many people held their breath when the Packers went up against another read-option quarterback in Newton on Sunday, but the defense had a fantastic game. Newton was held under 50 yards rushing and was forced into an interception to Casey Hayward.

Newton might not be Colin Kapernick but the fact Green Bay finally stopped a read-option offense gives some semblance of hope to a unit that became Swiss cheese whenever they’d face a dangerous dual threat quarterback (Kaepernick and Russell Wilson).

The defense has really had an outstanding October but they face a stiff challenge next Sunday against the New Orleans Saints. Stop Drew Bree’s and the “Fire Capers” chants might be done for the year and by the bye week to boot.

Lame Calls

Referee Jeff Triplette

A ridiculous ejection of Luke Kuechly and a bizarre taunting penalty on Clay Matthews.

All in a day’s work for the worst official in the NFL.

Seriously. If the new official accountability procedures put in place in 2012 after the replacement official debacle is supposed to root out bad officiating, how the heck does Triplette still have a job?

If the ref is the only lame call, you know it was a good Packers victory.


Kris Burke is a sports writer covering the Green Bay Packers for and WTMJ in Milwaukee. He is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA) and his work has been linked to by sites such as National Football Post and


13 thoughts on “Packers 38, Panthers 17: Game Balls and Lame Calls

  1. I’ll give a lame call to giving Triplett a lame call. I will agree that officiating hasn’t been very good this year, but I don’t think we can say that the ejection of Luke Kuechly was “ridiculous,” or that the taunting penalty on Clay Matthews was “bizzarre.”

    In the case of Matthews, we have no idea what Matthews may have said. Taunting can be verbal. Unless we know for sure that CMIII didn’t say anything to warrant the flag, we can’t condemn the call. For example, if a player uses a racial slur, it is an automatic personal foul.

    The Kuechly ejection is a little less cut and dried, but still I don’t think you can give Tripplett a lame call… especially since the foul was called by the back judge, Steve Freeman. And in this case, there was no reason for Triplett to overturn Freeman’s call.

    For the record, Kuechly is a standup guy by almost all accounts. I’m certain that he had no idea that it was an official. But that doesn’t matter. It is your responsibility to know. If you make any sort of aggressive contact with an official you will be ejected, whether you intended to do it or not. According to PFT, the league has confirmed that even inadvertent contact with an official is a foul that carries a 15 yard penalty and automatic ejection. So if you’re going to get feisty when the ball is dead and flail your arms around and such, you’d better make darn sure you don’t bop the back judge in the face. If you do, you’re out. That’s it.

    Maybe we don’t like the rule or the “loopholes” in it. If so, then the rule needs to be rewritten. But the refs are there to enforce the rules, not define them.

    1. Totally agree. Just play the game and let your results speak for you. I have no interest in seeing the post play demonstrations, particularly when a player has under performed for much of the game or season. In that light, you gotta love Jordy Nelson’s “thank you very much – next” celebration.

  2. I enjoyed Newhouse ahem I mean Sherrod coming in and immediately getting a false start penalty. Give that man a huge raise and keep him around forever.

    1. You need to find some happiness in your life… Can’t even enjoy a blowout victory.

  3. I don’t give the benefit of the doubt to the officials very often, but Steve Freeman – as an ex-player, wouldn’t have tossed the flag if there wasn’t something there.

    As far as the Matthews tap – all we had was the tap on the chest (seemed more like a “finally I got to you” type of action). In that case, the flag came from quite a ways away instead of right at the point of the action. Certainly there had to be more than the tap to generate a flag? If not, I agree with the lame call. If so, it was probably more of a even things out type of call.

  4. Great, strong, solid win for the Packers at home. OL is playing better and the DL looks like it is coming together as well. The D gave Carolina nothing until garbage time. Overall a very impressive victory which the Packers should bottle and then open again for every remaining game this season. Enjoy the win then get ready for N.O. Hopefully we will get injury updates as early in the week as possible. Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since ’61

  5. It was great to see the Packers dominate an inferior team by letting them know early they haven’t a chance to win…A lesson learned and hopefully not to be forgotten. 🙂

  6. Almost a perfect day of football; Packers rolled, Bears lost and were fighting each other in the locker room, SF and Seattle lost. If the Lions had lost it would have been a perfect day of football.

    1. Yes, it could be a strategy you could use a lot based on where they are punting from. It’s no different the the read option. The guys covering would have to account for two people on opposite ends every single time or they would have to change how they run down by first looking up to see where the ball is actually kicked and slow them down. Either way it would be an advantage everytime to the punt return team. I bet some team will try to do this more often.

      Having said that it was great to see Seattle be the team that it was used on for the win. Loved it!! Lovie Smith tried that on us and it worked as they scored fooling everyone but there was a fantom penalty on the play and we lucked out. Had that not been a penalty, Aaron Rodgers would be looked at like Matt Ryan.

  7. Seahawks vs. Rams

    The Rams pulled a great punt return. The Bears did this to us a few years ago bit there was a penalty I think.

    Anyway, the Ram’s had their fake punt returner look as is he were making a catch at the Rams 10 yard line or so..(5) other Rams pretended the the PR was going to catch the ball and headed in his direction by the left sideline of the Rams. The punt itself went to the right sideline around the 10 yard line of the Rams. That real PR caught the punt over his shoulder, had (4) Rams convoy block for him into the end zone 85 yards away. The cameraman was
    1) we should do this

    2) What a tragedy if we are headed to the Super Bowl and some wild card team beats us doing this. The Bears pulled this on us as I said. I remember it as I think it was a Monday NIght game. We were lucky there was a penalty.

    Watch here:
    totally fooled.

    Why do I bring this up?

    1. As a general rule, trick plays and gadgets are high-risk propositions for teams who don’t think they can win without them.

      For the most part, Green Bay’s special teams have been very good to excellent this year.

  8. Just watched the ’12 Saints Packers game. And yes, Jeff Triplette’s officiating was even worse that day. There were a number of terrible calls, but what was easily the worst was a clear fumble by the Saints in the 4th quarter that GB clearly recovered was ruled in Saints favor. If it weren’t for a missed field goal, that call would have cost us the game.

    Did you know that Drew Brees has thrown 1,188 passing yards in his three games he’s played against Rodgers? Talk about taking opportunity! At least I can gladly say that it won’t be easy this time. NO’s WR corps is nothing close to what it was in the past, and the same goes for GB’s secondary except they’re trending upwards. Here’s hoping for a complete dismantlement of Da Aint’s!

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