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.
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.
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 AllGreenBayPackers.com 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 CBSSports.com. Follow @KrisLBurke