Green Bay Packers: Week 2 Vs Panthers

The Green Bay Packers forge ahead to Week 2 of the regular season after a thrilling 42-34 victory over the New Orleans Saints last week in a game that went down to the wire.

Aaron Rodgers was named the NFC’s Offensive Player of the Week for his performance against the New Orleans Saints. Rodgers went 27-for-35 throwing for 312 yards and 3 TDs.

This week the Packers travel to Charlotte to take on the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium.

Carolina Panthers rookie quarterback Cam Newton had an impressive NFL debut last week against the Arizona Cardinals throwing for 422 passing yards and 2 TDs. Newton, the No. 1 overall draft pick last April, set an NFL record for becoming the first rookie to throw for more than 400 passing yards in a season opener.

What appears on paper to be one of the easier games on the Packers’ schedule, the Carolina Panthers’ potential should not be based on having the worst record in the league last year at 2-14.

The Green Bay Packers can secure a victory against the Carolina Panthers, if they address three key issues during the game.

1. Contain and blitz Cam Newton

While the Heisman Trophy winner put up impressive numbers in the air last week, Cam Newton can also run with the ball. Last week against the Cardinals Newton ran for 18 yards on 8 carries and had a rushing TD.

Don’t let his size (6-5, 244) fool you. According to, Newton ranked third among quarterbacks at the combine running the 40-yard dash in 4.59 seconds.

The Packers’ defensive will need to contain Newton in the backfield in order to prevent him from running for first downs and short yardage touchdowns. They will also need to bring pressure in order to take away Newton’s ability to find his favorite receiving target in Steve Smith.

Look for Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers to throw a mixed bag of blitz packages at the Panther rookie.

2. Cover Steve Smith

Panthers WR Steve Smith is the best receiver on the team and will most likely be Cam Newton’s favorite target this week after connecting with Smith on 8 passes for 178 yards and 2 TDs last week against the Cardinals.

If the Packers’ secondary can cover Smith, then Newton will target the Panthers’ TEs, Greg Olsen and Jeremy Shockey, for short yardage attempts.

3. Exploit the Panthers’ secondary

The Panthers run a 4-3 scheme that places more emphasis on speed than power and will rush their defensive ends Charles Johnson (6-2, 275) and Greg Hardy (6-4, 277).

Unfortunately for the Panthers, they lost their star middle linebacker Jon Beason for the year last week when he sustained a torn Achilles’ tendon.

If the Packers offensive line can hold off the pass rush, Aaron Rodgers could easily throw for over 300 yards against a weak Panthers secondary that had too many broken coverages last week against the Arizona Cardinals.

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