1. It was incredibly entertaining. When offenses go up and down the field like that, defensive coordinators grimace. But fans -- and sportswriters -- love it. It helped that the snow mostly held off. It is now snowing extremely hard in Green Bay and Lambeau Field is covered with white as I write this, truly looking like a frozen tundra. But there was little snow until the game ended.
2. The Panthers' red zone success. The Panthers made five trips inside Green Bay's 20 and scored on every one of them -- all of them 1-yard TDs (a team-record four by DeAngelo Williams). "Getting 7s rather than 3s when we were down there was the difference in the game," QB Jake Delhomme said.
3. Carolina's goal-line stand. The Panthers' defense was picked apart by Aaron Rodgers (298 passing yards) for most of the second half, but came up with the goods late in the fourth quarter by stopping the Packers twice at the 1 on second-and-goal and third-and-goal. Then Green Bay decided to kick the field goal -- a decision now roundly being second-guessed -- to go up 31-28 with 1:57 to go. (Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy said: "To go up three points with two minutes left at home, I was confident in that position, that's why I kicked it.") That led to...
4. Steve Smith. What an amazing catch. He actually seemed to catch the back end of the ball on that 54-yard grab, yet held on to set up the Panthers' go-ahead TD.
5. Mark Jones. The Panthers' kick returner was extremely efficient, giving Carolina the equivalent of a couple of free first downs on several of his runbacks.
6 months ago