** Lambeau Field is a superb place to watch a game, and I’ve been fortunate enough to see two memorable ones there. One was the Panthers’ NFC championship game loss to Brett Favre, Reggie White and Green Bay during the 1996 season – it was unbelievably cold that day. The other was Steve Beuerlein’s “quarterback draw” game (see my Sunday column for a lot more details on that one) in 1999.
Sounds like it may snow Sunday during the game. That’d be fun.
** The Panthers and the Green Bay Packers are both smarting a little after last week – particularly their defenses. I don’t think this game will be 51-45, like you would think if you were only going by last week, but I believe the winning team will need to score at least 24.
** If Steve Smith doesn’t score a touchdown from at least 40 yards out against Green Bay, I’ll be surprised. The Packers’ safeties not only aren’t very good, they’re also banged up. Green Bay’s cornerbacks, on the other hand, are usually excellent (when they’re not facing Drew Brees). So Smith will sometimes be blanketed by cornerbacks Al Harris or Charles Woodson. But when he can shake free of those two, he can definitely beat the Packers’ safeties, and that will spell a TD.
** While the Packers have a fine homefield advantage at Lambeau and Carolina is only 2-3 on the road this season, the 5-6 Packers are also the only team below .500 left on Carolina’s schedule. I think Carolina will have just enough to pull this one out.
My prediction: Carolina 27, Green Bay 22.