Each Friday during the NFL season I will post a blog with some notes about the Panthers' Sunday opponent and a prediction at the end of the blog. Last season my record for these week-by-week predictions was 13-3. I didn't predict last week's Arizona-Carolina game because I was off.
Before the prediction, though, here's my own personal list of the 5 most memorable games in Green Bay-Carolina history. The two teams have played each other 11 times in the past 15 seasons, which is a lot for two teams not in the same division.
1) 1997 -- Green Bay 30, Carolina 13. On a frigid day in the 1996 NFC title game, the Packers won at Lambeau Field behind Brett Favre and Reggie White. I've never been colder walking into a stadium.
2) 1999 -- Carolina 33, Green Bay 31. Steve Beuerlein's most startling play as a Panther -- a quarterback draw for a touchdown -- allows the Panthers to pull off the road upset. I was there and still remember the utter silence Steve Beuerlein's draw was greeted by when he scored.
3) 2008 -- Carolina 35, Green Bay 31. In a shootout at Lambeau, DeAngelo Williams scores four touchdowns in the Panthers' last-minute victory. Steve Smith's 54-yard reception late from Jake Delhomme set up Williams' final TD.
4) 2004 -- Green Bay 24, Carolina 14. The Packers disappoint a huge crowd in Charlotte in the Monday Night Football opener the year after Carolina made to the Super Bowl.
5) 2000 -- Carolina 31, Green Bay 14. "Ho-o-o-v!" Rookie fullback Brad Hoover subs in as a tailback and rushes for 117 yards in Charlotte in another Monday night shocker.
-- Carolina Panther fans have long wanted their team to blitz more often. On Sunday, though, they should be careful what they wish for.
When New Orleans blitzed Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers 10 days ago, Rodgers shredded the Saints. According to STATS LLC, Rodgers went 14-for-18 for 207 yards and two touchdowns for a quarterback rating of 151.6 against the blitz.
Of course, giving Rodgers time is a recipe for failure as well. But the Panthers also gave up a 70-yard touchdown pass while blitzing Arizona last week. Given that Rodgers is a far better quarterback than Kevin Kolb, I expect the Panthers at least initially will try to get almost all of their pass rush with only four rushers.
-- Sunday's prediction: Green Bay 37, Carolina 24.
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