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What: Carolina Panthers at Green Bay Packers
When: Sunday, November 10 at 4:25 pm ET
Where: Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin
How (TV): FOX
Be sure to also check out our latest Super Bowl Odds and Predictions.
Latest point spread: Panthers +5, Packers -5
In one of the more interesting Week 10 matchups, the 5-3 Carolina Panthers travel to the infamous Lambeau Field to take on the 7-2 Green Bay Packers in an NFC cross-divisional contest that could be a preview of a playoff-battle-to-come.
Carolina is fresh off a big win at home against a struggling Tennessee Titans team, while Green Bay is still reeling from their 11-26 shellacking by the Los Angeles Chargers, who mysteriously shut Rodgers’ powerful offense right down.
Neither of these two teams has a dominating defense, but both have an offense that utilizes an entirely different type of attack, so let’s take a quick look at how they measure up against each other for their Week 10 Sunday afternoon showdown.
There are MVP whispers surrounding Carolina Panthers dual threat running back Christian McCaffrey after he carried the ball 24 times for 146 yards and 2 touchdowns in the Panthers solid Week 9 win over the Tennessee Titans, 30-20.
Kyle Allen is doing a fine job under center while franchise man Cam Newton continues to heal his bad foot, distributing the football nicely between his four main targets, receivers D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel, tight end Greg Olsen and McCaffrey.
The Panthers’ defense is ranked close to the bottom third of the league right now, something coordinator Eric Washington will need to fix if Carolina expects to compete with high-scoring teams in the postseason.
The Green Bay Packers did not look like themselves in Week 9 as the Los Angeles Chargers basically snuffed their offensive candle, keeping quarterback Aaron Rodgers to just 161 total passing yards and a touchdown while allowing just 45 yards on the ground.
It’s a wakeup call, especially for the offensive line that allowed Rodgers to get sacked 3 times during that game, not a good sign following the 5 sacks they allowed the week before against the Kansas City Chiefs.
What should help is the return of deep threat receiver Davante Adams to the lineup, but that won’t mean a thing if the Packers’ defense can’t put a stop to the Panthers excellent run game featuring the seemingly unstoppable McCaffrey out of their backfield.
These two conference rivals have met 15 total times (including 1 postseason game), with Carolina winning 6 of those times and Green Bay winning the other 9 games.
The last time these two teams met up was in the 2017 season, when the Packers traveled to Charlotte in December to get beaten by the Panthers 24-31.
But if the Packers come out winners in this one, they’ll be 8-2-0 and stay in charge of the NFC North, a division still being fought over by the Minnesota Vikings, who enter Week 10 with a 6-3 record.
Who’s favored to win this Week 10 Panthers-Packers matchup?
Which team has a better offense? Defense? Special teams?
Which team’s quarterback is more likely to lead his team to victory?
We’re going to briefly compare the Panthers and the Packers next and attempt to answer those questions and more.
Passing attack: The Carolina Panthers have the 25th ranked passing offense in the league right now, averaging 206.9 yards per game through the air after nine weeks.
Quarterback Kyle Allen is currently under center in Carolina and ranked the 27th most productive passer in the league having completed 116-of-191 passes for 1,291 yards and 9 touchdowns with 4 interceptions and a completion percentage of 60.7.
The Panthers’ leading receiver after nine weeks is D.J. Moore, who is currently ranked 19th in the league with 45 catches for 564 yards and 1 touchdown.
Rushing attack: The Panthers’ rushing attack is ranked 7th in the NFL after averaging 132.9 yards on the ground per game.
Christian McCaffrey is the Panthers’ best runner and he is currently the 2nd in the NFL with 165 carries for 881 yards and 10 rushing touchdowns, averaging 5.3 yards per carry.
Carolina has scored 209 total points this season, or 26.1 per game, which is the 10th best total in the NFL.
Listed as questionable for Week 10: offensive tackle Greg Little (concussion).
Injury notes: quarterback Cam Newton (foot) is listed as OUT, while wide receiver Chris Hogan (knee), tight end Marcus Baugh (undisclosed), place kicker Graham Gano (knee), offensive tackle Dillon Gordon (shoulder), and offensive guards Brandon Greene (neck) and Kitt O’Brien (undisclosed) have been placed on injured reserve.
Passing attack: Green Bay has the 12th best passing attack in the league right now after averaging 257.1 yards through the air each game.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers is the 5th most productive NFL passer after completing 208-of-318 passes for 2,485 yards and 17 touchdowns with 2 interceptions and a completion percentage of 65.4.
The Packers’ best receiver is currently Marquez Valdes-Scantling, who has caught 22 passes for 420 yards with 2 touchdowns in nine weeks, ranked 43rd among NFL receivers right now.
Rushing attack: Green Bay has the 22nd ranked rushing attack, so far averaging 95.3 yards on the ground per game.
Aaron Jones is the Packers’ best runner and now he is the 16th most productive in the NFL with 122 carries for 496 yards and 8 touchdowns, averaging 4.1 yards per carry.
Green Bay has scored 226 points in 2019, averaging 25.1 per game, which is currently the 13th highest scoring average in the NFL.
Listed as questionable for Week 10: tight end Robert Tonyan (hip).
Injury notes: fullback Malcolm Johnson (shoulder), wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown (ankle), offensive tackle Jason Spriggs (back), and guard Lane Taylor (biceps) have been placed on injured reserve.
This matchup comes down to McCaffrey versus Rodgers, two superstars at the height of their games, but since this one is happening in Green Bay, offensive advantage goes to the Packers.
Pass coverage: The Panthers have the 9th best pass defense in 2019 so far, allowing opponents to throw for just 227.0 yards through the air per game.
Carolina’s defense has 12 team interceptions and they have 34 sacks total.
Run coverage: The Panthers are the 26th best NFL team against the run right now after allowing opponents to run for 133.4 yards per game.
Carolina has allowed their opponents to score 204 total points, or 25.5 per game, which is the 12th least in the NFL.
They’re not yelling, “Boo!” they’re yelling, “Luke!” – as in, Luke Kuechly, the talented Carolina middle linebacker who has 2 interceptions, 9 passes defended, a safety and 78 total tackles, which is tied for 4th most in the league right now.
Panthers’ linebacker Mario Addison is the guy you want to watch for quarterback sacks, already with 6.5 of them (T-12th most in the NFL), plus 6 quarterback hits, a forced fumble and 15 total tackles (5 for a loss), though he is listed as questionable for Week 10 (see below).
One of the b3est cornerbacks in the league plays for Carolina – James Bradberry, right now tied for the 4th most interceptions with 3, plus 12 passes defended, a sack and 35 total tackles.
Listed as questionable for Week 10: linebackers Christian Miller (ankle) and Mario Addison (personal) and cornerback James Bradberry (groin).
Injury notes: safety Damian Parms (undisclosed), defensive end Kawann Short (shoulder) and cornerback Natrell Jamerson have been placed on injured reserve.
Pass coverage: The Packers’ defense is 21st best against the pass, allowing their opponents to throw for an average of 255.2 yards per matchup.
Green Bay’s defense has 8 interceptions on opposing quarterbacks and they have 22 total sacks after nine weeks.
Run coverage: The Packers are 24th best against a rushing attack, allowing opponents to run for an average of 127.7 yards per game.
Green Bay has allowed their opponents to score 189 total points this season, or 21 per matchup, which is 21st fewest in the NFL.
The best tackler in the league plays for the Green Bay Packers – that is inside linebacker Blake Martinez, who has 95 total tackles (3 for a loss) plus a sack, a quarterback hit and a forced fumble.
Make sure you check out the so-called ‘Smith Brothers’ (Green Bay linebackers Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith – no relation), the two with 16.5 sacks between them, plus 77 total tackles and a couple of forced fumbles and an interception as a pair.
The Packers’ secondary is made dangerous by cornerback Kevin King, who has 3 interceptions (T-4th most in the league) along with 11 passes defended, a forced fumble and 38 total tackles.
Listed as questionable for Week 10: no Green Bay defensive players are currently listed as questionable for Week 10.
Injury notes: linebacker Greg Roberts (abdomen) and safety Ibraheim Campbell (knee-ACL) are both listed as PUP-R, while linebacker Curtis Bolton (knee-ACL) and safety Raven Greene (ankle) have been placed on injured reserve.
The Panthers are better against the run and way better against the pass than the Packers, so despite being on the road, they will have the defensive advantage over Green Bay on Sunday.
Carolina’ punter, Michael Palardy, is in his sixth NFL season, fifth with the Panthers, and he has punted 39 times for a net average of 41.5 yards per punt, which was the T-21st best in the league.
Green Bay’s punter, J.K. Scott, is in his second NFL season, and in 2019 he has punted 43 times for a net average of 42.5 yards per punt, T-10th best in the league.
Carolina’ placekicker, Joey Slye, signed and released by the New York Giants twice last offseason and then signed by the Panthers in August.
Slye is 15-of-21 on the season, his longest a 55-yarder, and he missed one extra point attempt (20/22).
Green Bay’s veteran placekicker Mason Crosby, in his thirteenth season (all with the Packers), is a Super Bowl Champion and led the league in scoring in 2007.
Crosby has gone 12-for-13 this season, his longest a 54-yarder, and he has missed zero extra point attempts (26/26).
Carolina’ punt returner, wide receiver Ray-Ray McCloud, was waved after having three muffed punts, and now the team must find a new returner.
Yet another Panther who has returned a punt this season is wide receiver Greg Dortch, who has returned 2 punts for 11 yards, averaging 5.5 yards per return, his longest for 11 yards.
Green Bay’s punt returner was rookie wide receiver Darrius Shephard, named after receiver Trevor Davis was traded to the Oakland Raiders.
But since then Davis has faltered in the role, so cornerback Tramon Williams is now listed as the starting punt returner, though he has yet to return one.
The Packers have a better punter and a far more reliable placekicker, so they will have the special teams advantage over the Panthers on Sunday.
The Carolina Panthers will win this game if they do three things excellently: 1) Run, 2) Run and 3) Run the ball, to where Green Bay begins to expect it and then the play action fake begins to work its wonders.
The Panthers will also have to get after Aaron Rodgers the way the Chargers did – a job for Gerald McCoy and Vernon Butler while Kuechly and Bruce Irvin take care of tackling whichever Packers players manage to sneak through the line.
A big key to a Carolina win is for them not to turn the ball over and to keep Rodgers off the field with a slow rolling run game, something that Allen and McCaffrey seem perfectly capable of pulling off once again.
In order to win this one, Green Bay’s offensive line must learn from their Week 9 debacle and begin to protect Rodgers enough to give him plenty of time to make plays without having to scramble for his life.
The Smith Brothers (see above) and the rest of the Packers’ defense must absolutely minimize how often the Panthers’ offense is on the field, because McCaffrey can’t do damage if he is busy sitting on the sideline staring at his tablet.
Green Bay’s run game must be working at full capacity in this one (talking to you Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams) or Rodgers’ passing game will be too easy to isolate and shut down, a home win much easier to achieve when the opponents’ defense is kept guessing.
Green Bay Packers by a field goal at Lambeau, because Rodgers won’t fail twice in a row, nor will Pettine’s defense.
My prediction for the final score is Packers 27, Panthers 24.
|Sportsbook||CAR Panthers +5||GB Packers -5|
Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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