Sunday, September 18, 2011
Wrap-up: Packers 30, Panthers 23
By Kevin Seifert
A few thoughts on the Green Bay Packers' second victory of the season:
What it means: The Packers never trailed by more than a touchdown during their run to Super Bowl XLV last season. Sunday, they fell behind 13-0 in the second quarter before getting their feet underneath them. Regardless of the quality of opponent, erasing a 13-point deficit on the road is a sign of a strong team. As Week 2 closes, the Packers are 2-0 and tied with the Detroit Lions for the top spot in a very early NFC North division race.
Injury update: The Packers reported that safety Nick Collins had "normal feeling and complete movement" in his extremities Sunday night following a scary moment in the fourth quarter. Collins left the field on a medical gurney after a collision with Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart. He'll remain hospitalized in North Carolina as a precaution and re-evaluated upon returning to Green Bay. The injury at least temporarily left the Packers without half of their Week 1 secondary. Cornerback Tramon Williams was inactive because of a bruised shoulder injury.
Pass defense: Say what you will about game situations and play-calling, but there is no getting around this fact: The Packers have given up more than 400 passing yards to each of their first two opponents. Sunday, Panthers quarterback Cam Newton totaled 432 yards. But you can erase big yardage totals by making enough plays, and the Packers forced four turnovers and had four sacks. Linebacker Clay Matthews stopped Newton on a fourth-down run late in the fourth quarter as well. Meanwhile, cornerback Charles Woodson had two of the interceptions and also recovered a fumble.
Spreading the ball: Quarterback Aaron Rodgers finished with 308 yards on only 19 completions, throwing long touchdown passes of 84 yards (Jordy Nelson) and 49 yards (Greg Jennings). Nine different players caught at least one pass, but tight end Jermichael Finley was the only pass-catcher with more than three catches.
What's next: The Packers will open their NFC North schedule next Sunday with their annual game at Soldier Field against the Chicago Bears.