Now They’re Rolling

Green Bay wasted no time in blowing out Carolina in an all-around dominating performance on Sunday at Lambeau Field. The Packers have won four in a row after a 1-2 start. (Jeff Hanisch/USA TODAY)

On Wednesday, Aaron Rodgers said the Green Bay Packers weren’t on a roll.

They certainly got on a roll against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday at Lambeau Field. The Packers scored the first 28 points and crushed the Panthers 38-17 in a battle of first-place teams and NFC contenders at Lambeau Field.

The Packers, as has been their trend over the past several seasons, have found their stride after a slow start. After opening 1-2 for the third consecutive season, they have won four in a row. They’ve scored at least 27 points in all four of the games.

For the second consecutive home game, Rodgers got to enjoy the end of the game from the bench. In three quarters, he completed 19-of-22 passes for 255 yards and three touchdowns, with his passer rating of 154.5 falling just short of the NFL’s measure of perfection, 158.3. Randall Cobb had six catches for 121 yards and a touchdown and Jordy Nelson had four catches for 80 yards and a touchdown – all in the first quarter.

Green Bay was off and rolling on Rodgers’ 59-yard touchdown pass to Jordy Nelson, with Eddie Lacy and James Starks adding rushing touchdowns as the Packers led 21-0 at the end of the first quarter. All of the scores were incredibly easy against what was one of the top defenses in the league last season.

On the first, Nelson beat cornerback Antoine Cason on a deep pass, then made veteran safety Roman Harper look foolish on a cutback at about the 30. It was a play similar to the long touchdown pass from Rodgers to Nelson against the Jets.

On the second, Lacy stutter-stepped in the hole, then waltzed into the end zone about right end. On the third, Starks started right and then cut back left, where he wasn’t touched until he plowed through two defensive backs near the goal line. Cobb had a big block against cornerback James Dockery at the 5.

The Packers extended the lead to 28-0 with a 94-yard drive in the second quarter. Cobb set up the score with a 47-yard catch-and-run in which he got downfield blocks from Nelson and tight end Richard Rodgers. On third-and-12, Rodgers ran for 16 – thanks to Cobb’s block on cornerback Charles Godfrey. That set up Rodgers’ touchdown pass to Cobb – Cobb’s eighth of the season and the seventh in the red zone.

Rodgers was 15-of-17 for 194 yards and two touchdowns at halftime as Green Bay piled up 271 yards. Carolina had 113 first-half yards, with Newton’s 32-yard completion to receiver Kelvin Benjamin setting up a field goal on the final play of the half that made it 28-3. After Green Bay stopped Panthers running plays on third- and fourth-and-1 on the opening series of the second half, Rodgers hit Davante Adams with a 21-yard touchdown pass to make it 35-3. Cobb’s 33-yard catch-and-run was the key play, as he broke three tackles on the third-and-6 play.

Rodgers has gone six consecutive games without an interception, matching Bart Starr’s franchise record. Rodgers also extended his streak without an incompletion to 192 attempts, a personal best but 102 behind Starr’s club record.

On Carolina’s touchdown drive in the fourth quarter, Packers defensive backs Morgan Burnett and Davon House (finger) exited on back-to-back plays. Burnett went back into the game.

Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at

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