KICKOFF: Monday, 8:00 CT
WHERE: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, N.C.
TV: ABC, Al Michaels, John Madden, Michele Tafoya
SERIES: 8th regular-season meeting. The Packers lead the series 5-2 and have won last three meetings since 2001. The Packers are 4-1 in games played at Charlotte. The teams also have met once in the postseason, with Green Bay rolling to a 30-13 victory over the 2-year-old Panthers in the NFC Championship Game on Jan. 12, 1997, at Lambeau Field. The Packers went on to win Super Bowl XXXI over New England two weeks later.
*2005 RANKINGS: Packers: offense 24th (25th rush, 13th pass); defense 17th (16th rush, 14th pass). Panthers: offense 25th (16th rush, 22nd pass); defense 11th (12th rush, 12th pass)
PREDICTION: Panthers 24-16
KEYS TO THE GAME: The Packers have spent the vast majority of their three games playing catch-up, which has led to seven interceptions from QB Brett Favre. A big problem has been the sputtering run game, but look for the Packers to use 6-foot-4, 330-pound OT Kevin Barry lining up as an extra blocking tight end to attempt to recreate the 47-carry, 152-yard rushing performance they produced against Carolina last season. The Panthers have offensive balance that will pose serious problems for the Packers, so it's vital for Green Bay to control the clock.
The Panthers have yet to get WRs Steve Smith and Keary Colbert untracked in the same game, but QB Jake Delhomme will no doubt attack struggling CBs Joey Thomas and/or Ahmad Carroll when they're in the game. Still, the game could hinge on Panthers RB Stephen Davis, who is off to a strong start, going against a Packers run defense allowing just 3.3 yards per carry.
FAST FACTS: Packers: Have started 0-3 seven previous times and rebounded to finish with a winning record just once (1922). ... Lead the series 6-2 and are 4-1 at Carolina. ... 24-20-1 on Monday nights.
Panthers: 2-2 on Monday nights. ... Delhomme needs 241 passing yards to become the fastest player in franchise history to 8,000.