TE Donald Lee is a threat all over the field and is feasting on stretching it down the middle, doing so with a 26-yard touchdown to cap a sequence late in the first half in which the offense clicked with four straight completions in the five-wide set. The protection was solid, as Favre rarely was hurried and was sacked only once.
RUSHING OFFENSE: B -- The Packers struggled early with getting the bread-and-butter stretch plays around an assertive Carolina front. Panthers tackles Kris Jenkins and Maake Kemoeatu were a load in the middle.
Typical Ryan Grant, though, as he bided his time, kept his legs churning and started slipping through creases, beginning with a 23-yard gain on a hard cut midway through the second quarter. Grant finished with 88 yards in 20 carries before Jenkins rolled on his right ankle on a shovel pass in the closing minutes of the game.
PASS DEFENSE: B-minus -- Corey Williams had a dominant bookend performance in a Panthers drive late in the first half, sacking Vinny Testaverde twice and forcing two fumbles. The last one resulted in a turnover when Carolina was threatening to cut into a 21-3 lead inside the Packers 10-yard line.
Rookie S Aaron Rouse and CB Charles Woodson came up with interceptions. However, the big break of not having Steve Smith to defend didn't prevent some big coverage gaffes by CB Al Harris and S Atari Bigby against Drew Carter, who had five catches for 132 yards.
LB Nick Barnett struggled with tackling and had a foolish penalty tacking Testaverde out of bounds on a broken play.
RUSH DEFENSE: C -- The loss of playmaking DT Johnny Jolly early in the game proved to be a big one. The defense was uncharacteristically soft against the run. It yielded 131 yards, the second-highest total allowed this season, and an average of 4.5 yards per carry. The Panthers marched right down the field for a touchdown in the third quarter, thanks to 12 runs for 56 yards in a 14-play, 61-yard drive.
DeShaun Foster was effective in bouncing away from would-be tacklers, gaining 87 yards in 20 carries.
SPECIAL TEAMS: A-minus -- Tramon Williams was positioned perfectly on the back end of a field-goal formation for Carolina and received key blocks from Jolly and Jarrett Bush for a 94-yard touchdown return on John Kasay's pooch punt early in the game.
Koren Robinson also was special with a 67-yard kickoff return to start the second half, which led to a touchdown.
Jon Ryan dropped three of his four punts with a short field inside the 20. The coverage units were rock solid.
The lone blemish was rookie K Mason Crosby having a 49-yard attempt blocked because he kicked it low. He also missed wide right from the same distance but later redeemed himself with a 47-yard strike.
COACHING: A -- Special teams coordinator Mike Stock had the Panthers' penchant for the pooch kick read perfectly and had his unit work on covering it extensively in practice.
Mike McCarthy made a nice in-game adjustment when Carolina took away the stretch run to the weak side by getting Grant some running room over to the strong side.
The Packers never were in danger of falling prey to the supposed trap game and are riding high at 9-1, their best start since opening the 1962 season 10-0.