1. The Packers couldn't cover a kick wih a blanket
"I thought the biggest negative [Sunday] was field position," head cach Mike McCarthy said. "It's two weeks in a row we're playing on a football field that's 200 yards longer than our opponent. It's tough to overcome that."
2. Stats, not wins, are defining Rodgers' season
It may seem ridiculous to ask Rodgers to do more than he did. But against Atlanta, Tampa Bay, Tennessee, Minnesota and now Carolina, Rodgers had an opportunity to get his team in position for a win. It just hasn't happened.
3. Driver can still get it done
At 33 years old, Driver can still hit the thrusters and get behind defenders much younger than he is. He also maintains his signature toughness with grabs over the middle and an ability to fight through first contact for extra yards. Driver's five catches for 83 yards trailed Jennings versus the Panthers. But the threat Driver poses is a definite contributor to Jennings big year, and together they form one of the league's most explosive duos.
4. Jackson needs to get the rock more often
Jackson has shown more ability to break tackles and gain yards after contact than Grant, and Jackson's clearly better as a featured runner than a third-down back, where he's struggled with blitz pickups. While it's not a fair comparison when Grant has carried the ball almost seven times more than Jackson, the Packers need to get Jackson more carries to see just how good he can be.
5. Big plays and short runs are equally effective against this struggling D
By game's end, Green Bay had given up four 1-yard rushing touchdowns to Williams and five total – both tied team records. But it was the big plays setting up the 1-yarders that hurt the most. None were more painful than two fourth-quarter passes that accounted for more than half of Delhomme's yards on the day. First, Delhomme hit 5-9 receiver Steve Smith down the middle for 36 yards to set up Williams' third score that tied the game 28-28. After Green Bay jumped out to a 31-28 lead with two minutes to play, Delhomme hit Smith for a 54-yard bomb that he somehow caught over the 6-1 Woodson, who was filling in at safety.
"I take full responsibility," Woodson said. "I would take myself 100 percent of the time, especially with the ball in the air, being able to go get the ball, and I didn't make it happen."
Williams scored on the next play for the 35-31 final.
W. Keith Roerdink is a Staff Writer for Packer Report and PackerReport.com. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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