This was a shaky game for Cam Newton, although the blame doesn’t fall squarely on his shoulders. The offensive line has dealt with a number of injuries this week and it showed. Newton was constantly under pressure (3 sacks and four QB hits) and due to the offensive line struggle, the Panthers quarterback struggled.
Newton went 17 of 31 for 205 yards with one touchdown and one interception. This is now the third straight game with an interception for the Panthers quarterback after not throwing any in his first three starts this season.
The return of Jonathan Stewart was a welcomed sight as he was able to run for 55 yards on 14 carries and even had the second longest run of the season for the team of 18 yards (he also has the longest at 22 yards).
However, the Packers struggle against the run and the fact the Panthers were only able to pick up 108 rushing yards is a disappointment. Entering this game, the Panthers gameplan should have relied heavily on the run but that plan probably went out the window when Green Bay jumped out to a quick 28-0 lead.
It was an average day for the Panthers wide receivers with the position being led by a pair of rookies, Kelvin Benjamin and Brenton Bersin. Both players had touchdown catches, although Bersin’s touchdown came in garbage time in the fourth quarter with the game already out of reach.
Benjamin on the other hand had another strong game and has now caught a touchdown in four out of the last five games. If he continues to play this way, he should be considered a strong contender for offensive rookie of the year.
Aside of Cam Newton’s strong play this year, tight end Greg Olsen has been the team’s MVP. Against Green Bay, he led the Panthers in receptions and yards with eight catches for 105 yards. Through the first seven games, Olsen has had fewer than six receptions only twice and less than sixty yards only once along with five total touchdowns.
It was a blowout but the final score is no fault of Greg Olsen who continued his strong play and is playing like one of the best tight ends in the NFL right now.
Where to begin with the offensive line? Entering this game they were short-handed as it was with starting left guard Amini Silatolu already ruled out. Then over the course of the game, they lost left tackle Byron Bell and right guard Trai Turner to injuries.
This spelled a recipe for disaster for the Panthers offense and one that slowed Carolina almost to a stand-still. Cam Newton was sacked three times and hurried 12 times, according to Pro Football Focus. This means that on almost 50 percent of his passing attempts (31), he had a defender in his face.
It was an ugly game against Green Bay and it could be even uglier if the offensive line will be without these starters next week when they face Seattle Seahawks, who is one of the best at rushing the quarterback.