Packers Will Face Different Panthers' Team

The last time the Green Bay Packers and the Carolina Panthers met the Packers walked away with a 38-14 victory. However, a year later the Panthers will be bringing a different starting lineup to the field. Brandon Croce takes a look at tomorrow's expected starting lineup and how it compares to 2014.

The game last year between Carolina Panthers and the Green Bay Packers is one Panthers' fans would like to forget. It seemed the game was pretty much over as soon as it started with the Packers building a 21 point lead after the first quarter. The good news entering this year's match up is that the Panthers are vastly different than a season ago. The team is expected to have 12 new starters this year compared to last year and this could mean a much different outcome than a season ago.


Position 2014 Season 2015 Season
Quarterback Cam Newton Cam Newton
Running Back Jonathan Stewart Jonathan Stewart
Wide Receiver Jerricho Cotchery Philly Brown
Wide Receiver Kelvin Benjamin Ted Ginn Jr.
Tight End Greg Olsen Greg Olsen
Tight End Ed Dickson Ed Dickson
Left Tackle Byron Bell Michael Oher
Left Guard Fernando Velasco Amini Silatolu
Center Ryan Kalil Ryan Kalil
Right Guard Trai Turner Trai Turner
Right Tackle Nate Chandler Mike Remmers

The Carolina Panthers will entering their Week 9 match up with the Green Bay Packers with five different starters from their game last year. The changes aren't all good though as the team will have two different wide receivers with Kelvin Benjamin out for the year due to a knee injury.

The positives for this offense though is the improvements along the offensive line with three different starters than 2014. The trio of Michael OherAmini Silatolu and Mike Remmers have to be considered upgrades over Byron BellFernando Velasco (who is still on the team but as a backup), and Nate Chandler. This is a vast improvement even with the team's normal starter at left guard in 2015, Andrew Norwell, out for this week's game and replaced with Silatolu.

The other big difference, which wouldn't show here, is the team is much healthier this year versus last. Cam Newton battled a number of injuries throughout the year and this was the first game Jonathan Stewart played after a four week absence.


Position 2014 Season 2015 Season
Left Defensive End Charles Johnson Kony Ealy
Left Defensive Tackle Colin Cole Kawann Short
Right Defensive Tackle Star Lotulelei Star Lotulelei
Right Defensive End Wes Horton Jared Allen
Middle Linebacker Luke Kuechly Luke Kuechly
Weakside Linebacker Thomas Davis Thomas Davis
Left Cornerback Antoine Cason Charles Tillman
Right Cornerback Melvin White Josh Norman
Strong Safety Roman Harper Roman Harper
Free Safety Thomas DeCoud Kurt Coleman
Cornerback Charles Godfrey Bene Benwikere

The Panthers' defense will have seven new starters with only Luke KuechlyThomas DavisStar Lotulelei and Roman Harper returning. The biggest change for this defense comes in the secondary with four new starters.The team will have three new cornerbacks (Josh NormanCharles Tillman and Bene Benwikere) to go along with Kurt Coleman at free safety. Last year, Aaron Rodgers threw for 255 yards and had as many touchdown passes as incompletions (3) and it is unlikely that he will put up similar numbers.

They will also have three new starters along the defensive line with Charles Johnson injured, Wes Horton in a back up role, and Colin Cole no longer on the roster. The team instead will have Kony EalyKawann Short and Jared Allen starting alongside Lotulelei.

In addition, even though it is not listed here, the Panthers will have rookie Shaq Thompson available for this game. Last year, the Panthers' struggled to have three healthy linebackers and had to operate out of a nickel defense for a majority of the year. The Packers should expect to see more of their base 4-3 defense on Sunday.

*Starting lineups courtesy of NFL's Gamebooks

Twitter @BrandonCroce.

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