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Carolina Panthers Build 27-7 Lead at Halftime Against Green Bay Packers

After a slow first quarter, the Carolina Panthers score 17 points and take a 27-7 lead into halftime over the Green Bay Packers. These are the notes from the Panthers' first half against the Packers.

  • The Carolina Panthers started the game against the Green Bay Packers and drove down the field almost at will. Cam Newton picked up 33 yards on the ground off three scambles with the big play being a 23 yard run to get into the red zone. However, the drive stalled and the Panthers have to settle with a field goal. The Panthers inability to convert red zone opportunities into touchdowns was something that plagued them last year but hasn't been a major one this year. They did rebound though in the second quarter as Newton was able score on a one-yard rush. This offense will need to continue to score touchdowns and not field goals going against the powerful Packers' offense.
  • Finally we get a chance to talk about Devin Funchess who hauled in a 52-yard pass to set up the Panthers' second touchdown, a pass from Newton to Greg Olsen. When the Panthers' drafted Funchess, these were the type of plays they envisioned, where Funchess can be physical and go up and get the pass. The concern was that the second round rookie has not been able to have this type of impact on a regular basis, or at all this year. Hopefully this catch can spark a strong second half of the 2015 season for Funchess.
  • The big plays has dominated the first half for the Panthers, whether it was on the ground or through the air. The Panthers have three runs over 10 yards by three different players (Newton, Jonathan Stewart, and Fozzy Whittaker) to go along with four plays over 20 yards through the air. Jerricho Cotchery caught a 59 yard pass, Funchess with the 52 yard reception, Greg Olsen with a 23 yard reception and then Philly Brown with a 39 yard touchdown reception at the end of the first half. Newton enters halftime already with 209 passing yards and two touchdown passes.
  • On the other side of the ball, the Panthers have done an excellent job of keeping the Packers' offense in third and long and getting off the field. The first four third downs the Packers faced, they had an average of 12.25 yards to go for a first down. This has been due in large part to them being able to keep Aaron Rodgers off balance. The Panthers' defensive tackles Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short each had a sack in the first half and the defense has gotten consistent pressure up the middle with Thomas Davis, who also had a sack, and Luke Kuechly blitzing. Rodgers started the game completing only five of his first 11 passes for 38 yards but found some success on the final drive. The Packers quarterback enters halftime with 117 passing yards on eight completions.

Twitter @BrandonCroce.

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