Panthers vs. Packers -- Key Matchup

It's Steve Smith vs. Al Harris and Ahmad Carroll in the first of the PantherInsider Key Matchups this week.

Panthers WR Steve Smith vs. Packers CBs Ahmad Carroll and Al Harris

- Smith is coming off a huge game against Miami in which he caught 11 passes for 170 yards and three touchdowns. He's at the top of his game right now and could have decent numbers again this week against a sub-par Green Bay secondary. Remember, Smith suffered a season-ending injury against Green Bay in the season opener last year on Monday night, so revenge here is a factor for the little man with a big chip on his shoulder.

Run-Down on CB Ahmad Carroll

Carroll opened the season as the starting left cornerback, but lost his spot to Joey Thomas in week 2. Thomas suffered a concussion in week 2, and in came Carroll. Thomas is feeling better, practiced on Wednesday, and may suit up for the game. "I'm feeling good health-wise, I don't have any headaches," Thomas said. "So far, so good. I think the headaches and dizziness is behind me. I'm ready to move forward and play football."

Last week against Tampa Bay, Carroll had six tackles and one interception.

"He gave us a chance to win because of that interception and we didn't get it done," Packers Coach Mike Sherman said of Carroll. "All of the negatives that he's brought upon himself with some of those penalties, I thought today that interception and playing clean was good. He certainly still has a ways to go, but I was proud of the fact that he made a big play there and gave us a chance to win the game."

Carroll is nursing a bone bruise on his knee last week vs. Tampa Bay, but is expected to suit up against the Panthers on Monday night.

Run-Down on CB Al Harris

QB Brett Favre is largely regarded as the Iron Man of the Packers, but it shouldn't be overlooked that CB Al Harris has not missed a game since the start of the 1998 season, and has started 125 straight regular season and playoff games. Last week against the Buccaneers, Harris had six tackles and had two passes defended.

Run-Down on WR Steve Smith

In the first three games of the 2005 season, Smith is tied for first in the NFL with 23 receptions and is tied for third in the NFL in scoring for non-kickers with 4 touchdowns.

"He's playing great right now," Panthers QB Jake Delhomme said of Smith. "He's doing some good things, but I guess it gets a little overshadowed by our 1-2 start. I know it bothers him that we're 1-2. He's not one to be satisfied just because he's playing well. He knows he can get better and he wants to get better, and he works at it. That's what I love so much about him. He's a competitor."

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