Santa came early for Packers fans this year as the Carolina Panthers battle the Green Bay Packers tonight in a Saturday Evening Showdown at Lambeau Field.
Matchup: Carolina Panthers (4-9) at Green Bay Packers (10-3)
Game Time: 7:15 CST
Location & Weather: Green Bay, WI: 31 Degrees, No Wind
TV: NFL Network
Point Spread/Over-Under: Packers -8, O/U 51.5 (Courtesy of BetMGM)
All-Time Series History: Green Bay has won 10 out of 16 matchups
Most Recent Result: November 10th, 2019: Packers 24 vs Panthers 16 (Lambeau Field)
Key Things to Know:
Packers in control of their destiny:
The Packers head into tonight’s matchup with a 10-3 record and have complete control of the #1 seed in the NFC. If the Packers win their next 3 games, they will finish the season 13-3 and are guaranteed the #1 seed, which gives them home field advantage through out the playoffs and a first round bye. The NFL changed its playoff format for 2020, allowing an extra team in each conference to make the playoffs and took away the first-round bye for the #2 seed, who normally would get one.
Panthers Competitive on the Road:
Expectations for the Panthers were low from an outsiders perspective coming into the season. They hired a new head coach (Matt Rhule, his first NFL Head Coaching Position), moved on from Cam Newton and signed QB Teddy Bridgewater and revamped their roster in many ways. Their best player, RB Christian McCaffrey, has battled injuries all season and the defense has sustained blows as well. Carolina has had a disappointing season in the standard of the NFL, which is to win but given the expectations going into the season and the injuries they’ve sustained, they’ve remained a competitive bunch. The Panthers are 2-4 on the road this season, including losses to the Chiefs (33-31), the Saints (27-24) and the Vikings (28-27).
Packers Passing Offense vs Panthers Passing Defense:
Aaron Rodgers has thrown for 39 touchdowns this season (Best in NFL) and the Panthers are coming off a game where Broncos QB Drew Lock tossed 4 touchdowns against them. Rodgers has thrown for 3 or more touchdowns in 10 out of 13 games this season. The Panthers rank 23rd in Pass Defense this year and are tied for 3rd worst in the league with only 5 interceptions. Carolina also ranks in the bottom of the league for sacks, as they have 19 on the season which ranks 27th in the NFL. If there is a stat of encouragement for this Panthers defense, it’s that they know how to force fumbles. They rank 1st in the NFL with 13 forced fumble recoveries.
The Panthers were 3-2 at one point in the season but have since lost 7 out of 8 games. The Packers are on a 3 game winning streak and are full steam ahead as they look to secure a win and continue their quest for the #1 Overall Seed in the NFC. Panthers QB Teddy Bridgewater is an astounding 17-2 against-the-spread in his career as a road underdog but it won’t matter tonight, as the Packers continue to roll against an inferior opponent in manageable weather conditions.
Prediction: Packers 38 Panthers 20——————
Alex grew up in a family of Chicago Bears fans in the suburbs of Chicago but was always a diehard Packers fan. Alex\\\'s AIM name when he was in elementary/middle school was PackerAlex. He now lives in Nashville, Tennessee and you can follow him on twitter at @Alex_Mayer93.