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November 30, 2008

Panthers Postgame: Answering your questions

Question: Was it just me or did our safeties seem particularly lost and confused today? What were the Packers doing that had them so unsure of where to be? WILLY

The game plan seemed to be to make sure Packers receivers stayed in front of the DBs. Although it allowed lots of yards (298 by Rodgers), his longest was 46 to Donald Driver and he didn't have another longer than 23. Can't argue, though, defense has been struggling recently. DAVID
Question: How much you think they'll fine Peppers for that hit? BRYANT80

The going rate for that kind of thing is 5K. DAVID

Question: Wont 9-7 or 10-6 get us in the playoffs? PAUL

Being tied with Tampa at 9-3 and with Dallas and Atlanta both at 8-4. It's going to take at least 10 wins. Nine certainly won't do it. DAVID

Question: I would be curious to know what John fox's success rate is for Coach's Challenges. It would also be interesting to see how he compares during his tenure against other coaches. It seems not just this year but in years past that Fox's success rate would be below 50 percent. MATT

Checking on this, but not sure I'll get tonight. Check the blog this week for the answer. DAVID

Question: Why have they moved the Monday Night game to 8:30 p.m.? Is this something ESPN does or was it done by the league. DAVE

ESPN moved it to 8:30 when it took over MNF. DAVID

Question: Do you think that the Panthers didn't use the wildcat this game, and limited the week before, because they need to use it against Tampa bay? DOUG

The Panthers haven't really used the "Wildcat" much this season, just a few times with DeAngelo Williams. Maybe they're saving it. DAVID

Question: Was the personal foul on Peppers legit? Rodgers looked in bounds and ON HIS WAY out, but still in-bounds. If it was legit, was this a case of protecting a QB? QB's are football players too, and should be allowed to get hit like anyone else. Polamalu's statement a few weeks ago about the league being soft keeps getting confirmed more and more. WILL

Rodgers was out of bounds. Peppers said after the game that Rodgers had looked like he was going out of bounds on a previous play, but had stayed in for 5 or 6 more yards. He didn't want to happen again. DAVID

Question: What do you think the chances are on the Panthers-Giants game being moved to prime time with the flex scheduling? BRIAN

Wouldn't surprise me one bit. DAVID

Question: If the Panthers win this coming Monday night against Tampa Bay, won't they still be tied with Tampa Bay for the divison lead. Season head to head 1-1. Divison won loss would be even at 3-2. It then comes down to common opponents and Carolina is currently 6-1 with only Denver to play and Tampa Bay is currently 5-1 with home games against Chargers and Raiders. The next tie breaker is conference record. Panthers would be 7-3 and Tampa would be a 1/2 game up at 8-3. Next tiebreaker is strenght of victory and currently Tampa Bay has the edge on that. So it looks like even with a win on Monday Night the Panthers will still be in second. What are the Observer's writers thoughts on the tiebreaker situations? J.THOMAS

No tiebreaker necessary: The Panthers would be 10-3 if they win, the Bucs 9-4. DAVID

Question: Is Ryne Robinson getting more and more expendable for the Panthers ? It seems Mark Jones is improving with every game. Those past 3-4 Games have been almost eye-popping, we finally got our dependable return man. With Hackett and Jarrett battling for that third Receiver job (did we ever have four or more active receivers this season?), I guess Robinson's Panthers-days are numbered? KRUEGER

Jones' stats are better than Robinson's were last season. Ought to make for an interesting competition in training camp. DAVID

Question: How many times during the game did the Panthers' defense rush more than four? I feel like Aaron Rodgers had plenty of time to complete throws in the second half, while in the first half he was more errant as a result of throwing on the run. I don't remember many blitzes in the third quarter especially, which would leave me inclined to believe we gave up our lead by letting Rogers get comfortable. FOREST

Can't answer the question about how many were rushing until I see the replay or ask Fox. I think there was plenty of pressure on Rodgers for much of the game, but he runs well and got himself out of several jams with his legs. DAVID

Posted by Charlotte Observer on November 30, 2008 at 08:37 PM | Permalink | Comments (24)

Stewart had cramps; he's OK

Jonathan Stewart pulled up during his long run in the second quarter due to cramps in both his hamstrings. He said he probably didn't warm up enough and that he might have tightened up, since that carry was his first of the game. He's OK. Incidentally, had he scored, he would have tied Fred Lane's franchise rookie touchdown record of seven. -- David Scott

Posted by Observer Sports on November 30, 2008 at 07:41 PM | Permalink | Comments (6)

Postgame Q&A

The Panthers escape now-snow covered Green Bay with a 35-31 victory. Post your post-game questions here as comments and Charles and David will answer them a little later on.

Posted by Observer Sports on November 30, 2008 at 05:24 PM | Permalink | Comments (37)

Panthers score late to beat Packers

Wide reciever Steve Smith made one of the most dramatic catches of his career to help rescue the Carolina Panthers from defeat and propel them to a 35-31 win over Green Bay at Lambeau Field.

With Carolina trailing by 3 points and less than two minutes remaining, Jake Delhomme hurled a long pass toward Smith, who was double-covered. Smith jumped high to snatch the ball for a 54-yard completion to the Packers' 1-yard line.

With a mixture of snow and rain falling and winds gusting up to 27 mph, DeAngelo Williams scored from the 1 on the next play to give Carolina the lead and, ultimately, the victory.

The TD was Williams' fourth of the game, setting a new team single-game record. The previous high of three TDs had been accomplished nine times. All of Williams' touchdowns were on 1-yard runs.

It was a crucial win for the Panthers, who stayed even with Tampa Bay in the NFC South Division race heading into their Dec. 8 Monday Night Football showdown at Bank of America Stadium.

The Buccaneers used a late field goal to hold off New Orleans 23-20.

Carolina and Tampa Bay are tied for first place in the division with 9-3 record, but the Buccaneers hold a tiebreak edge by virtue of its win over the Panthers earlier this season in Tampa.

Sunday's game at Lambeau Field was one of the best of the NFL season.

The Panthers led 21-10 at halftime, but Green Bay scored 18 unanswered points to take a 28-21 lead.

Carolina tied the score and then Green Bay went ahead 31-28 on a 19-yard field goal by Mason Crosby with 1:57 remaining.

The Panthers twice stopped Green Bay from running plays from the 1 to force the field goal.

After Williams' touchdown put the Panthers ahead, Green Bay got the ball back with 90 seconds remaining, but linebacker Jon Beason intecepted Aaron Rodgers.

The loss dropped Green Bay to 5-7 and severely hurt their playoff hopes.

-- Charles Chandler

Posted by Observer Sports on November 30, 2008 at 04:16 PM | Permalink | Comments (17)

First flurries

First sign of snow at Lambeau: 6:15 remaining in Fourth period. Light, light flurries.

Posted by Observer Sports on November 30, 2008 at 03:51 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)

Williams ties record; winds increasing

A couple of early third-period notes:

DeAngelo Williams just scored his third touchdown of the day, tying the Panthers' single-game record for most TDs in a game. It's the 10th time it has happened. The last time was when Steve Smith scored three touchdowns last season against Houston.

Also, winds were 9 mph when the game started, but now are up to 19mph, gusting to 26 mph, according to The Weather Channel's online game weather page.

-- Charles Chandler

Posted by Observer Sports on November 30, 2008 at 03:43 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)

Packers own 3rd Period

Score after 3rd quarter: Panthers 21, Packers 21

Green Bay dominated the third period, outscoring Carolina 11-0 to tie the score and was driving in Panthers' territory as the quarter ended.

Carolina drove into Green Bay territory once, but couldn't score.

The Packers got a field goal from Mason Crosby and a TD on a 95-yard drive.

The key play of the period was a 49-yard pass from Aaron Rodgers to Donald Driver after a Jason Baker punt had pinned Green Bay at its own 5.

-- Charles Chandler

Posted by Observer Sports on November 30, 2008 at 03:27 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)

Panthers up 11 at half

Halftime score: Panthers 21, Packers 10

The Packers had cut an 11-point Carolina lead to 4 before a faulty snap turned into a huge play for Carolina.

Green Bay center Scott Wells snapped the ball over the head of quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who was in the shotgun formation, and Carolina defensive end Charles Johnson recovered at the Packers' 17.

It was a turnaround play because Green Bay had regained momentum of the game.

Carolina took advantage of the mistake when DeAngelo Williams scored his second TD of the game on a 1-yard run. Combined with John Kasay's PAT kick, the Panthers' lead was restored to 11 points, 21-10 at the half.

Earlier in the period, Jake Delhomme scored on a 1-yard run on which he faked to Williams, rolled left and ran into the corner of the end zone.

The Packers' points came on a Mason Crosby field goal and a 6-yard pass from Aaron Rodgers to Donald Driver.

-- Charles Chandler

Posted by Observer Sports on November 30, 2008 at 02:34 PM | Permalink | Comments (26)

First Quarter Summary

Score: Panthers 7, Packers 0

The Panthers came out wanting to start faster and did so, though they squandered some points with a fumble at the end of a 44-yard flea flicker pass from Jake Delhomme to Muhsin Muhammad on their first play from scrimmage.

Carolina scored later in the period on a 1-yard run by DeAngelo Williams, which was set up by his 27-yard run two plays earlier.

The Packers didn't cross midfield until late in the period but were driving in Panthers' territory when the period ended.

-- Charles Chandler

Posted by Observer Sports on November 30, 2008 at 01:47 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)

Woodson starting at safety, not CB

Due to injuries to the Packers' safeties, Green Bay's Charles Woodson is starting at safety instead of cornerback. His place at corner will be taken by Tramon Williams. This is Woodson's first career start at safety.

-- Charles Chandler

Posted by Observer Sports on November 30, 2008 at 01:03 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)