The hype train is full steam ahead for the must-see matchup on Sunday afternoon between theand undefeated . The storylines are endless: the teams with the two best records in the NFC, an early battle for homefield advantage, a potential preview of the , vs. . There is still plenty of football left to play this season, but this game could have some significant playoff implications.
Green Bay fell from the ranks of the unbeatens last week with a humbling 29-10 loss to the Denver Broncos, and now has to hit the road yet again to face another of the NFL's perfect teams. If they are going to avoid a second straight defeat, the Packers need to fix an offense that was dismantled by thelast week. Rodgers was held to just 77 passing yards, and the offense totaled just 140 yards overall, its worst mark in any game with Rodgers under center.
While some of the credit for that awful performance by the Packers has to go to Denver's top-ranked defense, things don't get much easier for them this week against a Carolina team that has established itself as one of the most dominant defensive clubs in the league. The Panthers are second in yards per play allowed, 10th in scoring defense and have given up the lowest opponent passer rating in the NFL this season.
Along with keeping its unbeaten record intact, Carolina should have plenty of motivation on Sunday against the Packers. The Panthers were embarrassed 38-17 in Green Bay last year, the first of six losses during a miserable 0-6-1 slide that nearly ruined their season. Of course, they eventually righted the ship and made the playoffs, and have now won 11 straight regular season games dating back to last December.
There is no overwhelming consensus on this game among the experts, though a majority are favoring the Packers. Over at CBS Sports, seven of the eight guys are taking Green Bay. Our crew at SB Nation, however, is split down the middle.
|Ryan Van Bibber||Stephen White||Joel Thorman||David Fucillo||Danny Kelly||Matt Ufford||PFT Commenter||OddsShark|
|GB vs CAR||GB||CAR||GB||CAR||GB||CAR||GB||CAR|
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