LIVE BLOG: Packers defeat Panthers 24-16
GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) – In a Saturday night matchup, the Green Bay Packers (10-3) will host the Carolina Panthers (4-9) at Lambeau Field.
According to team officials, this is only the third Saturday game for the Packers throughout the past 23 seasons.
Although the Packers have won five of the last six regular-season games they have played on Saturdays, they are 17-13 overall in Saturday games during the regular season.
During the last six games between the Panthers and the Packers, five of them have been decided by eight points or less.
The Packers have a 5-2 record at home against the Panthers, and have scored 30 or more points in five of those games.
This week, the Packers are hoping to keep their dominance in the NFC after clinching the NFC North title last week with their 31-24 win against the Lions, and are aiming to get the number one seed for the playoffs.
This is the second year in a row the Packers have won the NFC North title, both under second year head coach Matt LeFleur. It is also their 25th division title in team history.
Last week, the Panthers lost to the Denver Broncos 32-27.
The Packers have listed Jordan Love, Josh Jackson, Jonathan Garvin, Simon Stepaniak and Jace Sternberger for Saturday’s game.
Meanwhile, the Panthers have listed Christian McCaffery and Russell Okung as inactive for tonight, as well as Will Grier, Natrell Jamerson, Aaron Monteiro, Dennis Daley, and Austin Larkin.
Saturday’s game will also be the first of two home games before the 3end of the regular season. Next week, the Packers host the Tennessee Titans for another night game, this time on Sunday.
As Action 2 News was the first to previously report, the Packers are welcoming more fans to Saturday’s game, and invited health care and public safety partners to attend as a show of appreciation to those who have worked on the front lines during the pandemic.
Employees from Bellin Health, the Green Bay Police Department, the Green Bay Metro Fire Department, Ashwaubenon Public Safety, and the Brown County Sheriff’s Office will join the Packers’ invited employees and their immediate families who’ve attended the past two home games.
Including Packers employees and their immediate families, the organization anticipates between 700 and 800 fans will be in the stands Saturday night.
Fans who do attend tonight’s game, which is scheduled to begin at 7:15, will be sitting in socially-distanced pods.
The Panthers received the ball to start the game, and went three and out.
During their first possession, Packers running back Aaron Jones broke out for a 46 yard run to put the Packers in the red zone.
A few plays later, tight end Robert Tonyan caught a short pass from quarterback Aaron Rodgers to put the Packers up 6-0. Kicker Mason Crosby followed up with a PAT to make it 7-0.
The throw became a record setting pass, making Rodgers the first in NFL history to have three separate 40 touchdown seasons.
The Panthers responded on their next drive with a 37 yard pass from quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to DJ Moore, who was going up against Kevin King.
Later in the drive, the Packers made a defensive play with Preston Smith sacking Bridgewater for a loss of four yards to make it 3rd and 14.
The Panthers couldn’t convert on 3rd down, and settled for a 36-yard field goal to make it 7-3.
During the Packers’ second drive, Jamaal Williams was spotted limping off the field after a play.
The first quarter ended shortly after, with a 7-3 score still standing.
Less than a minute into the second quarter, Rodgers ran the ball six yards to put another six on the board. Crosby then made it 14-3 with 14:09 left in the first half.
Despite making it nearly into the end zone about halfway through the second quarter, the Packers made a stop, with a fumble at the one yard line by Bridgewater after Krys Barnes punched the ball out.
It was recovered by Kevin King, who ran 48 yards before being tackled. Rodgers and company will take over at midfield.
Aaron Jones reached the 100 yard rushing mark before the end of the first half.
Shortly after, Jones ran another 8 yards to grab a touchdown. Crosby made it a 21-3 game.
After a 3-out by the Panthers, the Packers will take over with 3:28 left in the half.
Rodgers was sacked soon after for a loss of 10 yards.
The following play, Panthers player Bravvion Roy was injured.
However, the Packers punted for the first time of the night. It was downed by Adrian Amos at the five yard line with 1:29 to go in the half.
The Packers announced running back Jamaal Williams is questionable to return to the game before the end of the half due to a quad injury.
After Bridgewater completed one pass and then threw three incomplete passes, the Packers had less than a minute to put more points on the board before halftime.
Rodgers was sacked on their first play for a loss of six. On the second play, a pass to Davante Adams for seven yards was wiped out by a penalty on Tonyan for an illegal block to make it 2nd and 23.
A pass to Lazard went for 14 yards to make it 3rd and 9, but Rodgers threw an incomplete pass to force a Packers punt with less than 10 seconds to go in the half.
The ball was downed by Will Redmond as the clock hit zeros.
The Packers still led 21-3 at the half, and will get the ball to start the second half.
The Packers punted after a 3 and out.
On their first drive of the second half, the Panthers also punted. Bridgewater was sacked early in the drive by Adrian Amos.
The Packers weren’t able to pull off anymore points in their possession.
The Panthers scored their first touchdown after Bridgewater also ran into the end zone, and Slye’s extra point made it a 21-10 game with 5:15 to go in the third quarter.
Packers player Krys Barnes was spotted going to the locker room for what the Packers reported was an eye injury.
The Packers punted yet again.
The 21-10 score stood to the end of the third quarter.
The Panthers marched down the field and nearly scored a touchdown, however a penalty nulled the score.
Adrian Amos had a big part in keeping the Panthers out of the end zone.
The Panthers then scored 3 following a 22-yard field goal by Slye to make it a 21-13 game.
Rodgers and Lazard finally connected to get within Crosby’s range for a field goal late in the fourth quarter.
Rodgers was sacked shortly after on a third down.
Crosby nailed it to make it a 24-game.
Rashan Gary walked off the field with less than three minutes to go.
On the following play, Bridgewater was sacked for a loss of five yards by Z’Darius Smith, however Smith was then injured a couple of plays later.
Rashan Gary re-entered the game when Smith went down.
Bridgewater connected with Moore for 40 yards soon after, and the Panthers converted on a 33 yard field goal to make it 24-16.
Packers safety Will Redmond was injured after being tackled on the following kickoff.
Although the Packers had a chance to convert on a 3rd and four, Rodgers was sacked for a loss of 14 yards, and forced the Packers to punt yet again.
The Panthers nearly blocked the kick, and have nearly 2 minutes to score.
An intentional grounding call was made on the Panthers’ first play of the drive, backing them up to the 10 yard line.
That was followed by a deep, incomplete pass by Bridgewater to make it 3rd and 9 with 30 seconds to play.
An intercepted pass on 4th down was wiped out by a penalty on Z’Darius Smith. On a replay of the down, Bridgewater threw another incomplete pass.
That led to a turnover, and the Packers took a knee to end the game, winning 24-16.
The game is airing on FOX, as well as the NFL Network.
Check back for updates throughout the game from the Action 2 News Sports team.
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