GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - As the Green Bay Packers (7-2) prepare to host the Carolina Panthers (5-3), it’s time to get ready for kickoff with Dave Schroeder’s ‘Fast 5 Pack Facts.’
#1 Running Back Royalty: The NFL’s top 2 touchdown producers square off at Lambeau Field. Carolina’s Christian McCaffrey has 13 TD’s to lead the league, while Green Bay’s Aaron Jones has tallied 11 scores. Beyond the end zone, McCaffrey leads the league with 1,244 yards from scrimmage.
#2 Kyle Allen at quarterback: Cam Newton was placed on IR this week with his foot injury, meaning the Kyle Allen show will continue for the Panthers at quarterback. Allen has gone 5-1 as a starter. His stats have not been stellar, but Allen has managed the game well while leaning on McCaffrey.
#3 Blueprint for success?: Allen’s only loss as a starter came 2 weeks ago at San Francisco, where Carolina lost 51-13. The still-undefeated 49ers are coached by Kyle Shanahan, who mentored and coached with Packers first-year head coach Matt LaFleur in the past. LaFleur runs a similar scheme to Shanahan and will be looking for similar success against Carolina. In San Fran’s big win over the Panthers, dual-threat RB Tevin Coleman scored 4 TD’s. The Packers hope their lead back, Jones, can have a big day against the Carolina defense as well. Keep in mind, Jones had a 4-TD game earlier this season.
#4 Davante Adams: Everyone knows the Packers star receiver can control the game. His double-digit touchdown totals the last 3 years are proof. But this season? Adams has yet to find the end zone a single time. His 4 games missed with a turf toe injury are part of the reason, as is Matt LaFleur’s creative diversity of play calls in the red zone. Either way, Adams is primed for a breakout, though the team has reached 7-2 without him having to score.
#5 Freezing weather: The forecast calls for temperatures near freezing at kickoff and cooling as the game goes on. In their 25-year existence, the Panthers have only played in 9 games with temperatures below freezing. Carolina has gone just 2-7 in those contests. The weather should provide a decided home field advantage for Green Bay in its only home game during a 49-day span (between October 20th and December 8th).
Prediction: Packers 31, Panthers 24
As always, tune in to Action 2 News at 10:00 pm for all your postgame coverage and be sure to stay up late for Sunday Sports Night Cover 2 at 10:35. All-Pro LT David Bakhtiari will join Chris Roth in studio to break down the game.