National Football League action on Sunday afternoon and the Green Bay Packers will look to keep their playoff hopes alive where they battle it out with the Carolina Panthers, who are tied for first in the NFC South with the New Orleans Saints. This game will take place at Bank Of America Stadium in Raleigh, North Carolina. The Packers are off a 27-21 OT win over the Browns on the road, while the Panthers are off a 31-24 home win over the Panthers.
Packers Stay Alive With Comeback Win Over Browns
The Green Bay Packers are fighting for a spot in the playoffs and they kept their hopes alive with a 27-21 win over the Browns in OT. The Packers trailed the game 27-21 in the 4th quarter, but Brett Hundley led them on a couple of TD drives to tie the game and then after a turnover in OT the Packers got a 25 yard TD pass from Hundley to Davante Adams to win it. Hundley had a strong game as he hit 34/46 passes for 265 yards with three TDs and no INTs. It may have been his last start this year as Aaron Rodgers could make his way back on the field for this one. Had they lost last week, then they probably would not have played Rodgers the rest of the way as they would be all but out of the playoff race. Now that they are still alive, they will have him on the field if he is ready to go. Hundley did a fine job the last two weeks, but they would really like to have the experience of Rodgers on the field in crucial games like this. The defense will really need to step up in this one against a Carolina offense that has been on fire of late. Last week, they struggled some against the Browns as they allowed 345 yards of total offense, including 209 yards on the ground and the Panthers are a team that can run the ball. The defense must play well or they will not win this game, even if Rodgers returns and plays well.
Green Bay has not been a very good offensive team this year as they come in ranked 25th in the league in total offense (308.6 ypg), 25th in passing (201.8 ypg), 19th in rushing (106.8 ypg) and 20th in scoring at 21.9 ppg. On defense, they have been poor as they come in ranked 26th in total yards allowed (351.1 ypg), 23rd against the pass (240.3 ypg) and 17th vs the run (130.8 ypg), while allowing 23.2 ppg, which is 18th in the league.
The Panthers Take Down The Hot Vikings
The Carolina Panthers have been playing very well down the stretch as they come in having won six of their last seven games. They are now at 9-4 on the year and if the playoffs started today, they would own one of the wildcard slots. They come into this game off a 31-24 win over the Vikings at home and that win snapped Minnesota’s eight-game win streak. The Panthers have been led by their defense for much of the year, but lately, it has been their offense that has led them as they have averaged 33.0 ppg over their last four games.That compares to them averaging just 18.7 ppg over their first nine games. In the win over the Vikings, they had 345 yards of total offense, including 216 yards on the ground. That is hard to do against that defense and they will now look to keep it going against a Green Bay defense that has been below average against the run this year. Jonathan Stewart led the attack against the Vikings with 128 yards rushing and three TDs. Cam Newton didn’t have great a game throwing the ball as he hit just 13/25 passes for 137 yards with a TD and an INT, but he did rush for 70 yards. Newton has hit just 61.9% of his passes for 2720 yards with 17 TDs and 12 INTs, while posting a QBR of 81.2, which is 26th in the league. The defense has been solid this year, but they have allowed 27.3 ppg in their last three games.
The Panthers have been a bit below average on offense so far this year as they come in ranked 18th in the league in total offense (329.9 ypg), 28th in passing (195.4 ypg), 5th in rushing (134.5 ypg) and 14th in scoring at 23.1 ppg. On defense, they have been very solid as they come in ranked 6th in total yards allowed (302.1 ypg), 9th against the pass (212.6 ypg) and 4th vs the run (89.5 ypg), while allowing just 20.2 ppg, which is 11th in the league.
Green Bay is:
- 1-4 ATS vs. a team with a winning record
- Road team is 1-4 ATS the last five games in this series.
- 5-0 ATS in their last five games after accumulating less than 150 yards passing in their previous game
- 7-2-1 ATS in their last 10 games in Week 15
The Green Bay Packers have won their last two games in a row and they may be getting Aaron Rodgers back for this game. Still, they are playing a Carolina team that looked good in beating the Vikings last week, especially on offense. The Green Bay defense struggled against a bad Cleveland offense last week and will struggle even more in this one against a hot Carolina offense that has averaged 33 ppg over their last four games. The Packers should have Rodgers back for this game, but he may be a bit rusty and they will be facing a very solid defense that has allowed just w21.2 ppg here at home. I look for the Panthers to take this one.
Pick: Carolina -3
The Packers will get a boost to their offense this week with the return of Aaron Rodgers, but he will be a bit rusty and will be facing an offense that has allowed just 21.2 ppg at home. Despite that, the Panthers have struggled some on defense of late as they have allowed 27.3 ppg over their last three games and I look for a desperate Green Boy offense to put up some points on them. The Panthers have been very hot on offense as they have averaged 33 ppg over their last four games and the Packers have allowed 26.0 ppg on the road. This should be a good game with plenty of points being score.