Sunday, November 18, 2007

Final: Packers 31 - Panthers 17

The final quarter saw the Panthers mount a drive with about 5 minutes to go. Al Harris took a snooze and let his man get wide open. This resulted, with run after catch, in nearly a 50 yard gain for the Panthers. This was soon followed by a screen pass during which the Packers missed several tackles, allowing the Panthers to take the ball down to the 5-yard line. Vinny threw a TD pass to make it 28-17. The Panthers attempted an onside kick, which was recovered by Donald Driver at the Panthers 37. The Pack failed to convert and tried their third field goal attempt of the day, a 47-yarder by Mason Crosby. Unlike the prior 2 attempts, this one was good. Pack 31 - Panthers 17. Vinny kept tossing the ball. Inexplicably, the Packers were rarely able to get any pressure on this standing stone in the backfield. Vinny can still throw completions when given the time. In fact, he even ran for 16 yards with just over a minute to go. How does that happen? Carolina gave it their last shot on 4th and 5 with about 55 seconds to go. The pass was broken up by A. J. Hawk. Game over. Packers 31 - Panthers 17.

This game was nowhere near as dominant as the game against the ViQueens. The field goal squad could obviously use some work. Those two missed attempts could be the difference in a close game. They have to get that worked out. The D-line didn't look like they really turned it loose on more than a few occasions, but perhaps they didn't need to.

This was the first of three games for the Pack in the next 12 days, with two of those games -- the next two -- on the road. This is a tough stretch. With the Lions losing today, the Pack is up by 3 games in the division. Assuming they don't become the turkey on Thanksgiving in Detroit, this sets up a major showdown in Dallas on Nov. 29. That game could well determine home field advantage throughout the playoffs. And bringing any team to Lambeau in January is something we can all get our chattering teeth into.

The Packers are 9-1. 13 out of their last 14. Sweet.