Sunday, November 30, 2008

Halftime: Packers 10 - Panthers 21

The Pack had to settle for a field goal early in the quarter, to make the score Packers 3 - Panthers 7.

After giving up a big kickoff return -- something the Packers special teams have been doing more and more as the season has worn on -- and setting Carolina up at almost midfield, Carolina was soon to score. The key play was a 43-yard run by rookie RB Jonathon Stewart. He was bottled up at the line of scrimmage and somehow broke through. There was no one there to stop him once that happened. Tramon Williams eventually caught up with him before he hit the endzone and actually helped cause a fumble, which unfortunately was recovered at the 2 by the Panthers. Jake Delhomme scampered in for a TD two plays later to put Carolina up 14-3.

The Packers then got a drive of their own going, combining some good running by Ryan Grant and some key receptions by Donald Driver. The key run, though, turned out to be a rush by Brandon Jackson, who took the ball down to about the 5. He replaced Grant who appeared to limp off the field a play earlier. On third and goal, Aaron Rodgers drilled a pass to Donald Driver for a TD. Packers 10 - Panthers 14.

After then holding Carolina to three and out and apparently gaining some momentum, the Packers took over inside their own 30. On the first snap, however, that momentum came to a screeching halt: center Scott Wells (who has been playing with a bad shoulder) snapped the ball well over Rodgers' head. You guessed it: recovered by Carolina at around the Packers 20-yard line. From there, it only took four plays for the Panthers to find the endzone, with DeAngelo Williams walking in untouched around the left side of the line. Packers 10 - Panthers 21. A costly turnover for the Pack that gave Carolina an easy 7 just before half.

Jason Spitz took over at center for Wells on the Pack's final series of the half, with Josh Sitton coming in to take Spitz' spot on the line.

The Packers had the ball for roughly seven minutes longer than Carolina in the half. Unfortunately, they didn't do much with it. It's going to be a tough second half.