ReFo: Panthers @ Packers, Week 7

The Packers rolled through the Panthers in a complete display that saw dominance on both sides of the ball. Cole Schultz breaks it down.

| 3 years ago

ReFo: Panthers @ Packers, Week 7

2014-REFO-WK07-CAR@GBJust after the Panthers sacked Aaron Rodgers on the fourth play of the game, commentator John Lynch noted how this sudden surge in Carolina’s pass rush was “something they’ve been missing”. And while it appeared for a brief moment early, missing it would go once again for the remainder of the game. Pressured on just three of his 27 dropbacks, Rodgers and Green Bay’s receiving corps tore apart a Panthers’ secondary that allowed over three quarters of the Packers aerial yardage after the catch.

While the offense sat by helplessly and watched as the Packers scored touchdowns on four of their first five drives, when given the chance they performed little better than the defense, going three and out on three consecutive drives to open the game. If not for a couple of fourth quarter touchdown drives (one with Derek Anderson at the helm) the final score would have accurately described the competitiveness of this game. As it were, a 38-17 final score doesn’t do justice to how cleanly the Packers came away with the win.

Carolina Panthers – Performances of Note

Left Tackles, -7.5 combined

Breakdown: When Byron Bell left the game with an elbow injury after 41 snaps and a -2.4 grade, it looked like a replacement tackle could hardly play much worse. Having given up four pressures already midway through the third quarter, Bell was succeeded by rookie David Foucault. And just as one could predict when you rely on an undrafted free agent to block Clay Matthews one on one, the results (-4.3 pass blocking on 19 snaps) made Bell’s struggles seem like the lesser of two evils.

Signature Play: It wasn’t just Matthews that took advantage of this match-up. With 3:09 to go in the third quarter, Nick Perry flew off edge around Foucault forcing a quick throw, while Foucault was lucky not to have drawn any laundry with his questionable blocking technique.

Luke Kuechly, LB, -4.5

Breakdown: Continuing his streak of back-to-back great performances followed by back-to-back duds, Kuechly performance pendulum swung back into the red in Green Bay. His most memorable play may be his being his controversial ejection late in the third, but in reality he looked like a liability rather than the centerpiece of this defense, at times appearing lost in coverage.

Signature Play: Q2, 7:24. A scrambling Rodgers found Randall Cobb three yards past the markers with Kuechly in position to make a tackle for minimal yardage after the catch. A sharp cutback though left Kuechly in the dust, allowing Cobb 30 more yards as he reversed field for a considerable gain.

Charles Godfrey, CB, -5.0

Breakdown: The poster child of Carolina’s much-maligned secondary, Godfrey’s struggles mirrored that of the entire unit. He didn’t surrender quite as many yards as Antoine Cason’s 131, but he edged out Cason’s poor play with a trio of missed tackles.

Signature Play: Q3, 11:02. Meeting Cobb one yard short of the line to gain and able to force a punt with a clean tackle, Godfrey instead over pursued the shifty wideout who then slipped another tackler before skirting up the sideline.

Green Bay Packers – Performances of Note

Clay Matthews, OLB, +4.9

Breakdown: After nearly half a season’s worth of average play, Matthews broke out in a big way against a couple of overmatched tackles. Recording a sack and team-high six total pressures, the USC product looks to have regained his form after an injury-marred 2013 season.

Signature Play: It wasn’t all pass rushing for the multi-dimensional linebacker. At 11:04 in the opening quarter, Matthews shot off the line unblocked to take down Jonathan Stewart for a three yard loss.

Bryan Bulaga, RT, +4.5

Breakdown: While we’re on the topic of guys coming off of injured seasons, Bulaga showed just how effective he can be when healthy. Perfect in pass protection and strong moving forward, performances like this from Bulaga and company will continue to make this one of the best offenses in football.

Signature Stat: With a perfect day in pass protection, Bulaga moves into the Top 10 in our Pass Blocking Efficiency ratings, one spot ahead of teammate David Bakhtiari.

Randall Cobb, WR, +2.8

Breakdown: It seems that every week Rodgers has a new favorite target, and this week it was Cobb, who had the ball thrown his way on nearly one third of Rodgers’ passing attempts. He turned those seven targets into six receptions, one going for a touchdown while four more moved the chains.

Signature Stat: Cobb forced three missed tackles and maintained his lead among wide receivers with his eighth receiving touchdown. He currently leads all wide receivers with 33 catches from the slot.

PFF Game Ball

The talent wasn’t there on the other side, but Clay Matthews took advantage of the opportunities presented to him.


  • Jacob Basson

    Can you please explain how on earth Rodgers received a -0.1 grade in the pass game?

    • Dohkay

      I’m going to guess it’s because he was only pressured on 3 of his 27 dropbacks and 193 of his 255 yards came via YAC. Didn’t really have to do much.

      • lolz

        Rodgers gets -0.1 for his WR getting too much YAC (I guess ball placement doesn’t count) yet Peyton scores +44.3 last season with his WR’s gaining 2,751 yards of YAC.

        Might as well have subbed Flynn in, guess he could have managed the same performance.

        • Dohkay

          Just pointing out that he didn’t face any pressure thanks to his OL and his WRs did a lot of the work for him after the catch.

          By the way, last year 54% of Manning’s yards were through the air. Rodgers last season was at 50%. The year before Manning was at 60% and Rodgers was at 53%. If you think this year is any different, sorry, but Manning is at 60% and Rodgers is at 55%.

          Please don’t complain when your QB gets a whopping 25% of his yards in the air.

    • mutzki

      I guess it’s because the receivers did most of the damage. Rodgers barely threw deep, it was all YAC as posted in this article.

    • Jacob Basson

      he also had an INT called back due to penalty, and another one dropped I believe on one of his three incompletions…still though…

      • Kevin

        The dropped INT part just simply isn’t true. I can think of all 3 of his incompletions and not 1 came close to a defender. Two were overthrown with no defender around and 1 was put in front of Jordy on a crossing route when he had room to run.

        The INT he threw was also a free play that Rodgers clearly knew was a free play so PFF wouldn’t count that negatively against him. Plus the play didn’t count so I don’t think they grade the play.

        Seattle Steve- There wasn’t 1 throw that a defender could of got their hands on so I don’t see any of completions effecting his grade. I think a lot of it has to do with how many yards the WR’s actually got after the catch of Rodgers 250 yards like you mentioned. Still a -.1 doesn’t make much sense to me. He played a better game then that IMO. I agree with PFF a majority of the time but not on this one.

      • Brian Dugan

        The called back INT was on a free play that Rodgers knew he had because of 12 men on the field from the Panthers. Throwing the ball up during a free play is something he does all the time.

    • Seattle Steve

      It’s like Wilson’s week 1 game.
      A few could of been interceptions, a bunch of the damage being done by the Wide outs after the catch. etc, idk.

    • Yonatan Bogale

      I’d say there are many aspects which played a role in Rodgers’ grade.
      1. The almost perfect pass protecting leading to clean pockets
      2. The well-run routes of the receivers and the below-average play of the CAR corners so there was no tight window to throw to
      3. The only three incompletions were more or less Rodgers mistakes (e.g. the missed TD to TE Rodgers)
      4. The many YAC from the receivers

      All theses aspects could explain why Rodgers only got an average grade because he actually only needed to be average (or better, faultless) to have a perfect passer rating.

      • jjthetraveler

        Just how is 19 out of 22 average?? Oh and a 155 rating??

        • Yonatan Bogale

          Man, thats exactly what I tried to explain… Do u even try to understand?