Four touchdown passes from quarterback Cam Newton and four takeaways defensively helped the Panthers spoil the return of Packers All-Pro quarterback Aaron Rodgers on Sunday at Bank of America Stadium, as Carolina earned its 10th win of the season by holding off Green Bay for a 31-24 victory.
He had nine touches for 60 yards on Carolina's opening 15-play, 75-yard drive, including a 7-yard touchdown catch over the middle for an early 7-0 lead.
He proceeded to throw a touchdown pass to Christian McCaffrey. Green Bay had no answers for the rookie out Stanford, who's a matchup nightmare.
But it was Rodgers' first three-interception game since 2009 and just the fourth of his career. It's tough to beat good teams on the road when the defense gets sliced and diced like it did again Sunday. Carolina went three-and-out following the interception. The Packers defense provided some stops late, but a win probably would have required a game-changing takeaway or two. He should sit for at least a game.
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The Packers also lost their best receiver Davonte Adams on a helmet-to-helmet hit after an interception.
- This sentence could be used every week: The Packers' zone coverage got carved apart. But they proved on this Sunday that when it's time to take the field they can put those issues aside and play at a high level. The Packers were likely expecting for Rodgers to be somewhat rusty.
He finished the game with nine catches for 116 yards and a touchdown. It's a conversation worth having. The Vikings clinched the NFC North division title with a 34-7 over Cincinnati. They are all but a lock for the playoffs, although the division title is their first priority. The Packers will likely be dead men walking.