Lombardiave staffers predict: Green Bay Packers vs. Carolina Panthers


Here we are, Green Bay Packers fans … NFL Week 7 and a Lambeau Field matchup against the Cam Newton-led Carolina Panthers.

Here’s how the staffers at Lombardiave.com are seeing things this week after three straight Packers wins – two of them coming against division foes Minnesota and Chicago.

Today we take a look at who will win Sunday and why. Our predictions are not scientific, they are based on how we feel at the moment.

How about you? Agree with our picks? Let us know by leaving a prediction below, Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Josh McPeak

Josh McPeak: Green Bay heads into Sunday still bringing up the rear in rushing yards allowed this season.

While the Carolina Panthers are plagued with injuries at the running back position Cam Newton appears to be healthy. Newton carried the ball 17 times for 107 yards and a touchdown on Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals.

On the flipside the Panthers ended up kissing their sister while allowing Andy Dalton to pass for 323 yards without A.J. Green and Giovani Bernard added 137 yards on the ground with the majority coming on an 89 yard TD scamper.

With this being such a pivotal game for the Packers given after Sunday the next three opponents are the Saints, Bears and Eagles they will find a way to get it done. The Panthers defense has tumbled just about as fast as any unit I have ever witnessed.

Green Bay will likely be without at least one of their starting corners and possibly both. It looks like a shootout on paper for sure. I believe Rodgers may have fired up the band however, with his clutch play at the end of Sunday’s win in Miami.

The Packers Bang on the drum all day …

Packers 42 Panthers 24

Patrick Hughes

Patrick Hughes: The infamous trap game; might the Carolina Panthers prove to be the foe that catches the Packers by surprise?

Interesting question, but this year’s Green Bay Packers don’t seem to be a team to overlook an opponent. The keys to this game are stop Cam Newton, stop Cam Newton and stop Cam Newton.

If the Packers can do that and their play continues to progress on both sides of the ball Green Bay wins. I have a hunch Eddie Lacy and Clay Matthews play well.

Packers 28 Panthers 20

Jerry Bulone

Jerry Bulone: I said last week the Packers were in a prime letdown spot.

They were coming off two big divisional wins and were playing a underrated Dolphins team at home.

This is the exact opposite here.

The Packers are in a great spot here. Carolina is coming off a huge overtime tie against a team that many thought would blow them away.

They do not have that same effort in them again this week on the road in an equally tough place to play.

It will be closer than it should be because of our defense, but Green Bay is the better team, and they are at home, this is a very easy pick …

Packers 34 Panthers 24

Kenn Korb

Kenn Korb: Based on perceptions, this would seem to be a matchup suited in favor of the Panthers; great defense, strong running game, and not turnover-prone. But the perception is turning out to be off over the past few weeks.

The vaunted Carolina defense has been highly inconsistent at best – and pretty terrible at worst – with only one strong performance all year (Week 2 versus Detroit). The running game has been demolished by injuries, with nobody reaching more than 31 carries and the team’s leading rusher having only 149 yards – that being Cam Newton (DeAngelo Williams has 106 to lead the RBs).

They have managed to stay on the positive end of the turnover battle (3 total turnovers, +6 turnover differential), so they do have that working for them. Add in Cam getting healthy and showing his threat as a runner last week (107 yards) and they could still put up a strong challenge.

Fortunately for Green Bay, the Packers are playing well enough overall that they should handle the confrontation. Aaron Rodgers is playing at a high level, Davante Adams is stepping handily into that #3 receiver role to give Rodgers another target, and the offensive line should play well against the surprisingly lackluster pass-rush fielded by Carolina

The run game is still an issue and that may not change this week, but the Panthers secondary is very ripe for the picking and should be taken advantage of either way.

Expect a high-octane game from both sides, at least at first. Eventually, the Panthers won’t be able to keep up.

Turnovers are likely to be the main difference between a close match and a blowout, and I see Green Bay holding the advantage there by forcing a couple while losing none of their own.

Green Bay 34 Carolina 23

Kevin Gibson

Kevin Gibson: Normally, if a team lost both its starting cornerbacks to injury, it would be a serious “oh no” moment.

But the Green Bay Packers are deeper at corner than most teams. Casey Hayward and Davon House have proven their worth, Jarrett Bush is a veteran and Micah Hyde can move down into the slot at a moment’s notice.

Yes, Cam Newton poses problems as he gets healthier, but the Carolina Panthers’ defense is not what it once was. I look for the Packers to come out confident and aggressive following an emotional win in Miami, and I expect to see the offense clicking.

Aaron Rodgers throws for three touchdowns and the running backs total well over 100 yards as Green Bay continues its win streak.

Packers 34 Panthers 20

Coalter Hansen

Coalter Hansen: The Packers had what it took to survive last week, can they do it again this week?

All week I have been prepared for a shootout. That mind set still hasn’t left me.

Even though stud rookie receiver Kelvin Benjamin will likely miss the game, I still think the Panthers will be able to score against our banged up defense. The Panthers are one of the best teams in the NFL at running the read option and the Packers haven’t shown us one time that they know how to stop it.

It all sounds like doom and gloom, but it’s not.

I think the Packers offense should be able to do what they want. Aaron Rodgers should have a big day, and Eddie Lacy and James Starks should be able to hit the ground running.

In the end I think the Packers survive.

Packers 38 Panthers 30

Doug Etten

Doug Etten: Everything in this game screams for a Packers win. But, for some reason my cautious optimism is skewed this week. Maybe it’s because I’m a big advocate of Cam Newton and the Carolina coaching staff. They run a solid program. One that’s become very well respected across the league.

Maybe it’s because I’m not convinced that Casey Hayward and Davon House are capable of stepping in and offering the same type of defense on each edge, like Green Bay would get from the injured duo of Tramon Williams and Sam Shields.

Everyone in the media, ourselves included, continue to look for ways to doubt this Green Bay team, and time and time again that same old No. 12 is there to spit in our eye and say, “shame on you.”

The same happens this week.

A-Rod is just too damn hot right now for any defense to stop. And with our offensive line finally gaining a little momentum in the pass rush defense, I think we come out with a concerted effort to make Carolina stop the pass. When or if that happens, we run the football.

Call me crazy, but maybe it’s time our special teams stepped up to the front line and scored the football!

Packers win …

Packers 31 Panthers 13

Kevin Dickens

Kevin Dickens: Week after week always provides craziness in the NFL. Carolina and Cincinnati engaged themselves in a good old-fashioned draw last week. Many are giving praise to Carolina but I see it more as a collapse for Cincinnati.

Let us not forget that this was a Cincinnati team without their major receiving threat in A.J. Green. They also have been without the talent of Tyler Eifert and Marvin Jones.

With that said, Carolina still was dismal on defense. They allowed Giovanni Bernard to run as he pleased and struggled greatly to contain a depleted passing unit. They will not get the same luxury in Green Bay this week.

Aaron Rodgers has torched the league to a tune of 15 TDs to 1 lone INT.

His turnoverless mentality will continue this week.

Eddie Lacy and James Starks were bottled up by a strong Miami defense. Carolina will not prove to be so worthy. The air raid from Aaron to Jordy and Randall will be too much to overcome.

The defense has been pretty stellar the last 3 weeks. I don’t expect a dropoff in coverage with Casey Hayward or Davon House with injuries to Shields and Tramon Williams. I expect Cam to struggle with Benjamin sidelined and his running game outside of himself to be non-existent. Green Bay rolls.

Packers 38 Panthers 20

Darryl Krejci

Darryl Krejci: Wow, the pressure is on for the magic of the tutu as I again venture North to the Mecca known as Lambeau Field. I am 3-0 in games attended while wearing the tutu and I see nothing changing this week.

Aaron Rodgers and company will torch the Panthers defense and I look for a monster breakout game for Eddie Lacy. I am looking for Rodgers to throw at least three TDs and for Lacy to have at least one on the ground.

On the defensive side of the ball, Clay Matthews has taken a lot of heat for his subpar performance so far this year. I predict he will put some of those haters to rest this week with a dominating performance. Look for Matthews to register two sacks and be a major disruptive force. The secondary will have one pick six to keep up their strong performance.

In the end I will call this for the Packers

Packers 38 Panthers 21

David Burdette

David Burdette: A lot is going right for the Packers. The problem is it takes just one play for everything to come crashing down.

That isn’t that week.

The same defense that Andy Dalton tore into (without A.J. Green) awaits Aaron Rodgers at Lambeau Field.

Sure Cam can run, but will it matter if he’s playing from behind?

Packers 35 Panthers 28

Ray Rivard

Ray Rivard: The Green Bay Packers come home this week to Lambeau Field to take on the Cam Newton-led Carolina Panthers after one of the most dramatic wins in recent memory last week at Miami.

The momentum from that last-second win continues this week as Aaron Rodgers continues on his torrid pace. Expect the Packers run game to show some life this week and the defense to continue its slow improvement.

In other words, Aaron Rodgers leads the Packers into the end zone multiple times while the defense does what it’s been doing best: bending, but not breaking.

Packers 38 Panthers 20