Nov 8, 2015; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers outside linebacker Thomas Davis (58) intercepts the ball late in the fourth quarter. The Panthers defeated the Packers 37-29 at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Many times, the Packers have tended to be on the good end of this outcome. It makes sense, seeing as they have a quarterback in Aaron Rodgers who seems to be physically repulsed by the idea of giving the ball to someone not in green & gold (he has the best TD:INT ratio in league history) and an offensive system that tends to focus on mainly low-risk plays.
On this day however, they lost this battle; it can easily be looked at as the difference in the game.
Green Bay had two turnovers on the day.
The first was the aforementioned Lacy fumble. The defense had just held Carolina to a field goal on the previous drive, but the team was still down 20-7. This would have been an excellent chance to cut into the lead before things got out of hand, but the quick fumble ended those hopes and gave Carolina great field position. They missed their eventual field goal try, but even without more points they had taken at least one more opportunity off the field for the Packers offense. I resent the idea that this is an issue of momentum (incorrect yet oft-used term for many game situations), but it undoubtedly could be seen as something that interfered with the rhythm of the team in a half where they had little.
The second was a perfect example of how turnovers directly influence a game: the Aaron Rodgers interception. The defense had miraculously just given the Packers the ball, with a chance to tie things up with a score & two-point conversion. Green Bay was only about 20 yards out to start, but struggled to get closer, making just enough to end up in a 4th & 4 near the end zone. Rodgers dropped back, got pressured, and had to throw the ball with Kawann Short draped on him. The throw, aimed for a heavily-covered James Jones, was lofted lightly and easily picked off by Thomas Davis, who unhindered himself from a block to leap up and snatch it down with ease.
There isn’t a better game situation to show just how much of a difference a turnover can make than that drive and the Panthers one preceding it. To think, had Rodgers not thrown the INT — perhaps instead seeing a wide-open Randall Cobb — maybe Green Bay ties things before eventually winning in overtime. Then Cam Newton becomes the scapegoat for Carolina due to his INT that allowed that Packers drive in the first place.
Alas, that’s not what happened.
Hopefully for us, we don’t have to be on the wrong end of this turnover game too often.
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