Why They Lost: Green Bay Falters In Carolina

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Nov 8, 2015; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers wide receiver Devin Funchess (17) reacts after scoring a touchdown as Green Bay Packers cornerback Damarious Randall (23) defends in the fourth quarter. The Panthers defeated the Packers 37-29 at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Big Play

A big part of how Green Bay got down such a large amount in the confines of a 15-minute quarter — as well as down by 23 at one point — was the fact that they gave up some ridiculously massive gains to a Panthers team that isn’t exactly stacked with offensive talent.

If you consider big plays as 10+ yards for runs and 15+ yards for passes, then it is easy to see how Carolina jumped out so quickly in that second quarter.

In the first half, Carolina, managed to have 3 runs of 10+ yards and 5 passes of 15+ yards:

  • Greg Olsen 23 yard catch (0-0; eventual FG drive)
  • Cam Newton 23 yard run (0-0; eventual FG drive)
  • Jerricho Cotchery 59 yard catch (7-3 GB; eventual TD drive)
  • Jonathan Stewart 14 yard run (7-3 GB; eventual TD drive)
  • Devin Funchess 52 yard catch (10-7 CAR; eventual TD drive)
  • Jerricho Cotchery 16 yard catch (17-7 CAR; eventual FG drive)
  • Fozzy Whittaker 10 yard run (20-7 CAR; eventual TD drive)
  • Corey Brown 39 yard TD catch (27-7 CAR)

It’s no wonder the Packers fell behind like they did; that is multiple weeks of big plays all in a single half of football. In that first half, Carolina had 8 big plays, compared to 5 for Green Bay — 3 of which came on the final drive of the half.

Green Bay eventually ended the game with as many total big plays as Carolina (each with 12), but the way they got them was unsustainable (hurry-up mode for basically the entire second half, completely unbalanced play-calling, behind by multiple scores). Had the defense been able to prevent a few of those big plays early, the team would have been positioned better to keep this game competitive for more than just a highly unlikely late comeback attempt.

Speaking of the defense…

Next: Where's The D?