The Packers hold on for a crucial victory over the Panthers.
Just like when these two teams met at Lambeau Field a year ago, the Green Bay Packers held on for a 24-16 win over the Carolina Panthers.
Like in last season’s win, the defense needed to make a stand in the final moments. In 2019, it was a goal-line stand to stop Christian McCaffrey as time expired. This time, it was a turnover on downs.
The NFC-leading Packers take another important step towards securing the number one seed in the postseason, but the victory wasn’t as easy as it looked to be early on.
The Packers made the perfect start with touchdowns on their opening three possessions, quickly taking a 21-3 lead.
Game over. Well, not so fast.
The offense stalled on their next five drives, each resulting in punts. The defense wasn’t given much help in the third quarter and the Panthers fought back into the game, narrowing the gap to just eight points late on.
When the Packers needed some points, they turned to Mason Crosby for the 16th time this season for a field goal attempt. And like he did on the 15 previous attempts, he stepped up and made it look easy, converting from 51 yards in tough conditions.
After a fast start, the Packers looked on course for a blowout victory. A chance to rest the starters in the fourth quarter. But as we’ve seen a little more often than we’d like, the Packers took their foot off the gas with a lead and it almost cost them.
All that counts is the victory and this is a big one for the Packers. They improve to 11-3 and will remain in first place of the NFC this week no matter the other results around the league. With two more victories in the final couple of weeks, the top seed will be Green Bay’s.