The game of the week in Week 9 features two NFC powerhouses battling at Bank of America Stadium in North Carolina. The underdog Panthers are coming off a thrilling overtime victory against the Colts on Monday night, meaning that they’ll have one less day to prepare for the incoming favored Packers.
Offensively, we’ve all seen what Aaron Rodgers can do, and surely one of the league’s best quarterbacks will be looking to rebound off an abysmal performance on national television.
Rodgers was limited to just 77 passing yards against a stout Broncos defense, and he’ll face similar matchup problems against the Panthers. Carolina has a strong pass rush that poses a major problem for the Packers’ offensive line, and they have some strong cornerbacks that will make life difficult for Randall Cobb and James Jones downfield.
Meanwhile, it’s hard to gauge the Packers' stop unit right now. Green Bay’s defense was enjoying a decent campaign, but they were just carved up by an over-the-hill Peyton Manning a week ago. They also surrendered over 500 passing yards to Philip Rivers earlier this season, so Cam Newton should be optimistic about his ability to move the chains.
Green Bay has also struggled to stop the run in recent weeks, and that could pose a problem against the league’s most mobile quarterback and Jonathan Stewart, who is enjoying a strong season thus far.
If there’s one thing working in the Packers’ favor, it’s their ability to respond following a loss. The Packers are 6–1 straight up in their last seven games after losing as a favorite and 5–0 SU in their last five games after a loss according to the OddsShark NFL Database.
They’ve also owned this matchup as of late, going 6–2 SU in their last eight games against the Panthers.
Even with the trends in their favor though, it’s hard to overlook the matchup that the Panthers have in the trenches on both sides of the ball. This one likely comes down to the wire, and with the Panthers getting 2.5 points here we’re inclined to side with the underdog.