After a six-week audition, the Panthers have decided to pin their season’s hopes on Kyle Allen. The second-year quarterback no longer has to look over his shoulder as he leads Carolina into a critical contest at home Sunday vs. the Green Bay Packers.
When: Sunday, Nov. 10
Time: 4:25 p.m. ET
Live Stream: fuboTV (try for free)
Allen took over under center in Week 3 after Cam Newton was clearly limited in terms of playmaking with a foot sprain suffered during the preseason. The Panthers (5-3) have gone 5-1 since the switch, and with Newton still dealing with pain despite both rest and rehabilitation, the team made the difficult decision to put the 2015 NFL MVP and three-time Pro Bowler on season-ending injured reserve Tuesday.
Allen has thrown for 1,291 yards and nine touchdowns with four interceptions in six games. The last contest, though, may have been the most important one, as he showed the ability to bounce back from a loss. Carolina regrouped from a 38-point pasting by unbeaten San Francisco to defeat Tennessee, 30-20, last Sunday, as Allen had 232 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Running back Christian McCaffrey continued to burnish his MVP credentials, rushing for 146 yards—including a 58-yard touchdown scamper—and finished with 166 scrimmage yards to go with three scores. McCaffrey has 881 rushing yards, 13 behind league leader and Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook, despite playing one fewer game. He leads the NFL with 1,244 scrimmage yards and 13 total touchdowns.
The third-year back could be in for a huge day against the Packers (7-2), who have struggled to limit the production of opposing running backs all season. The NFC North leaders have allowed opposing running backs to total 1,036 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground after the Los Angeles Chargers duo of Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler combined for 202 total yards in Green Bay’s 26-11 road defeat last Sunday.
Green Bay had a four-game winning streak snapped, as little went right on either side of the ball. The Packers finished with a season-low 184 yards—less than half their season average of 373.5 entering the contest—as Rodgers finished with 161 yards for his lowest total since December 2015.
Rodgers also called his teammates out after the game, noting there was a lack of focus while being in Los Angeles and telling The Associated Press, “we just weren’t locked in from the start, and that’s a little disappointing.”
Despite the loss, Rodgers still has put up impressive numbers with 2,489 passing yards and 17 TDs against only three interceptions. Top receiver Davante Adams returned last week after a four-game absence due to turf toe, but could not establish himself as a deep threat and finished with just 41 yards on seven catches.