The Carolina Panthers (4-9) head to Green Bay to take on the Packers (10-3) for a special Saturday night game. The Packers are heavy 8-point favorites as they are fighting for the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoff picture. Green Bay has already locked up another NFC North division title but finishing in first place in the entire conference has special significance this year. Only the first-place team in each conference will receive a bye in this whacky 2020 season. The Panthers don't have much to play for regarding the playoffs but this team will want to finish off strong nonetheless.
Here are our three matchups to watch for in tonight's game:
Davante Adams vs Donte Jackson
Packers' wide receiver Davante Adams is arguably the best pass-catcher in the entire NFL. He and Aaron Rodgers have developed almost unstoppable chemistry. Adams has 1,144 receiving yards and 14 touchdown catches entering the matchup. Panthers' cornerback Donte Jackson is expected to cover Adams for most of the night probably with some safety help. If Carolina is going to have a shot at keeping this game close they need to limit big plays in the passing game. Jackson has a tough task ahead of him but he has the skillset to do it. Still, the defense must use a safety on whichever side Adams lines up on all game long. He has the ability to score on any play and at any part of the field.
Packers' O-line vs Panthers' D-line
If the Panthers end up pulling off an amazing upset, then it will be because the defensive line manhandled the Packers' offensive line. That's about the only way that Carolina has a chance in this game. The way to slow down Aaron Rodgers is to apply pressure without having to blitz. Brian Burns has had a great year getting after the quarterback and this has to continue against Green Bay. Rodgers has only been sacked 13 times all year long. This is a big reason why the Packers have had so much success throughout the season. Unsurprisingly Rodgers was sacked a season-high four times against the Buccaneers which was the worst loss Green Bay has suffered thus far.
Panthers' wide receivers vs Packers' secondary
The most consistent part of the Panthers' offense has been the production from the wide receiver position. DJ Moore, Robby Anderson, and Curtis Samuel have all come up with big plays in crucial moments. The Packers' secondary is an elite unit itself. Jaire Alexander is a top-notch cornerback. Safeties Adrian Amos and Darnell Savage are great in coverage as well. This matchup is truly strength vs strength and should be a lot of fun to watch. I trust Moore and Anderson to make explosive plays when they need to as long as Teddy Bridgewater can fix his recent inaccuracy issues.
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