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Coming off surprising win, Panthers look to slow down QB Jordan Love, Packers on Sunday

Buccaneers Packers Football
Posted at 10:57 AM, Dec 22, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-22 11:57:58-05

GREEN BAY (6-8) at CAROLINA (2-12)

Sunday, 1 p.m. EST, Fox.

BETTING LINE: Packers by 4 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

AGAINST THE SPREAD: Green Bay 7-7, Carolina 3-9-2.

SERIES RECORD: Packers lead 10-6.

LAST MEETING: Packers beat Panthers 24-16 on Dec. 19, 2020, in Green Bay.

LAST WEEK: Packers lost to Buccaneers 34-20; Panthers beat Falcons 9-7.





TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Packers even; Panthers minus-6.

PACKERS PLAYER TO WATCH: WR Dontayvion Wicks had six catches for 97 yards against Tampa Bay to set career highs in both categories. The fifth-round pick from Virginia has teamed up with second-round selection Jayden Reed to give the Packers a pair of promising rookie wideouts. Wicks has only one touchdown, but he has had at least 90 yards receiving in two of his past four games.

PANTHERS PLAYER TO WATCH: Panthers K Eddy Pineiro went 3 for 3 on field-goal attempts last week, including the game-winner as time expired to beat the Falcons and was selected as the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week. Both Carolina wins this season have come on winning kicks by Pineiro as time expired. Pineiro has made 88.9% of his field goals and has developed into a reliable option for Carolina.
Carolina Panthers quarterback Bryce Young runs against the Atlanta Falcons during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 17, 2023, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman)

KEY MATCHUP: Packers QB Jordan Love vs. Panthers pass defense: Love has thrown 11 touchdown passes and only one interception over his past four games, although Green Bay is just 2-2 in those games. He'll face a Carolina defense that has steadily improved despite a number of injuries early in the season. The Panthers limited the Falcons to seven points last week and held Desmond Ridder in check.

KEY INJURIES: Packers CB Jaire Alexander (shoulder) has missed six straight games. … Packers WR Christian Watson (hamstring) has missed two consecutive games. … Packers S Darnell Savage (shoulder) and RB AJ Dillon (thumb) didn’t play against Tampa Bay. … Packers TE Luke Musgrave (abdomen) is on injured reserve. ... The Panthers were without three pass rushers — Brian Burns (illness), Marquis Haynes (back/illness), Yetur Gross-Matos (knee) — at practice Wednesday, but they still have a chance to play.

SERIES NOTES: The Panthers have won three of the past four meetings at home against the Packers. However, the past two meetings, both at Lambeau Field, have resulted in 24-16 wins by the Packers. The two teams met in the 1996 NFC championship game with the Packers prevailing in Green Bay.

STATS AND STUFF: The Packers haven’t had a 100-yard rushing or receiving performance in any game this season. No team has ever done that for an entire season of at least 16 games. …. Packers DT Kenny Clark had two sacks against Tampa Bay to improve his season total to a career-high 6 1/2. … After winning their first 16 December games under coach Matt LaFleur, the Packers have lost two straight. … The Packers have three players who started the season at 24 or younger who have at least five TD catches this season: Romeo Doubs (seven), Jayden Reed (six) and Christian Watson (five). The only team to have more such players in NFL history was the 2020 Pittsburgh Steelers with four, according to STATS. … The Packers have three rookies with at least 30 catches, the first time that’s happened in franchise history. The rookies are Reed (54), Luke Musgrave (33) and Dontayvion Wicks (31). … The Packers have six rookies with at least one TD catch this season. That’s the most in franchise history and the most of any team in the Super Bowl era aside from the 1987 strike season, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. … Carolina's only two wins this season have come at home. ... The Panthers have not scored an offensive touchdown in the first half in seven straight games. ... Carolina has only led in 14.1% of the plays it's run this season, which is last in the NFL. Also, the Panthers have not led on a single play in the fourth quarter. Both of their wins have come on winning field goals as time expired, and they were trailing before those kicks. ... The Panthers have been outscored by 142 points this season. ... QB Bryce Young led a game-winning, 17-play, 90-yard drive last week that took 7:35 off the clock to beat the Falcons. The No. 1 overall pick is 2-11 as a starter. ... RB Chuba Hubbard has run for at least 87 yards in three straight games. ... RT Taylor Moton has played in 112 consecutive games for the Panthers, which is the longest streak of any offensive lineman in team history.

FANTASY TIP: Packers RB Aaron Jones has rushed for 238 yards and four touchdowns on 33 carries over his past two matchups with the Panthers.