Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Packers 30, Panthers 23

Packers corner Charles Woodson hits helmetless Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart. Woodson had two interceptions.

Getty Images

Packers corner Charles Woodson hits helmetless Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart. Woodson had two interceptions.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — For the second straight week, Cam Newton threw for more than 400 yards, sidestepped pass rushers and moved the Panthers up and down the field.

Leave it to Aaron Rodgers and the Super Bowl champion Packers to spoil Newton's home debut.

Rodgers threw for 308 yards and two scores and Green Bay withstood a 432-yard passing day by the No. 1 overall draft pick to beat Carolina 30-23 on Sunday.

A week after throwing for 422 yards — most in league history by a rookie in his debut and tying the overall rookie record — Newton topped himself by setting a rookie record for passing yards in a game. He passed for a touchdown and ran for a 4-yard score with 37 seconds left to bring Carolina within seven, but the Packers recovered the onside kick.

"I knew he would be good, but if I told you I knew he'd be this good this early, I'd be lying to you," said Packers nose tackle B.J. Raji, who had one of four sacks.

Rodgers found Greg Jennings for a 49-yard touchdown early in the third quarter, the go-ahead score in a run of 23 straight points to erase a 13-0 deficit.

Then, after Clay Matthews stopped Newton a yard shy on a fourth-down run inside the 5, Rodgers found Jordy Nelson for an 84-yard score that made it a two-possession game.

Despite Newton's yards, the Packer defense came up big by forcing the rookie into three interceptions — two by Charles Woodson. Matthews' stop came as the Panthers were closing in on a tying touchdown.

Two plays later, Rodgers found Nelson on the left side, and the receiver sprinted down the sideline and all the way to the end zone to push the lead to 30-16 with 2:14 left.

Just as with last week's loss at Arizona, Newton wasn't in the mood to celebrate.

"We've just got to get it right. We're going to get it right," Newton said. "But I'm not the person to just sit up here and say, 'Well, we have next time.' I'm not that type of person. I want it right now and I want to get it right now."

Newton couldn't have asked for a better start in his home debut in front of a crowd loudly cheering his every move. He threw a 3-yard touchdown to Brandon LaFell on his first drive. Then, after a fumbled kickoff return by Randall Cobb, Newton directed the first of two field-goal drives to take the 13-0 lead.

But Newton's first pickoff came late in the second quarter when he threw to Steve Smith in double coverage. Woodson dived in front of Smith near the sideline.

"This is a rookie quarterback that's learning and growing and getting better each opportunity he gets," Panthers coach Ron Rivera said. "When we go back and really get to watch the tape, we'll see he missed a read here, he missed a throw here, but for the most part, he handled himself with the type of poise and composure you would not expect."


Packers 30, Panthers 23 09/18/11 [Last modified: Sunday, September 18, 2011 10:20pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. James Wilder Jr. back at running Canada


    Remember when former Plant High star and Florida State running back James Wilder Jr. announced he was switching to linebacker?

    That was short-lived, apparently.

  2. Cup-winning Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk makes Hockey Hall of Fame

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Hall of Fame coach Scotty Bowman said Dave Andreychuk's name has surfaced often the past eight years with the selection committee.

    30 Oct 2001:  Left wing Dave Andreychuk #25 of the Tampa Bay Lightning skates towards the blue line during the NHL game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada.  The Maple Leafs defeated the Lightning 3-2.  Mandatory Credit:  Dave Sanford /Allsport
  3. Rays acquire slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria from Marlins

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Chaim Bloom said the Rays weren't necessarily in the market for a shortstop. The team has a number of those. But when the Marlins recently began shopping Adeiny Hechavarria, well, that was too much to pass up.

    Adeiny Hechavarria has emerged as one of baseball’s top defensive shortstops in the past three seasons with the Marlins.
  4. Rays at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, Pittsburgh

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Pirates

    7:05, PNC Park

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Probable pitchers

    Rays: Alex Cobb (6-5, 4.05)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
  5. Lightning journal: Forward Yanni Gourde agrees to two-year deal

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Just three years ago, Yanni Gourde was fighting to stay in pro hockey.

    Tampa Bay Lightning center Yanni Gourde celebrates after scoring against the Florida Panthers during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, March 11, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA108