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Packers Blog Roundup: Suddenly, the Panthers Don't Look So Easy

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Packers Blog Roundup: Suddenly, the Panthers Don't Look So Easy

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, the Packers' opponent in Week 2, grabbed the attention of the nation and the Packers blogosphere by throwing for an NFL season-opening rookie record 422 yards yesterday. "He played a lot better than many people were expecting him to so early in the season," writes Jonathan Liedl of JonBob's Packer Blog. "And for Packer Backers, that might mean taking Sunday's game a little more seriously than we'd been planning to. It's also especially concerning that he seems to have found a rapport with the speedy Steve Smith, who has served as the Packers' kryptonite in seasons past. Against the Cardinals, Smith nearly reached 200 yards receiving and hauled in 2 TDs, so it would appear that he's back to his old tricks after a horrendous 2010 campaign."

According to Billy Needham of Packer Gab, there's reason for the Green Bay defense to be concerned about Cam Newton. Needham writes, "Newton leads the offense, and I do not know if anyone else is aware but the Packers are not that good against athletic QBs. Our new 3-4 defense is better than our old, but too many times, Donovan McNabb, Duante Culpepper and Micheal Vick toasted our defense, with running whenever there is no one open. It is the most aggravating thing in the world, having the opposition in 3rd and long, only to have the QB run for the first because we are playing prevent defense like Capers likes to do. Newton is very athletic, has some wheels, and is young so he knows how to use his legs but after seeing him throw for 422 yards in the opener, apparently he knows how to throw as well."

Don't write off wide receiver James Jones, warns Adam Czech of "If the Packers luck on keeping their WRs healthy runs out, someone is going to have to fill in," writes Czech. "Like Frank Zombo, Charlie Peprah and (Brandon) Jackson/(John) Kuhn/(James) Starks were at various positions last season, Jones is an ideal depth guy at WR and could adequately replace one of the other guys."

It pains me to even give this post attention it doesn't deserve, but a Bleacher Report writer lists the Packers most overrated players as James Jones, Ryan Grant, Jermichael Finley and Tramon Williams. Of Williams, Daniel Adler writes, "To say he is a top five corner in the league (like he was voted in a recent poll on ESPN by fans) is just stupid. Don’t get me wrong, Williams is a great defender, I just believe that he is getting too much credit too fast."

Dam Pompei makes mention of Clay Matthews and Bart Starr in his Sunday blog column at the National Football Post.

The agony and ecstasy of Thursday's win over the New Orleans Saints is brought to you by "Jersey" Al Bracco in video form.

A post on defensive lineman Jarius Wynn appears at Bleacher Report.

Thoughts on the Packers' win over the Saints appear at and Packer Chatters.

Reflections on September 11 from a Packers fan perspective come from Eat More Cheese and Pocket Doppler.

A post on Curly Lambeau appears at Packerville, U.S.A.

Brian Carriveau is the editor of the Maple Street Press Packers Annual. To contact Brian, email [email protected].

Second-hand news sources are not included in the Blog Roundup unless they also include meaningful commentary.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (33) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

packsmack25's picture

Still an easy game. The Cardinals had a horrible defensive game plan, basically giving Newton free reign in the passing game while they stacked the box against the run. In the end, it worked, as they won the game. Watch the highlights and you'll see that he wasn't exactly having to fit balls into small windows.

jb's picture

I saw those highlights too, Steve smith open by 15 yards, not exactly a tough throw. For those who watched the game, did he make any tight throws? If Dom can game plan to stop Mike Vick he can shut down Cam Newton.

packsmack25's picture

He made some good throws, and he does have guys to throw to that can get open. But it was obvious that the Cardinals D was set up to make Cam beat them in the air and not let the running game do anything.

Tarynfor 12's picture

I can't wait for the Packers to get a 21 point lead and then allow Cam Newton to bring his team back to the possible upset of the Champions,so many can praise the defense of the Packers for holding on and saving the victory.
The Packers are an early 10 point favorite and I'm not sure how to take that.I do have two senarios that jump out and neither are a glowing compliment as this opening line should be 14 and no less.

cow42's picture

I'm going to get straight up crushed for this, but...
I think Clay Matthews is overrated. Dude gets sacks in bunches and then disappears for games. he gets blown up against the run A LOT. He got owned against the Saints.

he's good.
real good.
just not "every commercial in the world" good.

watched d. ware last night.
that dude's light years better than matthews.

packsmack25's picture

Not gonna kill you. Just going to point out that you're wrong. Also, DWare plays in a different type of defense. All 3-4 defenses are not the same.

PackersRS's picture

DWare is 10 pounds heavier than Matthews, and all he does is rush the passer.

Ware is a DE standing up. Matthews is an OLB.

Who made the play to stop the Saints on 4th down? Matthews. Who made the play to stop Vick last year? Matthews. Who made the play of the SB? The guy makes plays all over the field.

He doesn't disappear in games. He just doesn't rush the passer all the time. When he does, he generates pressure almost every single time. And he was consistantly triple-teamed last game. Re-watch the game and you'll know that Matthews is elite.

He's not as good as a pass rusher as Ware, I'm not disputing that.

But he's a better player all around.

cow42's picture

I'd rather have him be a better pass rusher than "a better player all around".

packsmack25's picture

This is why you aren't a GM. DWare has zero rings. Clay has 1 in 2 seasons and a good shot at another this season.

cow42's picture

not if the defense plays the way it did thursday.

packsmack25's picture

Dude, Drew Brees is REALLY good. And Sean Payton is REALLY good at calling plays. No one else will do that against the D this year.

cow42's picture

also - he got his ass handed to him all day in the SB. he made one play... A GREAT PLAY... but one play.

MarkinMadison's picture

Thanks for that link. That's sweet.

cow42's picture

and, yeah - he got triple teamed. and as soon as his momentum was stopped. HE STOPPED. watch the game again and see how many times he quits on the play. looked like he was tired.

packsmack25's picture

I've watched the game 4 times now and seen nothing like that. Also, on plays where he gets triple teamed, sometimes he's SUPPOSED TO STOP. His job on plays like that is to keep the 3 guys on him from blocking anyone else, freeing up two teammates as tacklers/coverage guys.

cow42's picture

seriously. i'm no football expert (obviously), but i highly doubt there is ever a play where Clay's job is to stop.

hey - i'm not saying he's not a great player... he is... i just think he's a bit overrated.

packsmack25's picture

Not "stop" per se, but occupy blockers. If he can just stand there and eat up 3 guys, then his mission is accomplished.

jb's picture

For some reason I can't bring myself to praise a cowboy, some deep seeded resentment and general dislike for the way they do things. We've seen the pack without CM3, it was ugly. The cowboys have stunk regardless of Ware. This season will be full of ups and downs for GB and it's players, and lots of other teams will almost beat the Jets on national television, but you have to stay true to your team.

packsmack25's picture

Also, these stats are a bit dated, only going through week 12 last season, but they show you that Clay does get after the passer just as much as Ware...

lars's picture

Tramon Williams overrated is a joke, right? "Too much credit, too fast." He's been in the league five years. Look how much love Reevis got right from the get-go.

Now, James Jones is another story. Packer fans and journalists have always treated him as the second-coming of Sterling Sharpe. Still do, whining about his opportunities. Currently, he's #5 on the depth chart and couldn't catch a long pass to save his life last year.

packsmack25's picture

It's Bleacher Report, which means it's a joke.

packeraaron's picture

Was just going to write the exact same thing.

Cole O's picture

They should change the name to troll report

Evan's picture

You saying "second coming of Sterling Sharpe" is the first time I've ever heard that.

I don't know what fans or journalists you're talking about.

MarkinMadison's picture

I've heard that comparison before. I don't really remember Sharpe very well. I didn't start watching the Packers until '92. But the comparison I think stems from the body type.

NJ's picture

The Cardinals corners and safties were atrocious in coverage last night ... that's not to take anything away from Newton (420 yards through the air is still 420 yards through the air) but I don't think we'll see Smith running quite as free as he did against Patrick Peterson.

I'm sure the team isn't going to take him lightly.

PackersRS's picture

I love to see how much people are writing about Cam Newton without actually having watched him play.

Highlights and stats do not a player make poeple.

packsmack25's picture

Watched the whole game because Kolb was my QB in one of my leagues. Newton looked good. But it was a result of having wide open looks moreso than him being ahead of the curve. Basically, his O-Line picked up the few blitzes they ran, so he was able to just stand there and wait for holes in the coverage.

MarkinMadison's picture

With two good tight ends (Olsen and Shockey) and a lot of athletic ability, teams may be reluctant to get blitz-happy against Newton in the same way that they would against any other rookie.

PackersRS's picture

Thanks for the input, I didn't see the game. Just wanted to know an opinion about Newton's play that didn't have to do with how many yards he threw, but rather HOW he threw them, how he fared against blitzes and in the face of pressure, how was his ball placement most of the times and not only in highlights etc...

Mojo's picture

Isn't week two one of the traditional season long upset weekends? Just saying...

Cole's picture

I think it's great for the pack that he played as well as he did, that way they won't be complacent coming into the game. No sneaking up on them this way.

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