Every game is a must-win now for the Green Bay Packers. It begins this Sunday when the Packers travel to take on the Carolina Panthers. Kick-off is noon on FOX. The Panthers enter this game with the worst record in the NFL at 2-12. It’s been a tough first year for quarterback Bryce Young, the first in the 2023 NFL Draft. Can the Packers survive another week or will they suffer a third straight loss and essentially take themselves out of the playoffs? Here a preview of Sunday’s game.
How Will Joe Barry and the Defense Respond?
Unless you have been living under a rock as a Green Bay Packers fan this week, a;l the talk leading up to this game has been about defensive coordinator Joe Barry. He and his defense have been awful the last two games against two teams they should beat just about any time. The defense has allowed Tommy DeVito and Baker Mayfield to play the best games of their careers. Ultimately, it has costed the Packers dearly.
Packers D-coordinator Joe Barry: “This week was particularly hard on me, hard on my family, but this is the NFL, this is what you sign up for. … We deal with it. We had a bad game. I have to be better for our guys, I put that on me. Anytime we don’t play well, it’s on me.” pic.twitter.com/L8xK40F4gt
— Rob Demovsky (@RobDemovsky) December 21, 2023
Even Joe Barry has admitted this has not been easy on him. Based on this comments this week, it feels like he knows he’s coaching for his job. A loss to the Carolina Panthers should result in the firing of Joe Barry. Like most fans, I believe he will be gone at the end of the season regardless what happens.
I’m sure the Green Bay Packers defense feels this way too. The have not played up to their standard the last two weeks and they have dug this team in a hole. I think this game will determine a lot of they stand by Barry or if they have one foot out the door.
The Green Bay Packers Must Win the Turnover Battle
Don’t let the Carolina Panther stats fool you on defense. Despite giving up the fourth most points in the league, the Panthers defense is third in yards allowed. How? Carolina’s offense has been brutal this season. Bryce Young has been the starter the majority of the year and has as many touchdowns (nine) as interceptions. They even fired first year head coach Frank Reich in the middle of the season. Things look like they continue to go south.
When Young has time in the pocket, he’s accurate with the ball. Green Bay needs to put pressure on the rookie quarterback and make him take chances. If they can do that, I think the Packers will be working with short fields and should generate points out of it.
This is a game the Packers should win easily, right? A few weeks ago I would have told you yes. Now? That answer is no. The Green Bay Packers can lose this game.
The game plan on Bryce Young should be what the game plan should have been with Tommy DeVito. A bad offensive line and rookie quarterback is the perfect recipe to turnovers. The only issue? The Packers defense did not get pressure on DeVito and they did not force him to make any tough throws.
If Green Bay plays in zone defense as much as they have the last two games, then I believe they lose. It’s time this defense takes some chances and makes a young struggling quarterback beat them. They no longer control their own destiny and they need to take matters in their own hands.
Offensively, I want to see Jordan Love continue to protect the football and make strides. I like where he is at right now at this time of the season. The Carolina defense is no joke and is full of young and talented players. If they are gifted a turnover from the defense, they need to take advantage of it and get seven instead of settling for three.
I think the Packers win, but I’m not all that comfortable with the pick. This game will be close as both of Carolina’s wins have come at home. I think this is a four quarter game, but the defense gets a late game turnover on Bryce Young.
Green Bay Packers 27 Carolina Panthers 20
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