No. 4: Week 15, at Green Bay Packers — Time, Channel TBD
Despite many predicting a bit of a “down” year for Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, Lambeau Field is a venue where the Panthers have historically struggled to win games. Including the playoffs, Carolina is just 2-5 at Lambeau since the franchise’s inception and hasn’t won in Green Bay since 2008–Rodgers’ first year as a starter. Add in the fact that the matchup comes less than a week before Christmas and the location of this game makes this contest that much more difficult to win.
Venue aside, the Packers are an incredibly bad matchup for the Panthers on paper. Carolina will be rolling with a very young, inexperienced defense this season, and with Donte Jackson and Troy Pride Jr. currently projected as the team’s starting corners, this game could shape up to be a field day for Rodgers. It’s not out of the question that the Panthers could sign a veteran corner to take some of the pressure off the younger players; however, a secondary that is projected to have three of its four starters all with less than three years of experience isn’t a good sign against a quarterback like Rodgers.
The Panthers came within literal inches of taking the Packers to overtime in 2019, but the 2020 version of the Panthers team will look very different. Carolina received huge contributions from Gerald McCoy, Luke Kuechly, and James Bradberry in last year’s contest; however, none of those guys will be Panthers this go-round. Perhaps Carolina’s best hope in this one is for a windy, snowy evening that forces both teams to run the ball. Doing so would make Rodgers’ arm less of a factor while putting the game squarely on Carolina’s best player’s shoulders.