This is how the offense is supposed to work. Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams ran hard between the tackles, combining for 156 yards rushing. Davante Adams had 118 receiving yards. David Bakhtiari's missed block on the final play of the first half might have cost the Packers seven points. He's just not himself this season.
The Packers didn't silence Christian McCaffrey but they didn't let him beat them, either. He had 141 yards from scrimmage, 15 below his average. Preston Smith ended two drives with third-down sacks and stopped McCaffrey on the game's final play. Tramon Williams had an end-zone interception after Adrian Amos tipped the ball.
Given a second chance via penalty, Mason Crosby drilled a 47-yard field goal to put Green Bay up 14. Remember all those booming JK Scott punts early in the season? He averaged 34 yards on two first-half punts Sunday. He did pin Carolina twice inside the 11 in the final quarter. Returner Tre Smith left early with a concussion.
Matt LaFleur eschewed a field goal from the 1 on the final play of the first half but Jamaal Williams was stopped on a run up the middle. Right decision, wrong play. LaFleur used multiple tight ends on most plays, which aided the running game. Mike Pettine contained McCaffrey but that left the defense vulnerable to the pass.
The Packers rebounded from their stinker on the West Coast with a spirited effort against a good team. Missing out on points at the end of the half opened the door for the Panthers but the Packers closed it just in time. They hit the bye week with an 8-2 record and good health, which should set them up for a strong finish.
Photos: Green Bay Packers hold off Carolina Panthers to improve to 8-2
Tom Oates has been a staff member of the Wisconsin State Journal sports department for 30 years and its editorial voice for more than 15, traversing the state and country to bring readers a Madison perspective on the biggest sports stories of the day — from UW athletics to the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks, as well as local teams such as the Mallards and Mustangs.
Tom Oates has been part of the Wisconsin State Journal sports department since 1980 and became its editorial voice in 1996, traversing the state and country to bring readers a Madison perspective on the biggest sports stories of the day.
One can understand the Packers patting themselves on the back after rebounding from their poorest performance of the season to beat a Panthers team that came into Lambeau with a 5-3 record and some explosive players on offense. But with undefeated San Francisco next on the schedule, the Packers need to stop playing with fire and start shoring up the vulnerable areas of their defense.
With a 24-16 win over the Carolina Panthers at a snow-dusted Lambeau Field on Sunday, the Green Bay Packers improved to 8-2 on the season and entered the bye week in prime playoff position with six games to play.
The Packers held on for a 24-16 victory over the Carolina Panthers at Lambeau Field on Sunday when Kyler Fackrell knifed past Panthers guard Greg Van Roten and delivered a powerful blow on running back Christian McCaffrey at the goal line as time expired.
Kyle Allen grew up rooting for the Packers because his dad's side of the family is from Milwaukee, so it's hard to imagine a much bigger game after learning he will be Carolina's starter the rest of this season.
San Francisco received seven first-place votes and 379 points to edge out the New Orleans Saints, who had the other five first-place votes and 374 points in balloting Tuesday by media members who regularly cover the NFL.
"We've got to be honest with our routine and the decisions we made in the last 48 hours, and make sure that our head is in the right place the next time we come on a big road trip," Aaron Rodgers said.