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Game recap: 5 takeaways from Packers' win over Panthers

Another wild fourth quarter goes Green Bay’s way this time

Packers K Anders Carlson connects on a 32-yard field goal, giving Green Bay a 33-30 lead with 19 seconds remaining in Sunday's game.
Packers K Anders Carlson connects on a 32-yard field goal, giving Green Bay a 33-30 lead with 19 seconds remaining in Sunday's game.

CHARLOTTE – The Packers held on, barely, for a 33-30 victory over the two-win Panthers at Bank of America Field on Sunday to get their record to 7-8 with two games to go.

Here are five takeaways from the down-to-the-wire triumph.

  1. These crazy fourth quarters on the road are getting to be the norm.

The Packers survived this one by, literally, a fraction of a second.

After kicking the go-ahead field goal with 19 seconds left, the Packers allowed Panthers QB Bryce Young to complete two throws – one to DJ Chark along the sideline and another to Adam Thielen in the middle of the field – covering 44 yards total to get Carolina to the Green Bay 31-yard line.

Hustling up to spike the ball after Thielen was tackled, the Panthers got the snap off and the clock hit zero as Young's spike hit the ground. Carolina argued for one second and a chance to kick a 49-yard field goal to tie, but after the officials conferred, they ruled the game over.

"I thought they snapped the ball with one second, and the play has to take a second," Head Coach Matt LaFleur said. "I thought it was the correct decision."

  1. It never should've been that close, though.

Not only did Green Bay's struggling defense give up 43 yards in the last 19 seconds, that had come on top of surrendering back-to-back touchdown drives to allow Carolina to rally from a 30-16 deficit to tie the game.

A couple of personal fouls, open receivers, and Young's scrambling all played a part as the rookie No. 1 overall draft pick recorded his first career 300-yard game (312) and 100-plus passer rating (113) at the Packers' expense. Chark (6-98) and Thielen (6-94) combined for 192 receiving yards.

Mixed in there were a pair of Green Bay three-and-outs on offense against heavy pressure from the Panthers that prevented the Packers from putting the game away. It was a full-scale fourth-quarter meltdown.

"That was definitely frustrating," LaFleur said of watching his defense give up TD drives covering 60 and 70 yards, wiping out the 14-point lead in roughly 7½ minutes of game clock. "But it wasn't just on the defense. Offensively you've got to give them a breather, especially if we're bleeding a little bit defensively.

"Momentum is a crazy phenomenon. They got the momentum in the second half and they were rolling in every phase."

Check out photos from the Week 16 matchup between the Green Bay Packers and Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on Sunday, Dec. 24, 2023.