By Dan O'Donnell
For the second week in a row the Packers dominated over an NFC opponent, notching another crucial conference win in the quest to get the number one seed in the playoffs. Last week the Packers were in control for all four quarters but that wasn't the case today. Perhaps because of the short week ahead, the Packers let up a little and allowed Carolina some garbage yards and points. As a result the 31-17 win looks a little closer than it really was.
In the opening quarter the offense wasn't quite on the same page, though that was due in large part to Tramon Williams' punt return for a touchdown that kept the Packers offense off the field in the middle of the first quarter. However the second quarter was vintage Packers. Brett Favre got into a rhythm with his receivers and Ryan Grant continued running hard, getting to the "second level" on a number of carries in the second quarter.
Another big return off the opening kickoff of the second half set up a third touchdown for Green Bay and that pretty much put it away. Yes, Carolina put up a fight in the final 20 minutes and in that stretch just about everything went wrong for the Packers. DeShaun Foster gutted the Packers on the ground and the tackling was shoddy. In the end it really didn't matter though. What does matter is the Packers won again. Furthermore, Detroit lost for the second straight week. Now the Packers can focus on the Lions and the opportunity to just about put away the N-F-C North.