Packers vs. Panthers: 6 Second Half Adjustments Packers Should Make

Matt Stein@MatthewJSteinCorrespondent IISeptember 18, 2011

Packers vs. Panthers: 6 Second Half Adjustments Packers Should Make

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    The Green Bay Packers are visiting the Carolina Panthers for this Week 2 matchup, and we are just through the first half of this game.

    I'm sure not many people expected this game to be this close, but the Panthers have come to play, especially Cam Newton.

    If the Packers want to break this game open in the second half and pull away with a huge victory, here are six second half adjustments they need to make.

Stop Cam Newton

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    From the first possession of the first quarter, Cam Newton established himself as a true threat to the Green Bay Packers. Anyone who was expecting a poor performance from Newton in his second professional game is being disappointed.

    The Packers had trouble against the pass in their first game against the New Orleans Saints and are now experiencing the same from Newton. If they don't want to give up another 30 points and 400 some passing yards, they need to shore up their defensive coverage.

    Whether that means getting pressure on Newton or dropping more defenders into coverage, I'm not sure, but I do know that Green Bay will be part of another shootout if they don't stop Cam Newton in the second half.

Play Clean Football

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    While penalties haven't been a huge hindrance to the Green Bay Packers, there have been a few big ones for the Packers.

    The biggest one was a questionable roughing the passer call on Desmond Bishop. It put the Carolina Panthers into field goal range and even though a field goal was all the Panthers got out of the penalty, it did put the Packers into a 10-0 deficit.

    A false start penalty on Jermichael Finley in Green Bay's first offensive possession gave the Packers a long third down that they didn't complete.

    Penalties on the road are a killer, and it has been sloppy play so far for the Packers.

Unleash Clay Matthews

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    As one of the best defensive players in the NFL, Clay Matthews needs to make plays for this defense to be effective.

    He hasn't had much of an impact during the first half of this game, and that doesn't bode well for the Green Bay Packers. If this defensive unit doesn't want to be looking like a high school team by the end of this game, Matthews needs to be unleashed.

Cover the Tight Ends

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    Greg Olsen and Jeremy Shockey have combined for nearly 100 receiving yards in the first half.

    In the Carolina Panthers' offense, the tight end plays a huge role and also acts as a safety net for Cam Newton. So far, these two tight ends have been making huge plays, and Newton is finding them open whenever he wants.

    The answer to this problem isn't easy, but Dom Capers needs to figure out how to stop Olsen and Shockey.

Keep Targeting Jermichael Finley

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    Aaron Rodgers has been targeting Jermichael Finley pretty often so far this first half.

    He already has four receptions for 51 yards and has shown how big of a matchup problem he is for the Carolina Panthers' defense. Rodgers needs to keep looking Finley's ways to keep the ball moving on this Panthers' defense.

Remember Who They Are

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    More than anything else, the Green Bay Packers just need to remember who they are. They aren't some cellar dweller team, but rather the defending Super Bowl champions.

    They need to start playing like the best team in the NFL and not some mediocre team.