Packers vs. Panthers: 7 Things We Learned from Green Bay Win

Matt Stein@MatthewJSteinCorrespondent IISeptember 18, 2011

Packers vs. Panthers: 7 Things We Learned from Green Bay Win

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    The Green Bay Packers took down the Carolina Panthers on the road with a final score of 30-23.

    It wasn't as dominant of a performance from the Packers as we would have liked, but there were still plenty of great things that Green Bay did during this game.

    Here are seven things we learned from the Packers 30-23 win.

Aaron Rodgers Is Human

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    If it wasn't for Jordy Nelson's 84-yard touchdown pass with only a few minutes left in the game, Aaron Rodgers' game would have been much less impressive.

    For nearly 57 minutes of this game, Rodgers barely had over 200 passing yards and only one touchdown. His completion percentage was far less than we are used to and he missed plenty of opportunities to throw touchdown passes.

James Starks Is the Starting Running Back

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    I really like Ryan Grant, but the truth is that James Starks is the better overall running back.

    He was better running the ball and he was also better as a receiver out of the backfield. He had 115 total yards on only 12 touches. He was able to make big plays all day and made Grant look like a second tier player.

    If Starks isn't starting next week, Mike McCarthy has some major issues.

Packers Run Defense Is Pretty Good

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    The Green Bay Packers were able to hold the Carolina Panthers run game in check all day.

    Neither Cam Newton, DeAngelo Williams or Jonathan Stewart was able to make much of an impact on the ground. After shutting down Mark Ingram last week, this Packers' defense looks to be very good against the run.

    It all starts with B.J. Raji, but A.J. Hawk and Desmond Bishop also played very well. Even Clay Matthews made some big plays in the backfield to stop the run.

    The Packers won't face many teams this year who have as many rushing weapons as the Panthers, so this is a good sign going forward for this defense.

Charles Woodson Looks Better Than Last Year

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    Two interceptions and a fumble recovery is a rather exceptional day for a defensive player. For Charles Woodson, it is just another day at work.

    Can anyone say Defensive Player of the Year?

    Woodson was making plays all over the field and was a huge impact on defense. He made tackles when he had to and his instincts on the football were incredible.

    It appeared as if Woodson was always around the football and making key plays. This could be a special season for this longtime veteran.

Jermichael Finley Is the Packers Biggest Weapon

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    Even with Greg Jennings, Donald Driver and Jordy Nelson, Jermichael Finley is the Green Bay Packers biggest weapon for Aaron Rodgers.

    His size and athleticism caused the Carolina Panthers major problems all game long. He led the team in receptions and was second in receiving yards. It was no surprise that Rodgers was consistently looking his way on offense.

    Finley already looks like one of the better tight ends in the league. If he can find the end zone more often, he will establish that truth firmly.

Morgan Burnett Looks Like a Pro Bowler

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    How good did Morgan Burnett look today?

    He had six tackles, a sack, one interception and a forced fumble. This second-year player looked like the best defensive player on the field. We all knew that Burnett had the ability, but I don't think anyone expected him to put it all together so soon.

    If Burnett keeps improving at this rate, a Pro Bowl is almost a certainty and being a member of the All-Pro team doesn't seem like much of a reach.

Randall Cobb Is Still a Rookie

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    Maybe we put the expectations a little too high for Randall Cobb after his first game for the Green Bay Packers.

    Cobb came back to Earth this week and while he still looks to be a very explosive player, we need to realize that he is still a rookie and needs some more time to develop. He fumbled on his first kickoff return of the day and looked hesitant to make plays the rest of the game.

    I don't doubt that Cobb will be a special player one day, but today is too soon for that to happen.