The Green Bay Packers topped the visiting Carolina Panthers 24-16 Sunday evening at a snowy Lambeau Field.
The Panthers drove 88 yards to the 1-yard line, including converting a 4th-and-10 from the Green Bay 25-yard line, but the Packers kept Christian McCaffrey out of the end zone as time expired to secure the win.
It was an important result for the 8-2 Packers after they played poorly en route to being upset 26-11 by the Los Angeles Chargers last week. Green Bay kept the 6-3 Minnesota Vikings at a more comfortable distance in the NFC North with Sunday's win.
The Panthers dropped to 5-4. They missed an opportunity to close the gap on the New Orleans Saints in the NFC South after the Saints were upset 26-9 by the Atlanta Falcons earlier in the day to fall to 7-2.
Notable Fantasy Stats
QB Aaron Rodgers: 233 yards; 1 carry, 7 yards
RB Aaron Jones: 13 carries, 93 yards, 3 TD
WR Davante Adams: 7 catches, 118 yards
TE Jimmy Graham: 2 catches, 59 yards
QB Kyle Allen: 307 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
RB Christian McCaffrey: 20 carries, 108 yards, 1 TD; six catches, 33 yards
WR DJ Moore: 9 catches, 120 yards
TE Greg Olsen: 8 catches, 98 yards
WR Curtis Samuel: 4 catches, 35 yards, 1 TD
Aaron Jones Keeps Pace with Christian McCaffrey
As the Packers were topping the Panthers, Jones tied McCaffrey.
McCaffrey entered Week 10 leading the NFL with 13 total touchdowns and 10 rushing touchdowns. He ended the night tied with Jones in both categories at 14 total and 11 rushing.
Jones ran for a game-high three touchdowns, while McCaffrey pounded it in once:
Jones hadn't notched a rushing touchdown since Week 5 against the Dallas Cowboys, when the 24-year-old ran it in four times.
The Packers have been notoriously without an impactful running game in recent years. Jones has been a welcomed change of pace in Green Bay's backfield under first-year head coach Matt LaFleur. On top of matching McCaffrey in the leaguewide rankings, Jones set a new career high for rushing touchdowns in a season and further established himself in the franchise's record books:
While Jones excelled as a rusher Sunday, he has also been a viable receiver this season with 354 yards and three touchdowns. He stacks up closely with McCaffrey in that regard, too, as the Panthers third-year back has 396 yards and three touchdowns as a receiver through Week 10.
McCaffrey has garnered MVP chatter for the myriad ways he influences the Panthers offense. Jones has meant a similar amount to the Packers, especially when quarterback Aaron Rodgers' top receiver Davante Adams missed Weeks 5, 6, 7 and 8 with turf toe.
Adams returned last week, but he really arrived post-injury this week with 118 yards on seven catches.
Jones' breakout year will only serve the Packers more down the stretch, both in terms of his own production and opening up the offense for the likes of Adams.
Kyle Allen's Turnovers Prove Costly
Allen lost one fumble and threw one interception, and the Packers scored 10 points off those turnovers.
The 23-year-old Panthers quarterback's two turnovers proved the biggest difference in the game and overshadowed Allen's gutsy two-minute drill during which he drove Carolina the length of the field only to come up inches short of the end zone on the final play of the game.
Allen also threw for over 300 yards for the first time in his career, but that won't be remembered given the outcome of the game.
Allen replaced an injured Cam Newton as Carolina's starting quarterback in Week 3. In his first four starts, he did not throw an interception. In his last three starts, he's thrown five picks. Sunday against the Packers marked Allen's first red-zone interception, and it was ugly:
Fumbles have been a more troubling problem, though. Allen has fumbled the ball seven times as a starting QB and lost five of them, including three against Houston in Week 4.
Now that Newton has been placed on season-ending injured reserve, with him staying in Carolina beyond this season reported by NFL Network's Ian Rapoport as "highly unlikely," the Panthers are committed to Allen.
The University of Houston product has shown plenty of promise. If McCaffrey would have made it over the goal line and Carolina converted the ensuing two-point try, this could be a conversation about Allen leading his team in one of the NFL's toughest places to play.
And it still can be that conversation—just while also acknowledging that a franchise quarterback can't commit crucial turnovers in a road game that was going to be tough to win anyway.
The Packers have a bye in Week 11 before being tasked with playing the undefeated San Francisco 49ers in Week 12.
The Panthers will host the 2-7 Atlanta Falcons next Sunday afternoon.