Jordan Love, Packers avoid Panthers upset with clutch go-ahead field goal


Jordan Love threw for two touchdowns, ran for one and made two big completions to set up Anders Carlson’s 32-yard field goal with 19 seconds left, and the Green Bay Packers survived a fourth-quarter rally by Carolina to beat the Panthers 33-30 on Sunday and keep their playoff hopes alive.

Love threw touchdown passes of 21 yards to rookie Dontayvion Wicks and 5 yards to Romeo Dobbs and scored on a quarterback sneak as the Packers snapped a two-game losing streak. Aaron Jones became the first Packers player this season to exceed 100 yards rushing or receiving in a game, rushing for 127 yards on 21 carries.

The Packers (7-8) remain one game behind the Seattle Seahawks and Los Angeles Rams in the NFC wild-card race.

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Bryce Young threw for a career-high 312 yards with two touchdown passes to DJ Chark for the Panthers (2-13), who failed to build on the momentum of last week’s 9-7 win over the Atlanta Falcons.

For a brief stretch in the fourth quarter, it looked like Carolina might pull off an improbable rally.

The Panthers trailed by 14 when Young threw an 11-yard pass to Chark on a slant route to make it 30-22 with 7:14 remaining. Young appeared to scramble for the 2-point conversion, but the Panthers were called for holding and Eddy Pineiro missed his second extra point of the game.

After a defensive stand, the Panthers got the ball back and Young found Chark again in the right corner of the end zone for a diving 10-yard TD. Raheem Blackshear then tied the game at 30, scoring on a pitchout for the 2-point conversion.

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Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love celebrates after scoring against the Carolina Panthers during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 24, 2023, in Charlotte, N.C.  (AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman)

But Love came through for the Packers. He completed a 36-yard strike on third-and-4 to Dobbs, who hauled in a catch near the sideline that Fox Sports rules analyst Dean Blandino said on television should have been overturned.

Love, who finished 17 of 28 for 219 yards, followed with a 20-yard completion to rookie tight end Tucker Kraft to reach the Carolina 13, setting up Carlson’s kick.

Carolina had one last chance. Young completed a 22-yard pass to Chark on the sideline to stop the clock and then threw over the middle to Adam Thielen for 22 yards. But the Panthers, without any timeouts, were unable to spike the ball before time expired.

The Packers were efficient on offense in the first half, scoring on their first four possessions to build a 23-10 lead by halftime.

INJURIES

Packers: Wicks left the game with a chest injury.

Panthers: OLB Amare Barno was carted off the field with a knee injury early in the first quarter after getting injured while covering a punt.

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UP NEXT

Packers: At Minnesota next Sunday.

Panthers: At Jacksonville next Sunday.



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