Local Sports

Packers Host Panthers on Saturday Night

The Green Bay Packers' path to the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs is straightforward - win their final three regular-season games, and the Packers (10-3) have the opportunity to earn a Super Bowl berth without leaving Lambeau Field. That's a tantalizing possibility for a franchise that has lost on the road in three of the past six NFC championship games.

 

The conference's top seed only has to win two playoff games at home to make it to the Super Bowl. The Packers, who already have clinched the NFC North title, will try to take one more step toward earning that No. 1 seed when they host the slumping Carolina Panthers (4-9) on Saturday night.

 

The Packers follow up the Carolina game by hosting Tennessee (9-4) and visiting Chicago (6-7). The Packers and Saints (10-3) share the same record, but Green Bay owns a tiebreaker advantage after winning at New Orleans on Sept. 27.

 

Green Bay has won three straight thanks in part to the potent passing combination of Adams and Aaron Rodgers. Adams has 14 touchdown catches to tie Kansas City's Tyreek Hill for first place among all NFL players. Rodgers has thrown an NFL-leading 39 touchdown passes.

 

The Panthers are coming off a 32-27 loss to Denver in which they allowed Drew Lock to throw for 280 yards and four touchdowns without an interception. Two weeks earlier, Carolina fell 28-27 to Minnesota as Kirk Cousins threw for 287 yards and three touchdowns without getting picked off.

 

Three of the Panthers' past four losses have been decided by a total of eight points. In seven of Carolina's losses, the Panthers had the ball late in the fourth quarter with a chance to win or send the game into overtime.

 

Adams has caught a touchdown pass in eight straight games. Only two players in the Super Bowl era have longer such streaks within the same season.

 

Hall of Famer Jerry Rice had a touchdown catch in 12 straight games in 1987. Cincinnati's A.J. Green caught a touchdown pass in nine consecutive games in 2012.

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