Kyle Allen was won five of his six starts this season and the starting quarterback job appears to be his for the rest of the campaign as the Carolina Panthers visit the Green Bay Packers in frigid conditions Sunday. The Panthers placed former NFL MVP Cam Newton (foot) on injured reserve this week, opening the door for Allen's run to continue as the club chases a postseason berth.
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Allen, who has passed for 1,291 yards, nine touchdowns and four interceptions, said being viewed as the club's top quarterback won't change his preparation. "Nothing has changed. You guys don't believe me on this, but I prepare the same way every week," Allen told reporters. "I was never looking over my shoulder, honestly." Green Bay has a one-game lead in the NFC North and is looking to bounce back from an anemic showing in a 26-11 road loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. "We want to go out there and get back to us. That wasn't us," Packers running back Aaron Jones told reporters of the setback. "We want to be electric. We want to put up big numbers and be explosive. So last week, that's not what we did, and we want to get back to that."
TV: 4:25 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Packers -5.5. O/U: 47
ABOUT THE PANTHERS (5-3): Running back Christian McCaffrey will continue to take pressure off Allen as his big season includes 881 rushing yards and a league-best 10 touchdowns as well as 42 catches for 363 yards and three scores. Standout defensive Mario Addison (team-best 6.5 sacks) returns after missing one game because of the fatal shooting of his brother and he admits his emotions are still all over the place. "I'm fair," Addison told reporters Thursday. "I can't say I feel good. I can't say I'm happy. I can't say I'm sad or angry. I'm all of them. It can change every two minutes, you know what I'm saying?"
ABOUT THE PACKERS (7-2): Quarterback Aaron Rodgers has passed for 2,485 yards, 17 touchdowns and two interceptions but struggled in the loss to the Chargers by throwing for a season-low 161 yards with a long gain of 17 yards. Jones (496 rushing yards, eight TDs) will look back to get on track as he had 29 scrimmage yards (30 rushing, minus-1 receiving) after posting a career-best 226 (67 rushing, 159 receiving) one week earlier against the Kansas City Chiefs. Inside linebacker Blake Martinez lead the NFL with 95 tackles while outside linebackers Za'Darius Smith (8.5 sacks) and unrelated Preston Smith (8.0) are having big seasons as pass rushers.
1. The Panthers have won the past two meetings after the Packers won nine of the first 13 (playoffs included).
2. Carolina star ILB Luke Kuechly is 22 tackles away from reaching 100 for the eighth straight season.
3. Green Bay CB James Bradberry (groin) hasn't practiced this week after being injured against the Chargers.