The Series: With the 30-23 victory, Green Bay leads the all-time series 8-4, which includes a 30-13 win by the Packers in the 1996 NFC Championship (1/2/97).
For Starters: Dan Connor started at middle linebacker in place of Jon Beason, who was placed on injured reserve with a torn left Achilles tendon (9/14/11). It marked the first game that Beason has missed in his career, ending a streak of 65 consecutive starts. Connor opened at middle linebacker in the first eight games last season before suffering a season-ending left hip injury. Offensively, undrafted rookie free agent Byron Bell made his first career start in place of Jeff Otah, who was inactive with a concussion sustained at Arizona (9/11/11).
Newton By Air: Rookie quarterback Cam Newton completed 28-of-46 passes for an NFL single-game rookie record 432 yards and one touchdown with three interceptions to produce a 72.0 quarterback rating. He threw a three-yard touchdown to wide receiver Brandon LaFell in the first quarter.
The rookie set a team record with 432 yards passing, surpassing the previous mark of 423 yards by Chris Weinke versus the New York Giants (12/10/06). Newton, who passed for 422 yards in his NFL debut last week at Arizona (9/11/11), became the first player in NFL history with back-to-back 400-yard passing games to begin a career and only the sixth quarterback in NFL history to have consecutive 400-yard passing games. He is the first player in team history to have two career 400-yard passing games.
Newton's performance also represented the first time that a Panthers quarterback had consecutive 300-yard passing games since Steve Beuerlein in 1999 with 373 yards at Green Bay (12/12/99) and 368 yards versus San Francisco (12/18/99).
In two games this season, Newton has completed 52-of-83 passes for 854 yards and three touchdowns with four interceptions to generate an 89.1 quarterback rating. No quarterback in NFL history has thrown for as many yards as Newton in his first two starts. The previous high was 718 yards by Kevin Kolb of the Philadelphia Eagles in 2007.
Newton's 854 yards passing are the second most through the first two games in NFL history and the most ever by a Panthers quarterback through two games, bettering the previous high of 547 yards by Beuerlein in 2000. Entering the game, the NFL record for the most passing yards by a player in the first two weeks of a season was 827 yards by Kurt Warner of the St. Louis Rams in 2000. Newton's two-game total of 854 yards surpassed Warner. However, he held the top spot for only a few hours as New England's Tom Brady passed for 423 yards (517 yards in Week 1) and set the record with 940 passing yards.
Newton By Ground: Newton rushed for a team-high 53 yards on 10 attempts with one touchdown. He scored on a four-yard run in the fourth quarter. Newton leads the Panthers with 71 yards and two touchdowns on 18 attempts this season.
Smith On The Receiving End: Wide receiver Steve Smith recorded a team-high 156 yards receiving on six catches to post his second consecutive 100-yard receiving performance after compiling 178 yards in the season opener at Arizona (9/11/11). He leads the Panthers with 14 receptions for 334 yards and two touchdowns this season.
Smith ranks first in team history with 62 total touchdowns [54 pass, 6 return, 2 run], 54 receiving touchdowns and 34 games with 100 or more receiving yards and stands second with 634 receptions, 9,218 receiving yards, and 374 points scored. He needs 38 receiving yards to overtake Muhsin Muhammad as the franchise's all-time leader.
Hot Stew: Running back Jonathan Stewart paced the Panthers with eight catches for 100 yards, both career highs. He became the second running back in team history to produce 100 yards receiving in a game, joining DeAngelo Williams with 101 yards at Philadelphia (12/4/06). Stewart's eight receptions tied the team single-game record for the most catches by a running back, previously accomplished twice - by Mike Goodson at Cleveland (11/28/10) and Vince Workman versus St. Louis (9/17/95).
Streaking: Tight end Jeremy Shockey and wide receiver Steve Smith extended their consecutive game streaks with a catch. Shockey finished the game with three receptions for 56 yards and has caught a pass in all 123 regular season games he has played. Smith has recorded a catch in 61 consecutive games, the third-longest streak in team history behind Wesley Walls' 70 games from 1996-2001 and his own 68 games from 2002-06.
Total Offense: Carolina amassed 475 yards of total offense on 404 yards passing and 71 yards rushing. It represented the Panthers' fourth-highest output ever behind the team-record 483 total yards at Washington (10/3/99), 478 yards at New Orleans (12/28/08) and 477 yards at Arizona (9/11/11). The Panthers last generated 400 yards of total offense in consecutive games during the 2008 season with 464 yards versus Tampa Bay (12/8/08) and 400 yards versus Denver (12/14/08).
Passing Fancy: The 404 net passing yards rank as the second most in team history behind the record 418 yards versus the New York Giants (12/10/06). The Panthers (404 yards) and Packers (295 yards) combined for 699 net passing yards to equal the most net passing yards by both teams in a game involving the Panthers - previously accomplished by Carolina (324 yards) at San Francisco (375 yards) (12/8/96).
Takeaway/Giveaway: Carolina forced one turnover on a fumble. Safety Sean Considine recovered a fumble by Packers kick returner Randall Cobb in the first quarter that was forced by linebacker Jordan Senn. The Panthers turned it over four times on one fumble and three interceptions to finish with a minus-three turnover ratio. The one takeaway resulted in three points for Carolina, and the four giveaways led to nine points for Green Bay. The Panthers have a negative-three turnover ratio this season, compiling an 0-1 record when being even in turnover margin and an 0-1 record when having a negative turnover margin.
Sakrete Sacks: The Panthers collected one sack against the Packers. Defensive end Charles Johnson gathered a sack for the second consecutive game when he dropped quarterback Aaron Rodgers for a 13-yard loss in the third quarter. He ranks first on the team with two sacks this season after leading the Panthers with a career-high 11.5 sacks in 2010.
During the 2011 season, Sakrete, a leader in concrete and concrete-related products, is donating $100 to the BVC Playground Build for every sack Carolina records. Through two games, the Panthers have gathered three sacks, raising $300.
The Specialists: Kicker Olindo Mare connected on all three of his field goal attempts - converting from 20, 33 and 21 yards - and both of his extra point chances. He has been successful on all three of his field goal attempts and perfect on all five of his extra point opportunities for a team-leading 14 points this season. Mare ranks 17th in NFL history with 331 made field goals and 19th with 1,434 points scored.
Mare placed four-of-six kickoffs in the end zone with three touchbacks. On the two kickoffs that did not reach the end zone, one had a significant amount of hang time that allowed the coverage unit to get down field and force a fumble, and the other was an onside kick. He has placed six-of-10 kickoffs in the end zone with five touchbacks this season.
Punter Jason Baker generated a gross average of 37.5 yards and net average of 37.5 yards with one inside the 20, no touchbacks and long of 40 yards on two punts. His gross average fell to 40.4 yards and his net average increased to 27.3 yards with three punts inside the 20, one touchback and long of 56 yards this season.
Inactives: The following seven players were inactive for the Panthers: quarterback Jimmy Clausen, defensive tackle Ronald Fields, tackle Jeff Otah, wide receiver Kealoha Pilares, cornerback Josh Thomas, guard Reggie Wells and linebacker Jason Williams.
That's Cheesy: Green Bay cornerback Charles Woodson tied the record for the most interceptions in a game by an opponent with two - previously accomplished 22 times, most recently by Jairus Byrd for Buffalo (10/25/09). Woodson also recovered a fumble to account for three takeaways.