Packers Fall in Rodgers' Return

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The Packers dropped to 7-7 with the loss, all by ending their hopes of making the playoffs.

With the win, the Panthers improve to 10-4.

The Packers fall to 7-7 for the season with games remaining against the Vikings and the Lions in the final weeks of the season.

Not that the Packers didn't make it interesting.

It was a weird day in Charlotte following the serious allegations reported against Panthers owner Jerry Richardson, but the Panthers and Packers appeared to be putting on a good distraction early on.

It wasn't the heroic Aaron Rodgers return we hoped for.

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The Packers felt good about their QB1 heading into the game, and head coach Mike McCarthy said he planned to let Rodgers let it rip.

Byrd's first touchdown, a 9-yard grab in the back of the end zone, came with some controversy.

Cobb, Richard Rodgers and Davante Adams each caught one touchdown for Green Bay.

Rodgers under threw his receivers on all three interceptions as he struggled to find his best form following surgery.

Rodgers fired right back with an 11-play, 75-yard drive of his own.

Newton found Olsen for a 30-yard touchdown pass early in the third quarter before another score minutes later to Damiere Byrd.

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Packers quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt offered to help him with the latter - just to get it out of the way - before kickoff on Sunday against the. Two plays later, Rodgers was picked on a throw in traffic by the Panthers' Colin Jones. He completed 27 of 45 passes for 287 yards, but the Packers (7-7) saw the their postgame aspirations crippled.

Rodgers was intercepted three times, all on underthrown balls.

Olsen, who spent eight games on injured reserve with a fractured foot and missed the next game and a half with soreness in the foot, looked a shell of himself in last week's win against Minnesota with no catches on one target.

Rodgers wasn't completely done.

But his other two passes to the Panthers seemed to be a direct result of his repaired throwing shoulder.

"Initially I wasn't sure if they were going to count just one cheek or both cheeks", Byrd said with a laugh. The Panthers didn't blitz, as they had for much of the game, but the four-man rush still got to Rodgers. Green Bay's offensive line is doing its part to protect Rodgers, who hadn't been sacked.

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Trailing 24-14, the Packers used a 12-play drive, which included a fourth-down conversion on Rodgers' keeper, for Mason Crosby's 28-yard field goal with 1:23 left in the third quarter. He came through with a huge forced fumble to seal the game, too.