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McCarthy: Packers have lot of respect for Josh Norman

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Set to face the undefeated Panthers on Sunday, Packers coach Mike McCarthy made it clear this week that he doesn't take much stock in last year's 38-17 thrashing of Carolina.

Why?

"Well, Josh Norman didn't play that game and he is a difference-maker on the outside," McCarthy told the team website about Carolina's shutdown cornerback. "I just think they're being very consistent on defense."

The expectation is that Norman -- the NFL's second-highest rated cover man behind Arizona's Tyrann Mathieu, per Pro Football Focus -- will shadow Green Bay wideout Randall Cobb on Sunday.

Second in the league with four picks, Norman has single-handedly won games with his ball-hawking skills while holding quarterbacks to a league-low 25.5 passer rating and NFL-best 7.6 yards per pass when targeted, per PFF.

"We have a lot of respect for Josh," McCarthy said. "Anytime you get to watch a game on TV, especially live, you really get the close-up and just the video and the things they show and the way his athletic ability is highlighted and his ability to make plays on the ball. I think their secondary as a whole has excellent ball skills, so that's something that we're coaching and talking about, so this will be a big challenge for our offense."

Sunday's high-stakes matchup comes at a time when Green Bay's offense has failed to score 30-plus points in four consecutive games, its longest such streak since 2013, when quarterback Aaron Rodgers was out with a broken collarbone.

We aren't worried about the Packers' attack -- Rodgers always figures it out -- but going from Denver's defense to Carolina's frisky crew serves as a back-to-back headache for a Green Bay club dreaming of a Super Bowl berth.

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