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Aaron Rodgers, Packers cruise to win over Panthers

Aaron Rodgers passed the Green Bay Packers to a 28-0 lead over the Carolina Panthers and held on to earn a 38-17 victory Sunday. Our takeaways:

  1. Rodgers is in the midst of the longest streak without an interception of his career. He has been unstoppable early in games, completing 24 of 28 first-quarter passes over the past four contests. This game was in the bag after the Packers racked up 172 first-quarter yards to just five for the Panthers. Riding a four-game winning streak with an 18:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio and two of his three career single-game passer ratings over 150.0, Rodgers is rivaling Philip Rivers as the leader in the MVP discussion. He tied Tom Brady's 2007 record with his fourth consecutive game featuring three touchdowns without an interception.
  1. Reigning Defensive Player of the Year Luke Kuechly was ejected late in the third quarter after making contact with an official. We saw it as an unfair decision, as Kuechly was grabbed from behind by a referee and simply swung his arm to shake loose.
  1. Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb make up the most effective wide receiver duo in the league right now. Nelson is first in receiving yards (712) while Cobb is first in touchdown receptions (eight). Even with Jarrett Boykin active this week, rookie Davante Adams held on to the No. 3 receiver job.
  1. The Panthers' offensive line remains a trouble spot. Left tackle Byron Bell (elbow) and rookie right guard Trai Turner (knee) both left with injuries. Jonathan Stewart broke a slew of tackles again but had no lanes at the line of scrimmage.
  1. Greg Olsen is enjoying a Pro Bowl-caliber season, leading all tight ends with 493 yards this season. He went for a regular-season career high (105) Sunday on Cam Newton's worst passing day of the season.
  1. How bad is the NFC South? The Panthers are in first place despite losing games by 19, 21 and 28 points through seven weeks.
  1. Carolina's dominant front seven masked a talent deficiency in the secondary last season. That hasn't been the case this year, as the safeties have missed too tackles and the cornerbacks have been burned in coverage. The defensive line hasn't been nearly as disruptive, either.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast recaps every Week 7 game, and breaks down Peyton Manning's record-breaking night. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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