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McCarthy: Packers have lot of respect for Josh Norman

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.


"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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