Aaron Rodgers' up-and-down return not enough to save Packers

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will lead his team against the New England Patriots on Sunday

The Carolina Panthers had a lot of off-field distractions hanging over them heading into Sunday's game.

The Packers fell 31-24, seeing their playoff hopes eliminated.

Rodgers threw for 290 yards and 3 touchdowns - including scores to Davante Adams, Randall Cobb and Richard Rodgers.

"It kind of gives you that reassurance of 'OK, yeah, I'm fine", Van Pelt said. "It's not the fairy tale that we were hoping". "It was a tough play, and I've got to make a play when it counts".

That isn't how the quarterback's afternoon started, though.

Adams said the Panthers disguised coverages and tried to confuse Rodgers in his first game back. The Panthers couldn't take advantage of the Bradberry pick, but it showed another example of how physically limited Rodgers was in this game.

On his first interception, Rodgers threw deep down the left sideline for Adams, but he threw off his back foot because the Panthers defensive line collapsed his pocket.

After a nine-week drought of interceptions for Carolina's starting second-year cornerbacks, both have recorded an interception in the past two weeks.

Daryl Worley, James Bradberry and Colin Jones picked off Rodgers in what was his first game with three interceptions in more than eight seasons. The Green Bay Packers under Rodgers have been known to make miracle runs to the playoffs late in the season, and people wondered if he would again "run the table".

Up to Four Inches of Snow Friday Night
The American model brings in the chance for snow maybe around Christmas Eve. "That's definitely something to keep an eye on". Christmas Day cools off significantly, with the high temperature dropping to about 42 degrees, and a mix of sun and clouds.

"I'm proud of our guys for the way they have played the last few weeks". I would expect him to come out and be what he usually is.

But the Panthers defense wasn't done taking advantage of Rodgers.

Of course, it wasn't Rodgers who turned it over on what could have been an overtime-forcing drive.

With star quarterback Aaron Rodgers ailing from a shoulder injury, it was imperative that the defensive line put in work against the quarterback.

They hype was in the air as one of football' [VIDEO]s most talented players returned.

Mason Crosby's 28-yard field goal reduced Green Bay's deficit to seven points before Byrd caught another touchdown pass from Newton early in the fourth quarter. But with the loss, even a close one, the Packers are now nearly certain to miss the playoffs.

The Panthers are 10-4, tied with New Orleans with two games remaining. Even if the team doesn't win the NFC South, it still has a solid chance of being a wild-card team.

Aaron Rodgers threw three interceptions in his return game. Coach Mike McCarthy didn't commit one way or the other after the game Sunday.

Ball-hawking Baltimore forced four more turnovers and converted two of them into touchdowns to defeat winless Cleveland. "But our passing game wasn't quite where it needed to be".

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