This Sunday the Green Bay Packers will take on the Arizona Cardinals in a game that features two teams heading in very different directions.
The Green Bay Packers have won three in a row and have looked good pretty good doing it. Meanwhile the Cardinals have lost four games in a row, basically killing off any of those feel good vibes the team got with their 4-0 start.
Green Bay will do their best to remain focused for this game, as they head into their bye week after the game, and the Packers could really use a bye week. The Packers still have Greg Jennings and Cedric Benson out and Jordy Nelson missed last week’s game with a hamstring injury and it remains unclear if he will play this week. The Packers also lost Jerel Worthy and Mike Neal to injury during last week’s game.
So what is remaining of the Packers lineup will go against a Cardinals defense that ranks fourth in the league in pass defense but 21st in rushing defense. This could create some issues for the Packers as their running game last week was pretty much non-existent and the entire offense fell on Rodgers’ shoulders.
The Packers will have to do their best to get the running game going no matter what. If need be, they should get creative and throw Randall Cobb in the backfield to give the offense some new looks. It can’t all fall on Rodgers again.
The Packers defense should have no trouble slowing down the Cardinals offense. They rank near last in the league for both passing and rushing offense. Green Bay’s defense held their own last week against the Jacksonville Jaguars and should be able to do much of the same this week.
Both teams will be trying to head into their bye week with a win, but the edge in this one will go to the Packers. The Packers are 22-2 at home since week ten of 2009 and the Cardinals are a team that are quickly heading south and seeing their season slip away.
The Packers win a close one by a score of 24-17 and stretch their winning streak to four games.
The Keys to Victory
Keep Fitzgerald in check – Larry Fitzgerald is still the Cardinals’ number one producer on offense, so the Packers defense should make it their number one goal to keep him and check and not let him run wild.
Don’t let it all fall on Rodgers – Aaron Rodgers is the Packers leader and has shown he can pretty much carry the offense by himself, but the Cardinals have a good pass defense and could slow down the attack. The offense couldn’t get a running game going last week and because of that the game was a close one. The Cardinals are better than the Jaguars and if it’s another close one, the Cardinals could steal the win from the Packers.
Keep your eyes on the prize – The Packers need their bye week to get healthy and it has to be hard to focus with that time off so close, but the Packers can’t lose focus and drop this game. They are the better team, and if they keep their focus they can win. But if they lose it, this game could slip away.