The Green Bay Packers used a 72-yard touchdown pass from Aaron Rodgers to Tom Crabtree to seal a 31-17 victory over the Arizona Cardinals.
Randall Cobb added two touchdowns on only three catches, but he also had 29 rushing yards and 46 yards on punt returns and 90 kick returns for a total of 202 all-purpose yards.
The Packers also got a running game going as Alex Green, James Starks and Aaron Rodgers combined to rush for 176 yards.
The addition of the running game was much needed as the Cardinals passing defense did a good job of slowing down Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers completed less than 50 percent of his passes and only threw for 218 yards, but he did have four touchdowns and made key plays all game.
Early in the game the offense was struggling to move the ball and Rodgers found himself scrambling often. He was able to turn these broken plays into gains by tucking the ball and running. He also saved a Packers drive by diving on a James Starks fumble, seemingly coming out of nowhere and diving on the ball after a couple Cardinals’ players missed a chance to get the ball.
The Packers defense did a good job of slowing down the Cardinals attack. Larry Fitzgerald was basically shut down and minus his one touchdown, which was an impressive run after the catch, he wasn’t much of a factor. The defense continues to look solid even when dealing with all these injuries.
Speaking of injuries, the Packers suffered a couple more. After missing last weeks’ game, Jordy Nelson started this one but left early in the game with a leg/ankle injury. Clay Matthews also left the game with a hamstring injury and his loss was felt immediately, the Cardinals scored on the drive that he was hurt in.
While it isn’t known how bad these injuries are, it just keeps adding on to the ever-growing list of injuries the Packers have to deal with. Lucky for the Packers they have a bye week to rest up and get healthy for the second half of their season.
The win today moves the Packers into second place in the division, only behind the Chicago Bears. After the bye week the Packers will play five of their last seven games against division opponents, so it is important that the team uses the bye week to rest up, get healthy, and prepare for the most important stretch of their season.
Five things we learned from this game
There is competition for the running back spot – While Alex Green did a decent job as the starting running back for the Packers, James Starks looked to be the better running back today. Competition for the starting job could bring out the best in both, which would be a great thing for the Packers.
Larry Fitzgerald is still one of the best – The Packers did a great job of limiting Larry Fitzgerald but he still showed flashes of brilliance. Fitzgerald is one of the best and if he were on a different team he would gain more praise for his talents.
The Packers are letting Randall Cobb loose – Randall Cobb has done a little bit of everything for the Packers offense this season but the coaching staff is really starting to let him loose. Cobb took a couple of handoffs in today’s game with some success so look for that to continue. He also stepped up and became Rodgers’ go to target after Jordy left the game with his injury.
The Cardinals have a bigger issue catching the ball than the Packers – Both teams had quite a few dropped passes in this game but the Cardinals looked to hurt them more. Most of the Cardinals’ drops came when the receiver was open and with room to run after the catch. Their dropped catches also came at times that basically killed the drives they were currently in.
The Packers really need this bye week – This bye week will come at a perfect time for the Packers. They need time to get healthy and prepare for the important stretch of their season. With two more players leaving the game due to injury today the list continues to grow, the time off will help the team a lot.