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Packers Periscope: Week 13 vs. Arizona Cardinals

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Packers Periscope: Week 13 vs. Arizona Cardinals

The Green Bay Packers return home to host the struggling Arizona Cardinals.  The Packers haven't lost a game at home this season so this game comes at a good time.  Green Bay can't afford to lose another game if they want to keep any hope alive for reaching the postseason.

Let's take a look at this match up more closely.

The Past

The Packers lead the all-time series 45-25-4.  The teams have only meet five times in the past decade but two of those were in the playoffs.

We all remember the thriller following the 2009 season that ended in controversy.  Aaron Rodgers missed a wide open Greg Jennings for what would have been a game winner.  The next play, Aaron Rodgers is face masked and fumbles.  No penalty is called and the Cardinals won on a defensive touchdown in overtime.

The game featured Rodgers vs. Kurt Warner and 96 total points scored.  The Cardinals went on to get boat raced by the New Orleans Saints a week later.  The Saints then took out the Minnesota Vikings (led by quarterback Brett Favre) to advance to and win their most recent Super Bowl appearance.

Following the 2015 season, the Packers ended up in Arizona for another overtime playoff game.  With a depleted offense that featured Jared Abbrederis and Jeff Janis at receiver, the Packers managed to tie the Cardinals with a Hail Mary as time expired.  Rodgers hit Janis between two defenders to tie it up and force overtime.

Unfortunately it took only a few snaps in overtime for the Cardinals to once again end the Packers' season.  Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald caught a short pass and rumbled 75 yards to get deep in Packers territory.  A play later, Fitzgerald waltzed into the end zone from a backfield formation.

The last time the football Cardinals franchise won a game in Green Bay was in 1949 when they were the Chicago Cardinals.  Lambeau Field was just a gleam in a developer's eye at that time.

The Present

The Packers and Cardinals are both a mess right now.  Green Bay has lost two straight and the Cardinals, three straight.

Green Bay comes in 4-6-1 while the Cardinals are 2-9.  Both teams appear poised to be searching for a new head coach after this season.

Arizona's offense is led by rookie quarterback Josh Rosen.  Rosen has 10 touchdowns and 11 interceptions on the season.  

Cardinals running back David Johnson has appeared in all 11 games so far after missing most of last season due to injury.  Johnson has six rushing touchdowns and two receiving this season.

Arizona ranks dead last in the league in average yards per game on offense with just 232.5.

Rodgers has had his bright spots and struggles this season, but isn't throwing the ball away.  He has just one interception on the season with at least two others that were dropped by the defender.

The Packers offense is 10th in average yards per game with 385.6 but they're not getting in the end zone nearly enough and that's a big reason for this season's disappointment.

Defensively, the Cardinals and Packers aren't too far apart, statistically.  Arizona allows slightly fewer passing yards per game but is allowing 144 yards per game on the ground.  Green Bay allows 123 rushing yards per game.

Analytics and statistics are helpful but the disparity between these two teams illustrates how football can often produce outlying results when numbers appear similar.  Vegas agrees, making the Packers a 14-point favorite in this contest.

The Future

Not much else needs to be said other than the Packers can't afford to lose this game.  Losing at home to a 2-9 team that can't do anything well would be the icing on the cake of what has become, to some fans, a warning of what may lie ahead.

Head coach Mike McCarthy is seemingly riding out the season and awaiting his departure.  What does that mean for the offensive game planning and approach during these last five games?  

Many have pointed to McCarthy's high character and believe he's earned the right to see this season through.  Others simply argue that there is no point to dismissing the 13-year Packers coach now so might as well keep him in role.

Rodgers scoffed at reporters this week when asked about his in-game mechanics.  He said those mechanics have gotten him to this point in his career and that he's not playing differently.  The truth seems to, as it usually does, lie somewhere in the middle.  

Against a bad defense, can the Packers keep Rodgers clean and will he have a day to quiet the doubters?  Can the Packers defense force mistakes from Rosen and turn it into a hay day?

Whatever the future is for Rodgers and the Packers, it starts this Sunday.  

 

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Jason is a freelance writer on staff since 2012 and also co-hosts Cheesehead TV Live, Pulse of the Pack and Pack A Day podcasts.  You can follow him on Twitter here

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (13) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Bert's picture

Take heart Packer fans. It's been a rough season but the good news is we're not AZ fans.

dblbogey's picture

We used to say that About Cleveland. Now we ARE Cleveland.

Barnacle's picture

I hope the Pack rests Rodgers and gives our young QBs some game experience. Any of our veterans who need minor repairs should get them now and be ready for next season.

If we are out of the play offs, it may be a good time to release MM and give him a chance to land on his feet with a different team. I wish him well, but do NOT want him coaching my favorite team.

My only concern is that we have a better chance of winning without MM and that would worsen our draft position.

Portland Mark's picture

The problem with resting Rodgers is that many people have bought tickets to see Rodgers play. If I were attending a Packer game and they rested Rodgers while he was healthy I'd be pissed.

The TKstinator's picture

Better to be pissed off than pissed on.

The TKstinator's picture

Lighten up, Francis.

Lare's picture

I know the current state of the Packers is hard for many of the younger fans to fathom, but those of us that lived through the 70s & 80s have seen a lot of losing seasons.

While some heads may roll at he end of this season, most of us will be optimistic that the changes will bring new success and better times for the Packers in the future.

stockholder's picture

Change the uniforms then ? Grey Color Meaning – The color of compromise. Grey is considered to be an unemotional, detatched color seeking to avoid attention. It conveys gloom and depression. Very conservative, grey has a stabilizing effect as it is very neutral, but can also conjure up feelings of frustration. Grey is linked with maturity and protection, being reliable and practical.

The TKstinator's picture

50 Shades of...?

Lphill's picture

No reason to sit Rodgers let him build confidence with the young receivers it will only help for the future . Packers not missing many pieces , edge rusher , safety help and more depth for the online all can be resolved between draft and free agency , and of course a new head coach which is coming.

Holecrap's picture

Sit Rodgers????? Thats his problem he sits all the time especially in pre season. Thats why he is not on board with the young guys he wasnt there

Holecrap's picture

If the Card QB can pass a football this team can be dangerous against the pack pass d with really doesnt exist and hasnt for five years.

PAPackerbacker's picture

The Cardinals are a professional team and are desperately looking for a win as well as the Packers. Do not assume just because they have a worse record than Green Bay that they are willing to come in and just play to lose. Or lose on purpose to get a better draft choice for next year. I hope the Packers win but anything can happen when 2 professional teams meet on any given day.

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