Packers Roll Into the Bye by Pasting Cardinals
The Green Bay Packers woke up from their slumber and did what they were supposed to do, defeating the Arizona Cardinals 31-17 to head into their bye at 6-3.
Aaron Rodgers wasn’t terribly sharp on the day — he completed only 14 of 30 passes, but he did manage to fire four touchdowns. Those went to James Jones, Tom Crabtree and Randall Cobb (twice).
Jones led the receivers with four catches for 61 yards, but Crabtree provided the day’s biggest play. His touchdown came on a 72-yard catch and run down the middle of the field in the fourth quarter that pretty much put the game away. Interestingly, the Packers starting tight end, Jermichael Finley, continued to underwhelm. Both he and Crabtree had one catch on the day, but Finley’s only went for six yards.
The biggest development of the game was the reemergence of the Packers running game. Although the Cardinals aren’t particularly good at stopping the run (21st in the league entering the game), the Packers haven’t had a back average more than three yards a carry since Cedric Benson went down. On Sunday, they had two.
James Starks led the way in his first extensive action of the season, going for 61 on 17 carries (3.5 per carry). Alex Green added 11 for 53 (4.8 per carry) and also caught two passes for 25 yards.
With his play on Sunday, Starks likely made himself the No. 1 guy going forward.
Even though the Packers won handily, not everything was rosy. They lost three more players to injury — Jordy Nelson (ankle), Bryan Bulaga (hip) and Clay Matthews (hamstring).
The defense didn’t play particularly well either.
Remember how bad we said Cardinals quarterback John Skelton was before the game? Much like the really bad quarterback the Packers faced last week, Blaine Gabbert, Skelton managed to put up more than 300 yards. He went 23 of 46 for 306, a touchdown and an interception.
Three guys had more than 70 yards receiving — Larry Fitzgerald (74), Andre Roberts (86) and the completely underwhelming Michael Floyd (80).
Last week, the Packers were a failure in zone coverage. This week, it looked like they played more man. Same result.
That probably isn’t going to get fixed by the bye week, but hopefully some of the injury problems will. It would be nice to see what this team looked like if everyone was healthy again.
Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.