The Green Bay Packers musceled up to win their fourth straight game, 31-17 over the Arizona Cardinals before 70,504 fans on a partly cloudy and cool afternoon at Lambeau Field. The offense piled up a season high 176 yards rushing on 39 carries and Aaron Rodgers fired four more touchdown passes in the victory. Green Bay reaches the bye week at 6-3 and it couldn't come at a better time for the attrition continued with Clay Matthews, Bryan Bulaga, Jordy Nelson and D.J. Williams leaving with injuries. John Kuhn, Sam Shields, Nick Perry, Jerel Worthy and stars Charles Woodson and Greg Jennings were among the inactives. When Bulaga went down with a hip injury, T.J. Lang moved from left guard to right tackle and Evan Dietrich-Smith took over at guard. Mike McCarthy said the juggling never impacted his play call sheet which is a testament to Lang's versatility and Dietrich-Smith's readiness. Nelson, coming off a nasty hamstring pull, injured his ankle in the first quarter and Matthews pulled a hamstring trying to sack John Skelton in the third quarter. Despite the 4 TD effort, giving him a league high 25 on the season, Rodgers admittedly was off target, completing only 14 of 30 passes for 212 yards. He also suffered his first interception in a month when Randal Cobb lost control of a low pass and William Gay came up with it on the first play of the second quarter. Green Bay led 7-0 at the time as Randall Cobb caught a short slant and broke two tackles for a 13 yard strike. The Packers should have been up by 10, but Mason Crosby missed a 44 yard field goal on the opening series, set up by Cobb's 28 yard punt return. It was the 5th missed field goal of the year for Crosby. Arizona cashed in on the takeaway as Andre Roberts hauled in a 40 yard strike to the three and two plays later, LaRod Stephens-Howling tied the score on a one yard run. The Packers answered immediately, driving 80 yards in 12 plays with Cobb cradling a perfect over the shoulder 21 yard touchdown pass. The first half ended with Arizona blitzed Rodgers who lofted a corner route to James Jones who jumped over Jamell Fleming for a 28 yard scoring strike, Jones' career best 8th TD of the year. Cobb made another impact play to start the second half, taking the opening kickoff 44 yards to midfield but Green Bay couldn't muster a first down, failing on third and one. Erik Walden got the ball right back, snaring his first career interception after Casey Hayward deflected the pass intended for Rob Houlser. Even though they couldn't move closer, Crosby connected on a 33 yard field goal and the game looked in hand at 24-7. The Cardinals finally got moving midway through the third as Larry Fitzgerald took a short pass and willed himself into the end zone from 31 yards out. The Pack was stopped again on third and one and the Cards drove to the Packer 2 yard line but Stephens-Howling was stopped on third and one and Jay Feely connected from 20 yards out making it a one score game at 24-17. On the second snap after the kickoff, Rodgers called a play action pass with tight end Tom Crabtree lined up in the backfield. He ran past former Packer Paris Lenon who bit on the fake and got behind the defense. Rodgers hit him in stride at the 43 and the footrace was on. Crabtree was pulled down by Gay just as he crossed the goal line for the longest play of the season, a 72 yard touchdown to make it 31-17. Arizona was never able to threaten again and the Packers were able to take a knee just two yards away from the end zone after Jarrett Bush recovered a Patrick Peterson muffed punt. Ater putting up 253 yards with 16 first downs in the first half, the Packers finished with 384 yards and 20 first downs for the day. Arizona finished with 340 yards, Skelton had 306 passing. The commitment to the run game was evident as James Starks led the way with 61 yards on 17 carries in his most extensive action of the season. He did cough up a fumble that Rodgers recovered in the second quarter by diving into the oncoming pileup. Alex Green gained 53 on 11 carries, an average of 4.8 with a long of 21. Rodgers had to scramble early, getting loose for a 25 yard run. He finished with 33 on 8 carries and even Cobb got into the act with three carries for 29 yards. Cobb is becomming a huge part of the plan in every phase. Throw in the 37 yards receiving, 46 on punt returns and 90 more on kickoff returns and he put up 202 combined yards, giving him nearly 1400 on the season. Brad Jones led the defensive effort with 9 tackles, one for a loss, Morgan Burnett had 7, Neal and Mike Daniels had the sacks. Now it's time for all to catch their breath with the week off at hand and a stretch drive that includes five of the last seven games against North Division rivals, the Packers may be hurtin' but they're certainly back in the hunt. On the link below, the post game quotes from Lambeau.
JT the Brick 12:00 AM - 6:00 AM
On Air Now.