Aug 19, 2011; Green Bay, WI, USA; Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) looks on during the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. The Packers defeated the Cardinals 28-20. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE

Cardinals vs Packers - The Bottom Line

The Green Bay Packers were taken to the limit last week by a team that many felt was an easy win.

This week the Packers find themselves once again as heavy home favorites. However they are playing the NFL’s version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the Arizona Cardinals, who started off 4-0, only to lose their next 4 games. They come into Lambeau Field 4-4 and desperate for a win to save their once promising season.

Aug 19, 2011; Green Bay, WI, USA; Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson (21) defends during the second quarter against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE

The Good

The Cardinals miss Kolb

The Cardinals will have John Skelton at quarterback. He has started 3 games this year. He was benched in his first start, and lost in the other two. He is ranked last in the NFL in quarterback rating (64.5), and has only thrown one touchdown pass all year.  In the interest of fairness his three starts have all come against pretty good defenses. Still when the opposing quarterback has as many touchdown passes as your punter (Masthay has 1 also), that’s a good thing.

The Cards O line is real bad

I will admit I have not watched the Cardinals play a lot this year, but some stats just stick out. One is that the Cardinals have given up 39 sacks this year. Thirty-nine! When the quarterback does happen to get off a pass they are only averaging 6.2 yards per attempt (31st in the NFL). So they are dumping the ball off a lot most likely due to the lack of protection. They cannot run the ball very well either. They are worst in the NFL in yards per carry (3.5) and second to last in yards per game with 79.

It’s at Lambeau Field

The Packers have only lost once this year at Lambeau, while the Cardinals have only won once on the road. The Cards stats are worse on the road across the board, especially offensively where in their last two games they could only muster three points against the Rams, and 14 points against the Vikings.

The Bad

The Cards D is still legit

I watched Alex Smith tear apart the Cardinals defense on Monday, and figured the Cardinals D was overrated. Then when I looked at the stats I saw a much different picture. The cards lead the NFL in sacks, they are ranked fourth in passing defense, and are fourth in points allowed. They have also created 15 turnovers this year, good for fifth in the NFL. They get good pressure, and are great in coverage, not good for the Packers who going in without their two best receivers, have trouble with protection, and can’t run the football.

Jordy Nelson is a game-time decision on whether he will play. Benny Sieu-US PRESSWIRE

Pack still bitten by the injury bug

The bye cannot come soon enough. The Packers have multiple injuries on both sides of the ball. The list just keeps getting longer, this week Jarel Worthy, Mike Neal, and Jerron McMillian joined the list. The packers have 14 players on the injured list, that’s more then a quarter of their team and that doesn’t even include Benson (special IR exemption).  Meanwhile the Cardinals have only ruled out only two players, Kolb and guard Adam Snyder.

The Bottom Line – This is not a good spot for the packers. They come into this game pretty beat up and ready for the bye week, while the Cardinals are angry from getting embarrassed by a division rival and need the victory. That being said, I just cannot picture John Skelton walking into Lambeau and beating Aaron Rodgers.

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Tags: Arizona Cardinals Green Bay Packers Lambeau Field NFL Week 9

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