Considering both the Packers and Cardinals are tied with the league lead in team sacks - 26 each - the sackmaster, Clay Matthews included - could have an active day. Raymond T. Rivard photograph

Lombardiave Staff predict Packers vs. Cardinals

The staff here at take a stab at predicting the outcome of today’s Green Bay Packers vs. Arizona Cardinals game.

While all the writers got away with a win last week in predicting the Packers vs. Jaguars, most of us were way off in predicting the final score – as was most of America.

So, without further adieu, take a peek at how we think things will go today:

Ray Rivard: Last week, most of us went into the Jaguars game thinking “the Packers are back home, they’re going against one of the worst teams on the planet, so this should be over midway through the first quarter.” Boy, were we wrong. We have to remember every National Football League team is made up of professionals whose only goal is to win. That will be the case when the Arizona Cardinals hit historic Lambeau Field today. This could be their Super Bowl. I feel Rodgers is going to struggle early on again today, especially if Jordy Nelson isn’t on the field. However, the Packers defense comes to play today and I feel will get at least three sacks on John Skelton. The Packers will somehow find a semblance of a running game and Rodgers heats up in the second half. Cobb has a big game, the special teams will make one more play than the Cardinals, and two players – James Starks and Jarrett Boykin – make significant contributions.

Packers hit the six-win mark and play better heading into the bye; Packers 28 Cardinals 13

Sept 9, 2012; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson (87) drops a pass while guarded by San Francisco 49ers safety Dashon Goldson (38) at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-US PRESSWIRE

Jason Hirschhorn: The Packers looked less than elite in their week 8 win over the Jaguars, and the whole fanbase lost its collective mind. Let’s slow our roll here. The Packers took the lead with 3:02 left in the first quarter and never lost it. They won by two scores. This wasn’t a terrible performance, especially considering the circumstances (Jordy Nelson’s injury, first game without Charles Woodson, etc.).

The only real bad news entering week 9 is that Jordy Nelson still has not returned to practice. He’ll be a game-time decision, and there’s at least a 50% chance he misses another game. Nelson’s absence was the biggest reason I predicted a 24-13 win for Green Bay last week, but I’m not as concerned this time around. Randall Cobb and James Jones will be entering their second week of getting all the first team reps, and Cobb looks more and more like a player who can handle being the opposing defense’s number one priority.

The Packers will enter their bye week 6-3. Packers 28 – Cardinals 17

Dan Turczynski: The Cardinals are a dangerous team that the Packers must not overlook going in to the bye week next week. They have some players who can make Sunday a long day for the Packers’ defense, none more important than Larry Fitzgerald.

On the other hand the Cardinals can’t block anybody on offense and they just so happen to be playing against the Packers, who are number 1 in the NFL in sacks on defense. I think Clay Matthews has a big day, and the defense picks up another mediocre performance by the offense.

Pack win 24-13 to move to 6-3. 

Tim Thomas: After last week’s closer-than-expected win against the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Packers will be ready to come out and make a statement as they take on a decent Arizona Cardinals team.

The middle of the Packers offensive line will have the challenge of shutting down the Cardinals’ star defensive lineman, Calais Campbell. Aaron Rodgers may also still be without not only Greg Jennings but Jordy Nelson as Nelson is a game-time decision which will mean that Randall Cobb and James Jones will need to step up. Meanwhile, the Packers defense will need to make sure they shut down Larry Fitzgerald as Tramon Williams will most likely be the man assigned to cover him with support from the safeties.

Aug 16, 2012; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers defensive back Casey Hayward. Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE

Sam Shields is still out as Casey Hayward will once again be called on  to help shut down a solid Arizona receiving corps. Cardinals QB John Skelton has struggled and the Packers can definitely force some turnovers while Clay Matthews, BJ Raji, and company can force Skelton to rush some throws and make more mistakes.

The Packers will come out with a sense of urgency to avoid an upset which will help them beat the Cardinals.

Prediction: Packers 31, Cardinals 17

Jerry Bulone: 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.

Packers 24, Cardinals 20

Oct 29, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback John Skelton. Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE

Thomas Marquardt: This will be a challenge for the Packers offensive line considering Arizona is tied with the Packers for the lead in sacks. If Jordy Nelson doesn’t play. the offense will have to be creative. The good news is that  John ‘Red’ Skelton and Kevin Kolb have been sacked a combined 39 times thus far this season (10 more than any other team in the league), so I’ll expect a lot of pressure on whomever is behind center for the Cards.

I say Starks gives the running game a spark and Rodgers will move enough to make some plays on the go, while Clay Matthews et al. have a big day.

Packers 27 Cards 13  


Jonathan Schweitzer: The Packers thrive on continuity.  They like stable conditions, rhythm.  Many of the offenses’ hiccups this season can be traced to a lack of continuity.  Adjusting to a running back such as Cedric Benson took a good three games.  Of course they’ve now reverted back to the pre-Benson running philosophy.  Adjusting to life without Greg Jennings took some getting used to as well.  And now the Packers, who have gone one game without Jennings and counterpart Jordy Nelson, should be better off/more comfortable having had some time to adjust to an attack with James Jones and Randall Cobb as the featured receivers.  I think the offense gets back on track and if the defense can keep LaRod Stephens Howling from busting loose for big gains, the Packers have a good shot at a win.
Packers 30 Cardinals 17


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