Arizona Cardinals vs. Green Bay Packers: Playoff preview, prediction
Just like it has been for most of the season, the defense will be the key to winning this game. While many are claiming the Packers are “back” after their wild card win against the Redskins. This will be put to the test since the Redskins defense is nowhere near as talented as the Arizona Cardinals defense.
Let’s also not forget the thrashing the Cardinals defense gave to Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offensive line. While it would be nice, we shouldn’t expect a repeat of Week 16’s performance. The Packers will have some players return to the offensive line, which should improve Aaron Rodgers’ protection issues. The battle will be won at the line of scrimmage. The Arizona Cardinals pass rush will need to put pressure on Rodgers but also force him to stay in the pocket as he is very dangerous when on the run.
The Cardinals also expect to have the return of Josh Mauro and a healthy Frostee Rucker and Markus Golden. While Alex Okafor was mysteriously put on the IR list, the team was able to sign former All-Pro Jason Babin to take his place, and knowing Keim and his luck with “washed up” players, expect Babin to make a significant impact in this game.
Justin Bethel will once again most likely be targeted by Aaron Rodgers and he should be up to the challenge this time around. Bethel played a scrappy game the first time these two teams met up and even came up with a red zone interception cutting off a pass to James Jones. Green Bay will also be without Davante Adams which puts more pressure on Rodgers, Cobb, R. Rodgers and Jones.
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The Arizona Cardinals handed it the Packers in their regular season match up, but I don’t expect that to happen this time around. The Packers are finally playing with their original offensive line so the pass rush won’t be able to get to Rodgers as easily as it did before. The offense should be able to move the ball down the field and score points as it has done all season, and be able to put the team in a good chance to win. In addition the Cardinals defense will need t make substitutions very quickly as the Redskins were called for many 12 men on the field penalties. It will be a much closer game this time around, but the Arizona Cardinals are the better team and will come out with a win to advance to the NFC Championship Game. Cardinals 30 Packers 24