The Green Bay Packers took the Arizona Cardinals into overtime with a series of unbelievable plays, but the Cardinals came out on top with the 26-20 win thanks to the superhuman efforts of Larry Fitzgerald.
With his season on the line, Aaron Rodgers converted a fourth-and-20 play with a 60-yard heave to Jeff Janis. An illegal motion put Green Bay at first-and-15 with 12 seconds left at the Cardinals’ 41-yard line, setting up one final Hail Mary throw. Rodgers nailed Janis on the final play of regulation with a 41-yard touchdown pass, sending the game to overtime.
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A big reason for the Packers’ win in Washington was the resurgence of the running game. With Eddie Lacy and James Starks working in an even committee (both players got 12 carries) and wide receiver Randall Cobb mixing in for a few backfield plays, Green Bay combined for 141 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 31 carries. The Packers controlled the clock and never allowed Washington time to mount a comeback.
The Packers defense also came up big, sacking Kirk Cousins six times and forcing two fumbles. Green Bay will need that kind of defensive effort again if it hopes to slow down the Cardinals’ high-octane offense. Arizona’s secondary is looking a lot more vulnerable ever since losing Tyrann Mathieu to a torn ACL, so if the Packers offense stays on the same page this game has a lot of shootout potential.
They ended up third in the NFL in pass plays of 20+ yards (66) and third in pass plays of 40+ yards (16). Palmer finished the year first in the NFL in yards per pass attempt (8.7) while throwing 35 touchdowns, tied for second most league-wide. To say that Palmer is having a renaissance in Arians’ scheme is an understatement.
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Patrick Peterson nearly made an incredible play in the second quarter, picking off Aaron Rodgers and running 100 yards for what appeared to be a pick-six to give the Cardinals a two-score lead over the Green Bay Packers.