Packers vs. Cardinals – Game Day First Impressions, Unfiltered: Packers 31, Cardinals 17 All Green Bay Packers All the Time
The Packers honored those who serve our country in the military before Sunday’s game against the Cardinals. A big thank you to all who serve, and have served, from all of us at

Green Bay Packers vs. Arizona Cardinals:

Adam Czech here in place of Jersey Al for this week’s first impressions. Al is still dealing with the fallout from Superstorm Sandy and has ordered me to climb down off my deer stand, watch this week’s game, and write about it.

I said, “Yes sir!” So, here is my unfitered game day running blog post of comments, observations and first impressions.

Inactive for Packers today: CB Sam Shields, WR Greg Jennings, S Charles Woodson, LB Frank Zombo, RB John Kuhn, DL Jerel Worthy, LB Nick Perry.

Inactive for Cardinals today: QB Kevin Kolb, WR LaRon Byrd, CB Greg Toler, LB Jamaal Westerman, G Senio Kelemete, G Adam Snyder, TE Todd Heap.

Game Notes:

Welcome back, Jordy Nelson.

Rich Ohrnberger is starting for Adam Snyder at guard for the second game in a row. Snyder is not good and I can’t imagine Ohrnberger is any better. Not good news for a Cardinals’ o-line that is one of the worst in the league.

Aaron Rodgers told Pam Oliver before the game that last week’s “flat” win over the Jags was good for the Packers and hopefully gets the team to up their energy. We shall see.

Packers vs. Cardinals – First Impressions – First Half:

Great kickoff by Crosby, using the sideline to pin the Cards inside their own 20.

Unlike last week, the crowd sounded lively on the third down on the Cards first series. Mike Neal burries Skelton and the Cards have to punt.

More great special teams play gets the Packers to the Cards’ 20.

Starks starting over Green…looked a little indecisive on his first carry. Cut that thing upfield, James.

Once again the offense falls flat on the opening possession and Crosby shanks a FG. Crosby is becoming  serious problem, not just something to give Jersey Al a hard time about.

Brad Jones matched against Larry Fitzgerald is a terrible idea, but it worked this time and the Cards have to punt again.

Switched to Bears-Titans during the commercial and a Titans DB dropped a pick-six from Cutler. Bears are so damn lucky.

The Packers are driving despite the Cards secondary doing a great job on their WRs so far. Rodgers thinks he’s RGIII.

Cobb looked like he was shot out of a cannon on that TD. I like the slant/screen combo play.

La’Rod Stephens-Howling is doing a nice job of picking up two or three yards per carry despite no room whatsoever. But why are the Cards running him between the tackles?

Great play by William Gay on that pick. The Packers, I think it was Woodson, had a similar pick against the Jets in 2010.

The Packers run D struggles to stop RBs when they bounce it to the outside after the middle is closed. It took Stephens-Howling a quarter to figure this out, but he finally did and scored a TD to tie it at 7.

Five straight running plays for the Packers. Vince Lombardi smiles from heaven.

After Donald Driver almost torpedoes the drive on his own, Rodgers connects with Cobb on a beauty to make it 14-7 (special thanks to the refs on that bobbling catch by Driver for a “first down”).

Starks should probably get comfortable on the bench after that fumble.

James Jones with an amazing TD catch to make it 21-7. Is Jones the Packers runner-up for MVP so far behind Rodgers?

Mike Daniels sacks Skelton and the Packers lead 21-7 at halftime. The Packers are a much better team than the Cardinals, even with all the injuries, and I expect more of the same in the second half.

Packers vs. Cardinals – First Impressions – Second Half:

The Packers get the ball to start the second half. Delivering the knockout blow has been a problem for the Packers this season. I’d like to see them do it on this first drive.

Nelson and Bulaga are out for the game. No surprise there. If the Packers score on this first drive, they need to wrap their remaining players in bubble wrap for the rest of the day.

Cobb is a man among boys today. Another great return sets up the Packers for the killshot I’m hoping for.

I don’t like going after Patrick Peterson on third down and I don’t like punting on fourth-and-1 in the other team’s territory. Go for the kill, Mike.

Of course, as soon as I type that, Hayward bats a pass up in the air, Walden picks it, and the Packers are back in business.

Maybe the Packers went three-and-out on purpose to give Crosby a short FG to try and build his confidence.

After a slow start, Arizona has rallied to take a 5-4 lead over the Packers in drops. A lot of ballgame left, though, and this one could come down to the wire.

Another ugly three-and-out for the Packers. Yuck.

Dezman Moses getting a decent rush in place of Matthews. Walden has been just a split second late a few times today.

The Packers had multiple chances to end this game and didn’t. Fitzgerald scores and now it’s a ballgame again.

I would much rather have the Packers throw deep on third and 1 instead of bang it up the middle behind Saturday. Another three-and-out, another punt.

Skelton is now pitching a tent in the pocket and finding wide open receivers. This game has gotten tense. Lambeau has gone quiet.

Why do the Cards keep banging Stephens-Howling up the middle? They try it again on third and 1, he gets stuffed, and Arizona kicks a FG to make it 24-17.

Tom Crabtree. All he does is score long TDs. Packers 31-17.

Another run on third and 1, another Packers punt. This team isn’t built to run it on third and 1. That’s why I never have a problem when they launch it deep.

Running it on first down and getting 12 yards with Starks? That I am fine with! (But he needs to tuck it away and cover it better.)

The Packers give up a long fourth down completion, but Hayward defends another fourth down pass to seal the win.

Another up-and-down, ragged performance, but another win. Given all the injuries before the game and during the game, I’m very pleased with how the Packers played today and being 6-3 at the bye.

MVP for today definitely goes to Randall Cobb.

PACKERS 31, Cardinals 17


Adam Czech is a a freelance sports reporter living in the Twin Cities and a proud supporter of American corn farmers. When not working, Adam is usually writing about, thinking about or worrying about the Packers. Follow Adam on Twitter. Twitter .


23 thoughts on “Packers vs. Cardinals – Game Day First Impressions, Unfiltered: Packers 31, Cardinals 17

  1. Mike Daniels and Mike Neal both looked pretty good today. I was really hoping to see some PT for Terrell Manning by this point in the season, I wonder what’s going on with him- is he slow to come on, not what the Packers hoped he’d be, or just still having lingering issues with his stomach illness?

    1. He’s just really behind in terms of learning the playbook due to him missing time from the stomach virus.

  2. Oh, I really thought Starks was going to ride pine after the half. On Rodger’s last TD throw of the first half, Starks blatantly whiffed a blitz pick up after Rodgers clarified his pass pro responsibility pre-snap, and if A rod doesn’t get the throw off so quick, he’d be smashed on the turf under a red and white avalanche. Then, the fumble… I thought he earned himself some shelf time after that.

    1. I think Rodgers can handle an whiff every now and then. Everyone gets beat occasionally. It’s not being where you’re supposed to be or blocking the wrong guy that ticks him off.

      1. Adam, it wasn’t getting beat, it was more like getting completely lost. Of course, I just watched the play once in real time, and I don’t have a DVR to rewatch it. But it sure looked like Starks had no idea WTF he was doing to me.

        1. Oh. Well then, yes, Rodgers will be very mad.

          Sorry, whiff to me is doing everything right but failing physically to get it done.

  3. Win, all that matters.

    Green runs too high, needs to lower pad level.

    Who’d thunk Crabtree could outrun the Cardinals’ D? He even got separation after the catch.

    Rodgers looked off. Less than 50% completion is worrysome. True, many instances where nobody was open. But missed throws, missed reads.

    Both OL held up much better than I antecipated. Even without Bulaga they played well.

    Hope the injuries weren’t serious. Let’s get healthy.

    1. For as little faith as I have in EDS, he seemed to hold up his end of the donkey when asked to cover left guard duties as Lang shifted to RT. Got to admit I had that moment when Bulaga walked off the field where I thought, “what the heck are we going to do now?”, forgetting about EDS all together. Stepped in and did what he needed to do.

  4. Standouts:

    -Randall Cobb: This kid is great. Aaron needs to work with him during the bye so he doesn’t have to go up for every ball that 12 throws to him. Also, dear kickers of the NFL, please kick short to him more often.

    -AJ Hawk: Played very well in coverage from what I saw. I could totally be off base but I think that he has improved immensely. Didn’t bite on the PA. Got to his drops in time.

    -James Starks: The fumble was ugly and a liability but he danced less, was more decisive, and showed strength absorbing hits. His performance was key to this win, helping the 5-minute offense along. Still a lot of room to improve, though.

    -Mike Daniels: A couple of great jumps at the line and that sack was beastly. I’m incredibly excited to see what Daniels and Worthy can do down the line.


  5. “Packers vs. Jaguars – First Impressions – Second Half”

    GB didn’t play the Cards in the second half? I must have missed the teams swap jerseys or something.

  6. The pack did what they had to do and that was win this game. 6-3 feels good considering they were 2-3 four weeks ago. Once again, to many injuries, wow, we lose starters every game. Let’s hope this team heals during the bye and that the injury bug is over. With a healthy roster, I think this team can compete for the trophy this year, but they need to be fired up down the stretch and into the playoffs.

  7. -The depth of this team is outstanding. I can’t believe McCarthy isn’t even mentioned as a possible coach of the year midway through the season.
    -CMIII injury is the most worrisome in my opinion. Has battled that hamstring for a while, but the bye is finally here. Need him and Perry both healthy.
    -The o-line stepped up today, especially Lang. Rodgers holds onto the ball to long, but he also throws touchdowns like a boss.
    -kudos to Crabtree: he outran a cornerback and a linebacker; a lot more athletic than he is given credit for.
    -Alex Green ran like a madman on a mission; Starks also showed some flashbacks from 2010. Maybe the running game will be back again.
    Great win and after everything that has happened to the Pack this year 6-3 at the bye feels good. Go Pack Go!

    1. Just wanted to point out depth is on Thompson not McCarthy. Thompson supplies potency, McCarthy supplies consistency.

      1. I’d give McCarthy plenty of credit for the depth. Thompson finds the talent, and McCarthy handles and develops it.

  8. 1) Rodgers, coming into the season, had the highest QB rating ever. He has RAISED THAT number.

    2) A while back, a stat-geek waxed on about TEAM QB rating taken versus given as some sort of determinant of quality and likelihood to progress. At first I thought it was just another weak correlation that I’d soon debunk. Turns out it was pretty sound. From 2009 to the present the Packers were 2nd in QB rating taken > QB rating given in 2009, 1st in 2010, 1st in 2011, and so far in 2012 (at least thru week 8) 1st as well.

    I guess I thought I needed to point this out after reading the thread.

  9. The Oline did block and they did win. They still have a lot to do and the extra week at this time of the year is going to help a lot.

    I’ll enjoy the break.

    And most important I hope Al has everything well in hand. I don’t have a lot to offer beyond my best wishes and prayers for you and yours. God Bless Al.

  10. Kudos to DD as he switched positions with Cobb on the touchdown. He is truly selfless. His play is not worth the 2.3M, but he is. One of the great legacies he can leave this team is the integrity with which he lives and plays.

  11. The Packers are notorious for giving up huge leads, but at least this time they didn’t let it just keep bleeding. They actually responded this time and shut the Cardinals down.

  12. It was great seeing the running game get started;it helps put teams away and makes us unpredictable, a lethal combo.We need Starks’s slashing and squirmy style to make a few yards out of nothing.I know he made some mistakes,but we must be patient because he is the ans. to our offense being great.Green will improve ,but he is not Starks and can not squrt through those tiny holes to make a few yards.

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