After two straight losses, Green Bay returns home to host arguably the worst team in the NFL, the Arizona Cardinals. The friendly confines of 1265 Lombardi Avenue might be just what the doctor ordered for this Packers team. Two bad teams battling it out, one has to win. The first quarter was very underwhelming. The second quarter, the Packers supposed high-powered offense provided some scoring but continues to be inept. Green Bay continues to be a one-half team. The Packers offense continued their struggles and were unable to do anything in the third quarter. Meanwhile, the Cardinals offense were able to put some points on the board to take control of a low scoring football game. The fourth quarter provided the most scoring and drama, again. The Green Bay defense got the ball back to Rodgers with a chance to win or tie the game. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be. Green Bay’s season and any hope they had at the playoffs have officially come to an end.
Here is the full game recap:
Green Bay receives the opening kickoff and looks to get the offense going at home. Slight improvements were made during the first drive. The drive featured Aaron Jones and we witnessed a check-down to Jones in one of Rodgers progressions. Unfortunately, we also witnessed Rogers miss Jimmy Graham early on during a scrambled, he missed St. Brown badly and was behind Jones on another play. The Packers were 2-2 on third down on the drive until they called a draw on third and 10. The drive stalled out at midfield. The special teams unit had a chance to pin the Cardinals deep, but Josh Jones played the kick returner and not the ball. The Packers bend don’t break defense forces the Cardinals to punt on their opening possession. Green Bay’s second drive lasted less than 1 min. Valdes-Scantling dropped a catchable ball on first down, Rodgers missed Jimmy Graham on second down, and third down Rodgers scrambled and checked down for Aaron Jones for a 4-yard gain. Josh Jones then redeemed his special teams’ miscue by sacking Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen on third down to force them to punt for the second time today. Rodgers and McCarthy come out running the ball on their third drive of the game, with three straight runs with Aaron Jones. Packers 0 – Cardinals 0
The Packers start out the second quarter with a third and 2. They fake the run but Rodgers is under pressure and throws it away. Green Bay has now punted on all three of their drives. The Packer defense continues to keep the offense in football games. They forced the Cardinals to a three and out, that only took 1 minute off the clock. Receiving the punt at the Green Bay 41, Jaire Alexander, spun out of a tackle and returned it 24-yards to the Cardinal 35-yard line. The inept Green Bay offense is set-up nicely. Rodgers hit Davante Adams on a quick slant for a 16-yard gain to start the drive. Then on third and 13, Rodgers found Randall Cobb for a 9-yard gain. McCarthy elects to keep Rodgers and the offense on the field for fourth and 4 at the Arizona 13. Rodgers takes the play clock down to zero, steps up, motions the receiver and hits Davante Adams in the back of the end zone for a Green Bay touchdown. Arizona then answered with a 6:47, 11 play, 75-yard drive to tie the game on a 6-yard touchdown run by Chase Edmonds. Aaron Rodgers got the football back and was looking to answer with a scoring drive of his own. He leads the Packers offense on a 14 play, 55-yard drive that took 4:27 off the clock and resulted in a field goal by Mason Crosby. Packers 10 – Cardinals 7
The Cardinals started out the second half with the football but the Green Bay defense forced them into a third and 18. Just like McCarthy and the Packers, Arizona ran a draw and was forced to punt. The Packers offense continues to struggle on third down. They were able to get a first down on 10-yard reception by Jimmy Graham but were unable to continue to move the football. Rodgers did get lucky on third down, as his pass to Valdes-Scantling could have been intercepted. Mike Pettine’s defense continues to be the bright spot for Green Bay. They force another three and out, that only took 0:45 off the clock. Rodgers and the offense continue to struggle. They were able to get another first down on back-to-back catches by Jimmy Graham but again can’t keep the chains moving and bring on JK Scott for his 5th punt of the game. The big play has beaten the Packer defense numerous times throughout the season, and the Cardinals delivered the big play on their first play of the drive. Off the right side of the line, Christian Kirk ran for 23 yards. The Josh Rosen hit Kirk on a 37-yard pass play. Setting up the offense at the Green Bay 27. The Packer defense then shut the Cardinal offense down, forcing them to a field goal. The Packers offense continue to a one-half team, as they went three-and-out and JK Scott punted for the 6th time in the ball game. Josh Rosen ignited the Cardinal offense with a 32-yard run. Chase Edmonds than ran the ball for 29 yards to the Green Bay 3. Edmonds than finished off the drive with a touchdown run. McCarthy gets creative on their second play of the drive with an 8-yard end around by Valdes-Scantling. Packers 10 – Cardinals 17
The Packers head to the fourth quarter trailing. They have not lost a home game started by Aaron Rodgers since week 9 against the Colts in 2016. The Packers start the 4th quarter with a big play to Randall Cobb but was called back on a hold by Jason Spriggs. The Catch would have been a gain of 36 yards and put the Packers at the Arizona 29. Instead, it was third-and-21. Rodgers then rolled out and threw it deep down the middle of the field to Davante Adams, but was incomplete. This brought on JK Scott for the 7th time of the day. The Green Bay defense bounced back and forced the Cardinals to punt. Rodgers gets the ball back with 11 minutes remaining and looking for another fourth-quarter comeback. They converted on their only third down on the drive, with a completion to Adams. Some more creativity from McCarthy with an end around to Valdes-Scantling for a 21-yard gain. This had the potential for an even bigger gain, but Valdes-Scantling lost his footing. In his first game after an injury, Aaron Rodgers found Jake Kumerow for an 11-yard gain. Then it was the Davante Adams show. Rodgers to Adams on a slant for 12 yards. The Rodgers scrambled around, buying some time, motioning to move the receiver, finds Adams along the sideline, who keeps his toes in-bounds for a 19-yard gain. The Green Bay feeding off the emotion of the Packers offensive scoring drive, sacked Josh Rosen on the Cardinals first offensive play. They forced Rosen to scramble out of the pocket and he threw an ill-advised pass that was almost picked off. Larry Fitzgerald showed why he is a hall of fame receiver, on third and 26, he had no quit and kept the Cardinal drive moving. The Packers defense holds and forces the Cardinals to a field goal. With 1:41 remaining in the ball game, Rodgers gets the ball back looking to lead Green Bay to victory. You could feel the tension in Lambeau. On fourth and five, Rodgers found Graham for 7 yards to keep the hope alive. Rodgers dink and dunked to keep the ball moving downfield. He even scrambled for 11 yards. Rodgers found Cobb for a 9 yard gain to set up Mason Crosby for a 49-yard field goal attempt. The kick sailed wide right and the Packers season comes to an end. Packers 17 – Cardinals 20
Next up: Green Bay hosts the Atlanta Falcons next Sunday, December 9 at noon at Lambeau Field
Anthony Haag is a writer for PackersTalk.com. He has been a Packers fan since the day he was born and truly bleeds green and gold. He makes annual visits to Lambeau Field and has attended his fair share of games. You can follow Anthony on Twitter at @anthony_haag