Green Bay Packers Battle Arizona Cardinals In The Desert
The Green Bay Packers are riding a three-game win streak and play at the Arizona Cardinals at 3:25 p.m. Sunday.
The Packers are 10-4 while the Cardinals have a 12-2 record. Arizona can clinch a first-round bye with a win. Minnesota plays the New York Giants on Sunday Night Football and if the Giants win, Green Bay can clinch the NFC North division title.
The last time these two teams played was in 2010 in the Wild Card playoffs. Arizona edged Green Bay, 51-45 in overtime. Aaron Rodgers was 28 of 42 for 423 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. The game ended on a facemask that wasn't called on Rodgers and Rodgers lost the ball. Arizona's Karlos Dansby returned the fumble for a touchdown and Arizona won the game.
Fast forward to Week 16, the Packers are playing on the West Coast for a second straight week after knocking off the Oakland Raiders, 30-20, last Sunday in a rain-soaked game. Green Bay's defense picked off Derek Carr twice early to help them get out to an early lead. Micah Hyde had an interception and Damarious Randall scored his first career touchdown on an interception return. Arizona, meanwhile, used 187 yard and three touchdown performance by David Johnson to throttle the Philadelphia Eagles, 40-17. But the Cardinals lost Tyrann Mathieu to a torn ACL in their game against the Eagles.
Can the Packers take advantage of Mathieu's absence on defense and attack the Cardinals secondary? Patrick Peterson is still healthy and very good, but Mathieu is a big loss too.
For Green Bay, Jayrone Elliot, Sam Shields and Justin Perillo are out of Sunday's game with injuries. David Bakhtiari is listed as doubtful, while Letroy Guion is questionable and Bryan Bulaga, Mike Daniels, Eddie Lacy, T.J. Lang, Corey Linsley, Clay Matthews, Quinten Rollins and Josh Sitton are all probable for Sunday's match-up in the desert against Arizona.
For Arizona, Josh Mauro is out of Sunday's game. Andre Ellington, Rashad Johnson, Cory Redding and Frostee Rucker are questionable. Jermaine Gresham, Carson Palmer, Patrick Peterson, Jerraud Powers, Lyle Sendlein, Ed Stinson and Sean Weatherspoon are probable.
Sam Tastad will have stories on the Packers all season with pre-and-post game previews. Follow him on Twitter @samtastad and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.