The rest period is over for the Cardinals. They had a nice breather whilst the Seahawks froze their asses off fighting off the Vikings, but now they have to come back to the field, and prove why they’ve smashed the NFC this season. Coming in just behind the Panthers this season, the Cardinals have been quietly disassembling their opposition for the last 17 weeks. With some major wins against some big names under their belts, the Cardinals are rested and ready to show conference opponents Seahawks why this is their turn at the Superbowl. Green bay are no strangers to the playoffs, and having put Washington to sleep last week, they’re ready to take on the Cardinals, and show them what happens at this stage in the game. With the Vikings already out of the running, Green bay are holding the keys for the North to take this years superbowl. With Rodgers still throwing well, the Packers are confident of stepping over the Cardinals on their way to the divisional title.
Keys to the game
1 – Home turf
The Packers are on the road again. This time, they’re travelling to Arizona. The Cardinals have the better season record so far, and neither team is undefeated at home or on the road. You can’t deny, the home advantage will be a factor. Wisconsin and Arizona couldn’t be further apart when it comes to environment. The Packers could well struggle in the heat of the Glendale sun. Would it be enough to tip the balance, and give the Cardinals the win?
2 – Rodgers passing game
Aaron Rodgers has refined his game this season. With that incredible hail mary pass setting Youtube alight, and passing some personal records, Rodgers is well on his way to being considered one of the top QB’s in the game. This game is going to set his passing against the Cardinals back line, so he may well have to turn it up another notch.
3 – The Cardinals running game
Arizona are smashing it on the running game this season, and Green Bay are looking weak against the run this year. With the Cardinals smashing the Packers back in week 16, the running game could be a trick that the Packers are expecting, and the Cardinals could find themselves shut out on the ground.
Match up to watch
Eddie Lacy vs Deone Bucannon & Kevin Minter
With Eddie Lacy pushing the rushing and receiving stats for the Packers this season, he could be pivotal in pushing the Cardinals defence to breaking point this time round. With some low points on the board last time, the Packers need to find a way to drag the defence away from their receivers, having an aggressive rusher will help them to do that, especially if Rodgers can find him on a few good short passes early on. Expect him to be hitting the defence pretty hard at the beginning of the game.
Green Bay, 28-21
I’ve got money on the Packers to win this one. I know most people are backing the Glendale locals in this one, but I think Rodgers and co are going to come back to the Cardinals with a new play scheme, and the Cardinals are going to trip over a re-energised Green Bay. I would expect this to be a high scoring game, with Green Bay pulling ahead in the second half.
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