When the Arizona Cardinals travel to Lambeau Field on Sunday to take on the Green Bay Packers, it will become one of the biggest beatdowns of Week 9.
As much as Cardinals fans don’t want to hear this, the Packers will make an example out of Arizona with a huge victory and prove to the NFL that they are once again the team to beat in the NFC—not the Atlanta Falcons.
Never count out Arizona in this matchup because of its stout defense and the fact that it has arguably the best wide receiver in the game, but Green Bay is light years better than the Cardinals on both sides of the ball.
NFL fans will tune in for a football game and will become witnesses in the destruction of Arizona. Sorry, Cardinal faithful.
Who ya got?
When: Sunday, Nov. 4 at 1 p.m. ET
Live Stream: NFL Sunday Ticket
Listen: Online at NFL Audio Pass
Betting Line (via Covers.com)
Over/Under: 44; Spread: Green Bay (-11)
This is a wager that has two very different parts. While the over here should be a lock, the spread is a toss-up. With Green Bay facing off against Arizona’s tough defense and the Cardinals capitalizing on the Packers’ defensive injury issues, take the road team +11 if you have to bet the spread.
Otherwise, avoid the spread at all costs.
What’s At Stake?
When Green Bay (5-3) takes on Arizona (4-4), the matchup on paper will be much closer than what will happen on the field. As close as their records are, these two teams couldn’t be any different.
While Green Bay has rounded into shape and looks like a serious Super Bowl contender, the Cardinals—a team that started the season 4-0—have lost four straight and look like a shell of the unit they were to start the year.
This game is just another stepping stone for the Packers, but it’s make-or-break for Arizona. Too bad the Cardinals will still lose big.
Injury Report (via ESPN)
John Skelton, QB, Probable
Anthony Sherman, FB, Probable
Paris Lenon, LB Probable
Kerry Rhodes, S, Probable
Greg Toler, CB, Questionable
Todd Heap, TE, Questionable
Kevin Kolb, QB, Out
Greg Jennings, WR, Out
Charles Woodson, S, Out
Jordy Nelson, WR, Questionable
John Kuhn, FB, Questionable
Mike Neal, DE, Questionable
Sam Shields, S, Probable
Green Bay Player to Watch: Aaron Rodgers, QB
While there were some questions about Green Bay Packers star quarterback Aaron Rodgers after the team started the season 2-3, three straight convincing wins—including the only loss handed to the Houston Texans—have quieted the critics.
Rodgers has been one of the best QBs in the NFL over the last three years, but it has been his play over the last three games (866 passing yards, 11 touchdowns and zero interceptions) that proves the veteran is back to his normal form.
If the Green Bay offensive line can support its star player in the pocket, Rodgers will pick apart the Cardinals secondary despite having a plethora of injuries to the receiving unit.
Arizona Player to Watch: LaRod Stephens-Howling, RB
While there are serious concerns about third-string Arizona Cardinals running back LaRod Stephens-Howling and his ability to stay healthy and carry the workload for the team, Arizona has no choice but to give him the chance to shine.
Devastating injuries to Beanie Wells and Ryan Williams have forced Stephens-Howling into the starting spot. While last week’s eight rushes for six yards were awful, that’s what happens when a team plays the San Francisco 49ers and gets down early.
While Green Bay’s run defense has improved steadily, fantasy owners and Cardinals fans should expect the kind of numbers Stephens-Howling put up against Minnesota (20 carries for 104 yards and a touchdown) this Sunday against the Packers.
Prediction: Green Bay 30, Arizona 20
While the score itself will ruin those that bet with the Green Bay spread (-10) this week, the Cardinals will score at least seven points in garbage time after the Packers take their collective foot off the throttle.
As close as this final score will be, the Rodgers-led Green Bay offensive unit will look great despite injuries to the wide receiver group and at running back. As tough as Arizona’s defense is against the pass—fourth in the NFL, allowing only 192.9 yards per game—Green Bay’s star QB will make every pass the team needs.
The fact that the Cardinals are on the road doesn’t help their cause, but this is a case where the venue didn’t matter; the Packers would have won this matchup in Arizona, Green Bay or on a neutral field.
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