Thursday Night Football

No Adams? No Lazard? No problem for Aaron Rodgers and Matt LeFleur! On a short week, they traveled across the country to face the only undated team in the NFL in the Kyler Murray-led Arizona Cardinals in Thursday Night Football. The Packers who had a much-weakened receiving core came into the game with the perfect game plan of pounding the ball against one of the league’s best units in the Cardinals defense supplemented by another one of the league’s best in reigning MVP Quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Nov 4, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) prepares to make a pass during the first quarter against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Midway into the opening quarter, Arizona thought that they had opened the scoring when the elusive Kyler Murray danced around in the pocket before hitting Nuk Hopkins deep downfield but the Wideout grabbed the facemask of the Defensive Back 5 yards away from the endzone resulting in the touchdown been chalked off. The only explanation that I can think of was that Hopkins who came in the game having spent time on the injury report all week with a hamstring injury felt something on that play as he was very limited for the remainder of the game ending up with 2 catches for 66 yards. Just a few minutes later Running Back Chase Edmunds lined up in the Wildcat formation and weaved his way for a touchdown from just over ten yards out.

The Packers hit back on an impressive 14 play 75-yard touchdown drive of their own, the drive was powered by the backfield pairing of AJ Dillon and Aaron Jones with the latter driving over the line for the TD. The pair were the driving force behind the Packers all day combining for 137 rushing yards and 51 passing yards on the day.

Aaron Jones of the run for Green Bay

The Packers were once again looking ominous driving the ball down the field this time with a good catch on a low throw by Robert Tonyan and also on a little switch play from Rodgers to Rodgers moving the chains. The drive stalled though as Green Bay had to punt the ball away however kick returner Rondale Moore tried to pull his hands away from the catch but the ball just brushed his hand and was recovered but the Packers gave them the ball on the Cardinals goal line. On 1st down they thought the lead had been doubled after a great catch by veteran Tight End Mercedes Lewis caught the ball but failed to get both feet down in the bounds. Arizona’s defense stood strong for the remaining 3 downs with the Packers settling for a chip shot field goal.

It wasn’t the start to the second half that the Cardinals needed with Murray getting sacked on the opening drive resulting in 3rd and long, he then compounded the bad field position by throwing a ball that was tipped and recovered by the impressive Packers defense.

In great field position, the Cardinals defend was once again standing strong in the RedZone forcing Aaron Rodgers to make a tough throw and catch my St.Brown to convert on 4th down. On the resulting play, the pair of Rodgers and Randall Cobb rolled back the years with a touchdown pass to take the score to 17-7 to Green Bay.

Arizona’s sputtering offense looked to be getting going but needed a huge 4th down conversion by Murray to Wesley to keep the drive going. They continued to work the ball down the field with former Pittsburgh Steelers Running Back James Connor powering over for his 7th touchdown of the year bringing the score back to within a field goal.

James Connor against the Texans

Green Bay leaned on the backfield pairing once again with AJ Dillon’s strong running and Aaron Jones nearly breaking a big run that would have been a long touchdown after a pass from Rodgers but he was just forced out of bounds in his own half. Rodgers hit some of his deeper throws of the night to Robert Tonyan over the middle of the field but his favorite Tight End target succumbed to a knee injury of the play which weakened an already thin pass-catching group.

On the same drive, some miscommunication between defense backs allowed Rodgers to hit Cobb for their second touchdown on that day giving Green Bay 10 point lead in the 4th Quarter. The Cards looked to be finally clicking on offense after an efficient drive downfield resulted in James Connor crashing over for his second touchdown on the day and his eight on the year.

Green Bay was looking unstoppable on what looked to be a game-sealing drive going down the field seemingly at will with Rodgers tucking and running but he just fell short of the Endzone after some good tackling, Rodgers went for it on fourth down but the pass was batted down by Kennard to give the ball back to his offense on their own one-yard line needing a 99-yard touchdown drive to win the game and remain undefeated.

The Packer’s defense looked to have Murray penned but the QB managed to hit AJ Green in some questionably soft defense on 3rd and long to keep the drive alive. Murray floated a great-looking ball to Christian Kirk to take his side on the verge of field goal territory. Several plays later the Cardinals found themselves on 2nd and goal looking to seal the game with 15 seconds remaining but a very uncharacteristic mistake from veteran allowed Cornerback Rasul Douglas to intercept the ball and call game and give the Cardinals their first loss of the year taking both teams to 7-1.

Rasul Douglas with the game-winning saving pick.
Josh Morrow
Josh Morrow

Head Writer for JM Sports Blogs

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