[Preview] Week 8 (Thursday): The Packers at the Developer
By Lucas Vola – October 28, 2021 at 10:30 am
Facing the best team of the moment, the Packers pass a real test in Arizona.
Arizona Cardinals (7-0) – Green Bay Packers (6-1)
He is one of those that should not be missed. In recent weeks, the Thursday Night Football are neither inherently exciting nor particularly spectacular. That of this week 8 has the potential to be all of these at once. Not only because it pits two top teams in their division against each other, but also because the duels that will compose it will be raised.
Starting with the one at the quarterback position between Aaron Rodgers (1710 yards, 15 TDs and 3 INTs + 16 runs, 44 yards and 2 TDs), MVP in title, and Kyler murray (2002 yards, 17 TDs and 5 INTs + 43 runs, 126 yards and 3 TDs), best pitcher of the moment (and future MVP ?). What if the men of Kliff Kingsbury no longer need to prove that they are serious competitors in this NFC now they can drive the point home again. For the Packers, hang the Cardinals to their hunting board would send a strong message and above all would allow them to get back to the top of the conference.
Red alert in red zone
The big question in this part lies in the ability (or not) of Green Bay to keep pace with Cardinals. Arizona has a full squad, but it’s really the attack that spearheads it. The squad is among the best in the country (32.1 points scored per game, 4th NFL) and she’s only gone below 31 points this season (17, facing 49ers). The defense of Matt LaFleur is warned. She faces her biggest challenge of the season so far.
So far, without being exceptional, this squad has always held up the shock. As the statistics prove in terms of points collected (20.9 / game, 7th in NFL) and yards allowed (331.7 / game, 7th in the league). The real concern lately has been the defense in the red zone. Since the start of the season, the Packers had always conceded a touchdown when their opponents reached their red zone. Last Sunday, in a burst of pride, they managed to stop Washington twice while the attack on Taylor heinicke was only 5 yards from the touchdown. We will have to continue this momentum to hope for something this Thursday. And how to stop Kyler murray, DeAndre Hopkins (420 yards and 7 TDs) and the others seem impossible, the idea would be to at least slow them down, to give the attack a chance to seek victory.
Adams and Watt absent
But even with Aaron Rodgers at the helm, it will not be easy. First, because the receiving squad should register a major loss: Davante Adams. The receiver, in great shape this season (744 yards and 3 TDs) has tested positive for COVID-19 and is not expected to be there. As Allen Lazard. Which leaves fewer options for this air attack which still hopes for the return of Marquez Valdes-Scantling. Especially that in front, they face a defense which takes very few points.
The Cardinals are the first in NFL in this domain (16.3, tied with Buffalo). And even though they just heard the bad news about Jj watt, they keep a full squad. Their qualities allow them in particular to be solid in the air sector. (218.3 yards allowed pass per game, 4th in the league). A sector where Byron Murphy Jr. (3 INTs) and Budda baker are leaders. You will understand, on paper the locals seem to have enough assets to remain undefeated. But after a first match where they went through and 6 meetings mastered then, the Packers want to measure themselves and, why not, be the first to bring down the Cardinals from their perch.
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