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NFL Playoffs Preview - Game 2

Green Bay Packers @ Arizona Cardinals

GLENDALE, AZ -  Carson Palmer #3 of the Arizona Cardinals throws a pass during the NFL game against the Green Bay Packers at the University of Phoenix Stadium on December 27, 2015.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - Carson Palmer #3 of the Arizona Cardinals throws a pass during the NFL game against the Green Bay Packers at the University of Phoenix Stadium on December 27, 2015. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

Saturday, January 16th

Green Bay Packers @ Arizona Cardinals (8:15 PM ET) on Local4

Line: Cardinals (-7)

 

Recent History has Packers seeing Red

If you're the Packers you don't have to look that far back to see a rather large blemish on the face of this series. Just think back a couple weeks, December 28th to be exact and you'll see, or maybe feel the 38-8 loss handed down by the Cardinals. Aaron Rodgers was sacked 8 times, intercepted once and his 2 fumbles were returned for touchdowns by Arizona's defense.  Rodgers admitted that game was a playoff-style game, saying, "we played terrible." That they did.

 

The Short Road to Redemption

While the Packers season has been as up and down as any rollercoaster, there is reason for optimism.  They do have Aaron Rodgers after all, and he's 8-5 in the postseason.  He is coming off a solid game against the Redskins (which was a road game), throwing for 210 yards and 2 touchdowns. He made the throws he's expected to make and the defense shut the door on Washington after a shaky start, in a 32-18 win.  It's hard to predict which Packers team will show up, but they looked closer to the 6-0 team that started the season as opposed to the team that was blown out weeks ago in Glendale.

 

Well Rested Birds

Arizona will return to the field after a much-needed week off.  36-year-old Carson Palmer is coming off a terrific season. Throwing for 4,671 yards, 35 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.  He is the key for Cards, and is desperate to get his first playoff win.  The Cardinals are 3-3 as the favorite against the spread and only 1-3 as the home favorite against the spread. If trends and numbers tell us anything, they tell us to expect a close game. 

 

Down and Out

Green Bay receiver Davante Adams is unlikely to play this Saturday.  He suffered an MCL injury in Washington last week.  Packers cornerback Sam Shields is also listed as out.  The Cardinals Chris Johnson remains on IR, but no other injuries to report for Arizona.  

 

There's No Place Like Home

Arizona is 4-0 all-time at home in the postseason.  They're the only active franchise that has never lost a home playoff game.

 

The Rule of 30

According to Elias Sports Bureau, only 3 teams have ever lost a game by 30+ points in the regular season and gone on to win the Super Bowl.  Both the Packers (12/27/15 vs. Arizona, 38-8) and the Cardinals (1/3/16 vs. Seattle, 36-6) have one such loss this season.

 

The Pick is In

The numbers point to a Cardinals win. But Aaron Rodgers and the Packers have revenge in mind. The problem, Green Bay doesn't have enough horses to compete with the better team. Cardinals advance to the Conference Championship, covering the spread, 38-27.