Final
  for this game

Packers-Cardinals Preview

Dec 30, 2009 - 7:53 PM By SANTOSH VENKATARAMAN STATS Senior Writer

There's a strong possibility that the Arizona Cardinals could be hosting the Green Bay Packers next week in the playoffs. That adds a layer of intrigue to their matchup in the regular-season finale Sunday at University of Phoenix Stadium.

Arizona (10-5) and Green Bay (10-5) have clinched playoff spots, with the defending NFC champion Cardinals winning the West and the Packers earning a wild-card berth. The Cardinals still have an outside chance of earning the No. 2 seed and a bye next weekend.

For that to happen, Arizona needs to beat Green Bay, the Giants must win at Minnesota and Dallas must beat Philadelphia. Since New York and Minnesota are playing early Sunday, the Cardinals will know that result before they take the field and that will affect their approach.

If the Vikings win, a tie between Dallas and Philadelphia would be the only result that could prevent a meeting between Green Bay and Arizona next week.

"I think that we'll go ahead and plan and prepare like we're playing Green Bay for a game of significance," coach Ken Whisenhunt said. "If that changes, at least we've gotten a good week of preparation in because there's a chance we could play a Saturday game (in the playoffs) ... and that would be a short week."

Whisenhunt could replace Kurt Warner with Matt Leinart, who started Nov. 29 in a loss at Tennessee with Warner held out due to a concussion. Warner is 278 passing yards shy of reaching 4,000 for the fourth time in his career.

Pro Bowl receiver Larry Fitzgerald needs six catches to reach 100 for the third time and has already posted his fourth 1,000-yard season. Anquan Boldin is 14 yards shy of his franchise-record fifth 1,000-yard receiving season.

"You would think they could get by with not playing," Whisenhunt said. "But it's going to be awful hard to keep Kurt or Larry or Anquan off the field. I'm just telling you that right now up front."

Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy says the possibility of a rematch next week will not change how he prepares for this contest.

"We're not going to change the way we approach games, the way we play games, and I'm sure our opponent's not going to, this week or next week," McCarthy said. "To me, I think a lot is being made of this, but it's also part of game-planning."

McCarthy, though, made that claim while not having anything at stake two years ago when Green Bay had the No. 2 seed wrapped up heading into a finale against Detroit. Seven starters were inactive, including receivers Donald Driver and Greg Jennings, linebacker Aaron Kampman and cornerback Charles Woodson - one of three Packers named to the Pro Bowl on Tuesday.

Joining Woodson on the Pro Bowl roster are safety Nick Collins earning his second appearance and quarterback Aaron Rodgers gaining his first.

It's been a gratifying season for Rodgers in his second full year as the starter after replacing Brett Favre. Rodgers is tied with Favre for third in the league with 29 touchdowns and is the first player in NFL history to throw for 4,000 yards in each of his first two seasons as a starter.

"This reflects team success," Rodgers said. "Definitely this is something that you hope for but you need to play well as a team. This is a team achievement in my opinion."

The Packers have scored an NFC-high 213 points since Week 10. Rodgers has 13 touchdowns, two interceptions and three 300-yard efforts in that span.

Green Bay has had trouble protecting Rodgers, who has been sacked a league-high 50 times. The Cardinals are tied with Philadelphia for third in the NFL with 42 sacks, and that could be a reason for Matt Flynn to see extended action for the Packers.

Arizona, meanwhile, has recorded its first 10-win season since 1976 and last won 11 games the year before. The 1974-75 seasons mark the last time the franchise reached the playoffs in consecutive years.

"The young guys don't know because it's their first year or their second year coming in the league," Pro Bowl defensive tackle Darnell Dockett said. "But for guys who have been around here playing at Sun Devil Stadium in those terrible uniforms, locked up in a little box locker room, it means a lot to us."

A playoff meeting would mark the fifth time since 1994 that teams would play in the preseason, regular season and postseason. The Packers won 44-37 on the road Aug. 28 as Rodgers led the first-team offense to 31 points on six first-half possessions.

The Packers have won five of the last six regular-season meetings, winning 31-14 at home Oct. 29, 2006, in the last one.






  • 10
    roots
    LMPtG1 Added 5 roots

    Packers 33, Cardinals 7  FinalJan 5 9:36 PM


  • NFL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    GREEN BAY 14 12 7 0 33
    ARIZONA 0 0 0 7 7 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: GNB - TD, RYAN GRANT 1 YD RUN (MASON
    CROSBY KICK), 6:15. GREENBAY
    7-0
    GNB - TD, AARON RODGERS 1 YD RUN (MASON
    CROSBY KICK), 12:19. GREENBAY
    14-0
    2ND QUARTER: GNB - SAFETY, 2:27

    Jan 3 6:56 PM


  • NFL
    GREEN BAY 33
    ARIZONA 7 0:00 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Jan 3 6:56 PM



  • TD ARI LARRY FITZGERALD 3 YD PASS FROM BRIAN ST. PIERRE (NEIL RACKERS KICK)







    Packers 33, Cardinals 7  4th - 2:59Jan 3 6:46 PM



  • TD ARI LARRY FITZGERALD 3 YD PASS FROM BRIAN ST. PIERRE (NEIL RACKERS KICK)







    Packers 33, Cardinals 7  4th - 2:59Jan 3 6:46 PM



  • TD ARI LARRY FITZGERALD 3 YD PASS FROM BRIAN ST. PIERRE (NEIL RACKERS KICK)







    Packers 33, Cardinals 7  4th - 2:59Jan 3 6:46 PM



  • TD ARI LARRY FITZGERALD 3 YD PASS FROM BRIAN ST. PIERRE (NEIL RACKERS KICK)







    Packers 33, Cardinals 7  4th - 2:59Jan 3 6:46 PM



  • TD ARI LARRY FITZGERALD 3 YD PASS FROM BRIAN ST. PIERRE (NEIL RACKERS KICK)







    Packers 33, Cardinals 7  4th - 2:59Jan 3 6:46 PM



  • TD ARI LARRY FITZGERALD 3 YD PASS FROM BRIAN ST. PIERRE (NEIL RACKERS KICK)







    Packers 33, Cardinals 7  4th - 2:59Jan 3 6:46 PM


  • NFL
    GREEN BAY 33
    ARIZONA 7 2:59 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Packers 33, Cardinals 7  4th - 2:59Jan 3 6:46 PM


  • NFL
    GREEN BAY 33
    ARIZONA 0 0:00 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Jan 3 6:17 PM



  • TD GNB JERMICHAEL FINLEY 5 YD PASS FROM AARON RODGERS (MASON CROSBY KICK)







    Packers 33, Cardinals 0  3rd - 4:16Jan 3 6:07 PM



  • TD GNB JERMICHAEL FINLEY 5 YD PASS FROM AARON RODGERS (MASON CROSBY KICK)







    Packers 33, Cardinals 0  3rd - 4:16Jan 3 6:07 PM



  • TD GNB JERMICHAEL FINLEY 5 YD PASS FROM AARON RODGERS (MASON CROSBY KICK)







    Packers 33, Cardinals 0  3rd - 4:16Jan 3 6:07 PM



  • TD GNB JERMICHAEL FINLEY 5 YD PASS FROM AARON RODGERS (MASON CROSBY KICK)







    Packers 33, Cardinals 0  3rd - 4:16Jan 3 6:07 PM



  • TD GNB JERMICHAEL FINLEY 5 YD PASS FROM AARON RODGERS (MASON CROSBY KICK)







    Packers 33, Cardinals 0  3rd - 4:16Jan 3 6:07 PM



  • TD GNB JERMICHAEL FINLEY 5 YD PASS FROM AARON RODGERS (MASON CROSBY KICK)







    Packers 33, Cardinals 0  3rd - 4:16Jan 3 6:07 PM


  • NFL
    GREEN BAY 33
    ARIZONA 0 4:16 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Packers 33, Cardinals 0  3rd - 4:16Jan 3 6:07 PM


  • NFL
    GREEN BAY 26
    ARIZONA 0 0:00 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Jan 3 5:36 PM



  • TD GNB CHARLES WOODSON 45 YD INTERCEPTION RETURN (MASON CROSBY KICK)






    Packers 26, Cardinals 0  2nd - 4:31Jan 3 5:26 PM



  • TD GNB CHARLES WOODSON 45 YD INTERCEPTION RETURN (MASON CROSBY KICK)






    Packers 26, Cardinals 0  2nd - 4:31Jan 3 5:26 PM



  • TD GNB CHARLES WOODSON 42 YD INTERCEPTION RETURN (MASON CROSBY KICK)






    Packers 26, Cardinals 0  2nd - 4:31Jan 3 5:24 PM



  • TD GNB CHARLES WOODSON 42 YD INTERCEPTION RETURN (MASON CROSBY KICK)






    Packers 26, Cardinals 0  2nd - 4:31Jan 3 5:24 PM


  • NFL
    GREEN BAY 26
    ARIZONA 0 4:31 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Packers 26, Cardinals 0  2nd - 4:31Jan 3 5:24 PM


  • NFL
    GREEN BAY 25
    ARIZONA 0 4:44 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Packers 25, Cardinals 0  2nd - 4:44Jan 3 5:23 PM



  • FG GNB MASON CROSBY 26 YD





    Packers 19, Cardinals 0  2nd - 6:37Jan 3 5:16 PM


  • NFL
    FG GNB
    MASON CROSBY 26 YD
    GREEN BAY 19
    ARIZONA 0 6:33 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Packers 19, Cardinals 0  2nd - 6:37Jan 3 5:16 PM


  • NFL
    SAFETY GNB
    GREEN BAY 16
    ARIZONA 0 12:33 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Packers 16, Cardinals 0  2nd - 12:40Jan 3 5:06 PM


  • NFL
    GREEN BAY 14
    ARIZONA 0 0:00 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Jan 3 4:56 PM



  • TD GNB AARON RODGERS 1 YD RUN (MASON CROSBY KICK)






    Packers 14, Cardinals 0  1st - 2:41Jan 3 4:48 PM



  • TD GNB AARON RODGERS 1 YD RUN (MASON CROSBY KICK)






    Packers 14, Cardinals 0  1st - 2:41Jan 3 4:48 PM


  • NFL
    GREEN BAY 14
    ARIZONA 0 2:41 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Packers 14, Cardinals 0  1st - 2:41Jan 3 4:48 PM



  • TD GNB RYAN GRANT 1 YD RUN (MASON CROSBY KICK)






    Packers 7, Cardinals 0  1st - 8:45Jan 3 4:34 PM



  • TD GNB RYAN GRANT 1 YD RUN (MASON CROSBY KICK)






    Packers 7, Cardinals 0  1st - 8:45Jan 3 4:34 PM



  • TD GNB RYAN GRANT 1 YD RUN (MASON CROSBY KICK)






    Packers 7, Cardinals 0  1st - 8:45Jan 3 4:34 PM



  • TD GNB RYAN GRANT 1 YD RUN (MASON CROSBY KICK)






    Packers 7, Cardinals 0  1st - 8:45Jan 3 4:34 PM


  • NFL
    GREEN BAY 7
    ARIZONA 0 8:45 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Packers 7, Cardinals 0  1st - 8:45Jan 3 4:34 PM
  • 5
    roots
    mrman226 Added 5 roots

    Packers vs. CardinalsJan 3 9:22 AM