2016 NFL Playoff Odds - NFC Divisional - Packers vs. Cardinals Betting Odds Preview
In a rematch of a lopsided week 16 matchup, the Green Bay Packers head into Arizona to take on the Cardinals in this divisional round matchup. The two teams played each three weeks ago and the Cardinals won the game easily. The usually difficult to sack Aaron Rogers was sack an incredible 8 times to go along with being knocked down 12 times and committing 4 turnovers. The Packers only managed 178 total yards. The Cardinals are rested and waiting at home while the Packers are coming off of a convincing road playoff win n Washington in the Wild Card round.
The Packers have struggled in the running game all season long with starter Edie Lacy playing inconsistently and backup James Starks excelling in the passing game but providing limited returns in the rushing attack. If the Washington game is any indication it appears that they may have figured out how to solve their rushing attack. Lacy and Starks both scored touchdowns and had 116 combined rushing yards. If the running backs can continue to produce it opens up Rodgers and the passing game, especially off the use of the play action pass, which will only work if the team is running the ball effectively. Rodgers showed a lot of emotion thorough the game last week which is unusual for him and it appeared to give his team the boost it needed, he finished with 210 passing yards and two touchdowns. This sets up a return trip to Arizona where they were beaten handily only 3 weeks ago.
The Cardinals are the most balanced team in the NFL. There are no glaring holes on either offense or defense. The are the NFC west division champions due in large part to their elite level of play in all 3 phases of the game. Offensively Carson Palmer who had the best season of a very productive career leads them at quarterback. He finished with a career high 4,671 passing yards and 35 touchdowns with a 104.6 passer rating. The team was second best in the NFL at scoring with 30.6 points per game. The offense produced two 1000 yard receivers in Larry Fitzgerald and John Brown and Michael Floyd was close to the same numbers. Fitzgerald has had a bounce back season after many people had written him off as on the downside of his career. The running backs for the Cardinals has been a revolving door due to injuries, however David Johnson appears to have a firm grasp on the job now and will get the bulk of the carries. The defense is one of the best in the league while ranking 5th in total defense, 7th in points allowed per game, 6th against the run and 8th against the pass. They also held opponents to a 35.7 success rate on third down, an area in which Green bay has struggled this season. The unit as a hole produced a whopping 33 turnovers this season.
Any team with Aaron Rodgers at quarterback will always have a shot at winning any game they are in. The deciding factor will be whether or not the maligned Green Bay offensive line can hold up against the Cardinals pass rush.
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