Packers-Cardinals: First half observations
It was an uneven first half for the Packers and the tone was set on the first possession when they had possession of the ball in Arizona territory but came away empty handed.
On two empty drives the Packers ran eight plays for 17 yards. Those drives ended in a miss field goal and interception. However, on the Packers touchdown drives they piled up 242 yards. A key catalyst to those drives was the running game. Alex Green looked his best thus far with six carries for 39 yards. James Starks also looked solid until a fumble put him on the bench. All told the Packers gained 126 yards on the ground, the highest first half total since late in the 2008 season.
Aaron Rodgers fired three touchdowns, two to Randall Cobb and one to James Jones. With Greg Jennings out and now Jordy Nelson missing the second half those two guys must produce. But the passing game wasn't without its flaws. Drops were again a problem and Jermichael Finley wasn't even the main culprit this time.
Pass protection was solid. Rodgers was sacked just once and it didn't look like the offensive rhythm was disrupted.
On defense the Packers applied steady pressure which shouldn't be a surprise considering how poor Arizona's protection is. Larry Fitzgerald was held in check and Andre Roberts just had the one catch that set up their only score. All told a solid first half defensively.
Mason Crosby missed another field goal early in the game. This one was from 44, certainly makeable. Something is off there but I'm not sure what it is.
Nelson and Bryan Bulaga will be out for the remainder of the game. At this point as long as the Packers protect the football they can finally limp into the bye week, hopefully without an more injuries.