Bye Bye Bye! Packers: 31 Cardinals: 17
But there were a few other things that looked pretty good, namely Randall Cobb, James Jones, and the run game. Cobb was spectacular all over the field, Jones made a humongous touchdown grab, and the Packers suddenly morphed into a power running team. Nice to see you, James Starks!
Truly, the bye couldn't have come at a better time. A plethora of Packers will be able to take care of some nagging injuries and get ready for a serious push for the playoffs. As well as the Packers have been playing recently, they've been playing with much less than a fully stocked lineup. I'm starting to believe in this team.
Randall Cobb - 3 catches, 37 yards, 2 TD; 3 carries, 29 yards - What doesn't Randall Cobb do well? He runs, he catches, he returns punts and kicks. The second year receiver is quite a weapon. In addition to his six touches on offense, Cobb also had six returns on Sunday and made his presence felt there as well, notching a 28 yard punt return and a 44 yard kick return. Cobb finished with 202 yards altogether.
James Starks - 17 carries, 61 yards - Remember this guy? The big, fast back who runs with authority, powering through arm tackles and finishing runs strong? It's been a while since we saw this kind of performace from Mr. Starks, but it was a welcome sight. If he doesn't take over for Alex Green outright, he'll certainly get more carries moving forward after a performance like this.
Aaron Rodgers - 14/30, 218 yards, 4 TD, 1 INT; 8 carries, 33 yards - Statistically, it wasn't his best day (aside from the four touchdowns), but it still felt like Rodgers was in control. He showed excellent mobility in the pocket and when he decided to tuck it and run and basically did whatever was needed to get the win.
131 - Consecutive passes without an interception for Aaron Rodgers, a streak that was broken Sunday on a relatively bogus interception. I don't think it's a coincidence that the Packers' four game winning streak coincides with turnover-free run from Rodgers.
176 - Total rushing yards for the Packers, who have apparently decided they want to be a rushing juggernaut now. In all seriousness, though, it was a pretty impressive rushing display from the Green and Gold. James Starks was powerful, Alex Green was patient, Randall Cobb was explosive, and Aaron Rodgers picked up whatever yards he could. What's more impressive is that they were without Bryan Bulaga for much of the game.
72 - Yards collected on one reception by Tom Crabtree, his career long and the longest pass play for Green Bay this year. The big play couldn't have come at a more opportune time, either. The Cardinals had just scored to put the pressure on the Packers and Green Bay needed a big drive to retake the momentum. Well, it may not have been a long drive, time-wise, but the result was ultimately the same: a big score and a win secured for the Packers.
It was also a heck of a birthday present for Crabtree, who turned 27 yesterday. And although it was a good gift, catching big touchdowns apparently wasn't the only birthday celebration Crabtree had planned.
Low Sacks - The Cardinals had come into the game tied for the league lead in sacks, but left having hardly added to the total. Despite a patchwork offensive line, the Packers kept the Cardinals away from Aaron Rodgers for most of the day, allowing just one sack.
Just Run, Baby - The Packers were committed and successful in the run game, ending up with 39 runs for the previously mentioned 176 yards.
Deep, Deep Depth - In a game where they were again plauged by injuries, the Packers showed their depth once more. Evan Dietrich-Smith stepped in admirably on the offensive line, James Starks returned to show why he kept his job in the preseason, Erik Walden was again solid in relief of Nick Perry, and Jarrett Boykin even got in on the action with a couple catches.
Three One Bad
Injuries, But... - When you secure a win just before the bye, there's not much complaining to be done, other than a few nicks and bruises (and a potentially ugly rolled ankle for Jordy Nelson). The Packers did sustain a couple injuries yesterday, but they'll have almost two full weeks to get back to full strength. I'm looking forward to seeing a much healthier team when the Packers take the field again.
The Packers are off next week, and after the way things started this year, I don't feel too bad at all having the Packers at 6-3 right now. We'll be off this Wednesday, have some fun on Friday, then feature some "state of the team" posts next week before being back to normal for the Packers/Lions preview on Friday the 16th. Sound good? Good. Everybody get healthy!