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With 15 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter and the Cardinals down by three points at the Green Bay five-yard line, Rasul Douglas picked off a pass intended for A.J. Green, who never actually looked for the ball.
— NFL (@NFL) October 29, 2021
The win moves Green Bay to 7-1 and into a tie atop the NFC.
Aaron Rodgers wasn't his usual self Thursday night, as he was more of a point guard than scorer against Arizona. He dished quick passes and screens en route to only 184 passing yards on 37 attempts. He did what he had to do with receivers he couldn't trust, but there were a ton of miscommunications throughout the evening.
Aaron Rodgers' 2021 Average Depth of Target By Week
*Includes a 60-yard Hail Mary
It was the Aaron Jones show Thursday night. With the Packers down their top two wideouts, Jones factored heavily as a runner and receiver. He was targeted 11 times and caught seven for 51 yards. On the ground, Jones finished with 59 yards on 15 carries, accumulating 31 of those yards after contact.
Randall Cobb was the only active receiver who’s seen consistent playing time this season, and it showed in the red zone. He may have only caught three balls for 15 yards, but two of those resulted in scores for the Packers offense.
|Equanimeous St. Brown||2||2||12||0|
After a few rough showings, Royce Newman had a bounce-back performance, as he provided Rodgers with enough room to step up and make throws. He didn’t allow a single pressure on 38 pass-blocking snaps while clearing the way for Green Bay's running backs on the ground. The entire line combined to allow only seven pressures versus the Cardinals.
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After two games, it looks like Whitney Mercilus’ lack of production in Houston wasn’t because of a lack of ability. Against Arizona, he appeared to have a lot let in the tank, as he finished with three pressures and a couple of other pass-rush wins to lead the Packers' pass rush.
Even in a relatively down game for him this year, De’Vondre Campbell still made an impact. Yes, he overran Chase Edmonds late in the fourth quarter, but he also led the Packers with three stops and sacked Kyler Murray. Of his four catches allowed, only the one to Edmunds went for a first down.
Rasul Douglas has been a revelation for the Packers. After the game-winning interception, Douglas has now only allowed 9 catches for 91 yards from 17 targets in his three starts. Only three of his receptions allowed Thursday went for first downs, and he made seven tackles in coverage.
It’s unclear how much Murray's pinky brace affected his performance Thursday night. While the two interceptions weren’t deemed turnover-worthy, as one hit Rondale Moore’s hands while the other was inexplicably ignored by Green, Murray did have a few uncharacteristic misses. He finished 22-of-33 for 274 yards.
Edmonds nearly made the play of the game before the interception. His 22-yard catch and run, where he evaded Campbell along with numerous other Packers, put the Cardinals in prime scoring position late in the game. He did most of his damage through the air, catching three passes for 39 yards and breaking three tackles.
The Cardinals' offense came and went with DeAndre Hopkins. His massive 55-yard catch and run early in the game set up the Cardinals' first score. However, he injured his hamstring on the play and only totaled 15 snaps.
Even though the Cardinals were on their third-string center, Sean Harlow wasn’t as big of an issue as many thought he would be heading into the game. He didn’t allow a pressure on 35 pass-blocking snaps while the line combined for only eight pressures allowed.
With J.J. Watt out for the season, Dennis Gardeck needs more snaps. The undersized edge rusher was a ball of fire on his five snaps. He made a third-down stop on a screen pass midway through the second quarter and stuffed Jones at the one-yard line on the Cardinals' crucial goalline stand in the fourth quarter.
The Cardinals couldn't afford to lose Zaven Collins, but unfortunately, that's exactly what happened. The Cardinals linebackers were getting consistently victimized in the run game after Collins went down three snaps into the game.
Jalen Thompson may have missed Jones in space, but he made plays and helped shut down the Packers' quick passing game. He finished with three run stops as well as three coverage stops, leading all players.