Green Bay Packers vs Arizona Cardinals Prediction, Pick and Preview, October 28 (10/28): NFL Week 8
- Oct 27, 2021, 10:40:45 AM
Credit: photo by Wm Glasheen-USA TODAY Network-W
|Time||8:20 p.m. EST|
|Packers money line||+250|
|Cardinals money line||-263|
|Over / under||51|
2021 season stats
|Road / home record||3-1||3-0|
|Points per game||24.0||32.1|
|Points allowed per game||20.9||16.3|
|Pass yards per game||236||266|
|Rush yards per game||102||137|
|Total yards per game||356||423|
|Total yards allowed per game||331||317|
In a game that could have major NFC playoff implications, the Packers travel to the desert to face the Cardinals. Green Bay is on a six-game winning streak since their opening week humiliation to the Saints and the Cards are yet to be outscored through four quarters in a game this season.
These are undoubtedly two of the most buttoned-up outfits in the NFL at present. The Pack has sole control of the North two a two-game lead on the Vikings. Arizona's unbeaten record is the surprise of the league and as a result, sit atop the West with a narrow one-game advantage over the Rams.
With both of these teams looking so remarkable near the halfway point of the season, this game could ultimately decide who has home-field advantage come playoff time. The Cardinals would love to claim the head-to-head and force Green Bay to travel to the warmth of Arizona come January as opposed to heading the Green Bay.
The last time they sized faced back in 2018, the Cardinals won 20-17. It was that loss that seal Mke McCarthy's fate as head coach of the Packers.
Aaron Rodgers is about middle-of-the-pack statistically but has been carrying the offense thanks to his star wide receiver Davante Adams. Rodgers has thrown for 1,170 yards with 15 TDs and 3 INTs and has no INTs in his last two games. The bad news for this offense is that Davante Adams has been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list and is set to miss this matchup along with their other wide option Allen Lazard. Adams is third in the league in receiving yards and he and Lazard have combined for 928 air yards on the season. Marquez Valdes-Scantling is also on IR with a hamstring injury. Aaron Jones is actually second in receiving yards in Green Bay's offense. The running back has 186 receiving yards and 404 on the ground. He is expected to be fit for this weekend.
The Cardinals had been on the right side of fortune through the first two months of the season. Maxx Williams was placed on IR recently, but GM Steven Keim moved quickly to trade for Zach Ertz to fill that gap. Ertz had a decent Cardinals debut catching three passes for 66 yards and a score and even adding one rush for 4 yards. Leading wide man DeAndre Hopkins was a non-participant in practice both days this week due to a hamstring injury. The Cards' #1 play-caller Kyler Murray was dealing with a finger issue but it didn't stop him from being a full participant in practice. Murray is playing at an MVP caliber leading the league in completion percentage (73.5%), fifth in passing yards (2,002), and joint-fourth in TDs (17) in an offense that ranks second in points scored with 225 and fourth in total offensive yards with 2,815.
Packers' DC Joe Kelly has had to chop and change pieces on the defense all season and currently, the Green Bay defense last surrendered 38 points on the opening weekend is now seventh in the league in yards allowed per game (331) and joint-seventh in point allowed per game (20.9). Kevin King, Kenny Clark and Preston Smith were all limited in practice up to midweek, but that could be due a limited training session held by the team. Only the Niners' defense has kept Arizona under 30 points this season, si this will be a tough ask for a depleted Packers' defense.
The Cardinals have the joint-best defense in the league along with the Bills. Both teams have given up only 16.3 points per game so far. Even more impressive is that the Cards have played one game more than Buffalo. Offenses have generally struggled to play Arizona this year with only the Vikings putting up more than 20 points in a 34-33 losing effort. Markus Golden and Chandler Jones are mong the sack leaders with six and five, respectively. Jordan Hicks, J.J. Watt, Devon Kennard and Isaiah Simmons were all dealing with injuries but still should be ready for the weekend.
In a short week with Arizona at home, I think they have too much for Green Bay. Both sides of the ball are playing lights out and playing at home is an added bonus to them. They have a top-five offense and defense and they'll get the job done at home.
PICK: Cardinals spread (-6.5)
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