Sunday, January 10, 2010

Halftime: Packers 10 - Cardinals 24

The first half was all Cardinals, with major contributions from two Packers' turnovers, a questionable decision in the 2nd quarter to attempt a 54-yard field goal (unsuccessful), and an inability by the defense to tackle, cover receivers or get to Cardinals QB Kurt Warner.

The only life in the 2nd quarter came when CB Charles Woodson stripped Larry Fitzgerald of the ball, which was recovered and returned to about the Packers' 45-yard line by LB Clay Matthew. The Pack put together a drive, culminating in a QB sneak by Aaron Rodgers to make the score 17-7. But it wasn't long before the Cards extended the lead back to 17 points.

And it could have been worse.

On the kickoff after the Cardinals' third touchdown of the game, just before the 2-minute warning, returner Jordy Nelson -- who looks as if he's running in cement -- fumbled the ball when tackled. Luckily, the Pack recovered or it could have been game, set, match right then and there.

To the Pack's credit though, they mounted a drive, including a great 44-yard pass from Rodgers to TE Jermichael Finley. But again, they couldn't finish. They had first and goal with about 1 minute to go and had to settle for a field goal...which, in case you're wondering, Mason Crosby made as time ran out to put the Pack down by 14 going into the locker room.

Whatever it was the Pack had going for them over the last 8 weeks of the season clearly wasn't present in the first half.

The defense looks nothing like one of the top defenses in the league so far. The offensive line has allowed a number of sacks on Rodgers and quite a few pressures.

The defense need to make a stop...and then another stop...and another. And the offense and special teams can't turn the ball over. The Packers' offense can put up points, we know that. But unless the defense figures out a way to stop the Cards, trading points isn't going to work.

There's 30 minutes remaining. Lots of opportunities to forget the 1st half and turn it around.

Go Pack Go!!!