Week eight of the 2021 NFL season kicks off with probably the best prime-time match-up thus far this season. The first-place Arizona Cardinals out of the NFC West will be hosting the first-place Green Bay Packers out of the NFC North Divison. This matchup will have a playoff atmosphere because they could face each other again in the playoffs this season. Both teams have a combined record of 13-1 and are battling for the NFC top seed, but the Packers will have to go into this game without star receiver Davante Adams, due to testing positive for Covid-19.
The Packers will also be without receiver Allen Lazard due to a positive covid test, and defensive coordinator Joe Barry. Despite covid running rampant in the Packers locker room, they will have Randall Cobb, Amari Rodgers, Equanimeous St. Brown, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling who is coming of the IR with a hamstring injury. Green Bay may have to promote Juwann Winfree and/or Chris Blair from the practice squad, as well.
What GB is up Against
The Cardinals currently have the second-best offense in the NFL, putting up 422 yards per game through seven weeks of football. The human “joy strike”, Kyler Murray, can hurt any NFL with his talent alone, the Packers’ secondary having already been under pressure so far this season, the defense will have a tall order on their hands.
On defense, the Packers will have to find a way to keep Murray inside the pocket and not allow him to get outside and extend plays. I would look to see the Packers lean on the run game with Aaron Jones due to the stars out at Wide Reciever, but that is what the Cardinals will surely be gearing up against. Adams is a huge piece of this offense that will be sorely missed and not easily replicated in any way.
On offense, it does not get much easier. The Cardinals have thus far given up an average of just 115 yards on the ground through seven weeks, and 123 yards per game at home. The Arizona defense is full of stars and speed and has been playing at an elite level in 2021.
If the Packers can’t run the ball successfully from the start of the game and execute play action, and the defense will need to play lights out all four quarters, this could be a long night for the men in green and yellow.
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