The Green Bay Packers will hit the road to face the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday Night Football to get Week 8 started. The Packers improved to 6-1 on the season following a win over the Washington Football Team in Week 7, giving them their sixth consecutive victory. Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay’s offense is rolling right now with not many issues in moving the ball.
On the other side of the field, the Cardinals are the lone unbeaten team in the NFL at 7-0. Arizona’s latest win came against the Houston Texans, with Kyler Murray playing at an MVP level through the first seven weeks.
While Green Bay isn’t favored to win — especially with Davante Adams possibly sidelined — here are five reasons why the Packers could defeat the Cardinals in Week 8.
As long as Rodgers is under center for the Packers, they’ll always have an opportunity to win a game. Yes, if Adams is unable to be activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list in time for Thursday’s game, that puts a damper on things. But with No. 12 operating the offense, Green Bay can still be effective on offense.
Guys like Allen Lazard, Robert Tonyan, and Randall Cobb will need to step up if the Packers want a shot to be the first team to take down the Cardinals this season. We know Rodgers is going to show up, but will the guys around him be prepared for the challenge?
The Duo Of Aaron Jones/AJ Dillon Could Potentially Keep Kyler Murray On The Sideline
Sometimes the best defense for a good quarterback is an offense that can dominate the time of possession. The good news for the Packers is that they have one of the best one-two punches in the backfield in Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon.
Even though Green Bay averages the 19th most rushing yards per game, they rank seventh in rush DVOA on offense. The Cardinals could elect to commit to the run more often if Adams is out, so the offensive line of the Packers needs to be at their best on Thursday night. If Jones and Dillon can have success on the ground, Green Bay could be in a prime position to steal a win in Arizona.
Defense Has Been Playing Much Better In Recent Weeks
Whenever Jaire Alexander went down with an injury that has sidelined him for a month now, many thought the defense of the Packers was doomed. However, Green Bay’s defense has been playing way better than expected in recent weeks. Since giving up 38 points to the New Orleans Saints in Week 1, the Packers have surrendered an average of only 18 points in the last six weeks.
The emergence of De’Vondre Campbell and the improved play of the secondary have been large reasons why Green Bay has seen their defense take steps in the right direction. The Packers will need their defense to continue playing lights out if they want to defeat the Cardinals.
Green Bay’s Offense Doesn’t Make Many Mistakes
The offense of the Cardinals has been nearly unstoppable this season, evidenced by their undefeated record to begin the season. So whenever teams face Arizona, they can’t make mistakes on either side of the ball. The good thing for the Packers is that Rodgers and the offense of the Packers don’t make many mistakes.
Through the first seven weeks, Green Bay’s offense has turned the ball over only six times, which is the fifth-fewest in the NFL. The last thing you can do when facing Murray and Arizona’s offense is give them more possessions. Rodgers and the offense of the Packers will need to avoid turnovers if they want to upset the Cardinals on the road.
The Packers Are Near The League Lead In Turnovers Forced
While the Packers don’t turn the ball over much on offense, they have been forcing more turnovers than usual on defense. Ahead of Thursday night’s game, Green Bay has forced 11 turnovers (seven interceptions, four fumbles) on the defensive side of the ball.
With Rodgers under center, getting one turnover could alter the outcome of the game. And if Green Bay can force multiple turnovers on Murray and the Cardinals, the Packers can stay within striking distance to make a late-game push to win.