Michael Adams isn’t going to call it the highlight of his career, but the Cardinals’ cornerback can’t deny his overtime blitz of Aaron Rodgers back in the Wild Card playoff game after the 2009 season is for what he is most famous.
“It was a big play,” Adams said. “That’s what people usually remember, kids come out here and say, ‘Oh, you’re the guy who stripped Aaron Rodgers in the playoffs.’ It’s definitely a staple in my career. ”
Heading into Sunday’s game in Green Bay, the game was the last the Cardinals played the Packers when it mattered.
It was a memorable game all the way around, a game merely punctuated by Adams’ cornerback blitz that forced the fumble by Rodgers returned for a touchdown by linebacker Karlos Dansby. The Cardinals, (10-6 that season) geared down and didn’t game plan much for the Packers in the regular-season finale, which was also played at University of Phoenix Stadium, so the Packers wouldn’t see much given the playoff game a week later.
The Cards were blown out, 33-7, because of that. But the playoff game was much different. The Cards took a big lead and then watched as the Packers rallied. With the score tied 45-45, Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner – who finished the game with five touchdown passes and only four incompletions in 33 attempts – led the Cards into field-goal range. Neil Rackers missed a field goal he should have made.
But in overtime, the Cardinals got lucky when Rodgers missed a wide-open Greg Jennings downfield, a play that likely would have gone for a game-winning touchdown.
Rodgers said it took “a couple of days” to get over that missed pass. “Thanks for bringing that up though.”
A couple plays later, Adams made history. NFL Films captured Packers coach Mike McCarthy famously falling to his knees on the sidelines as Dansby rumbled in the end zone. But the game also gave a glimpse into what the Packers – and a Rodgers-driven offense – would become. The Packers ended up winning the Super Bowl the next season.
“It was definitely a game we could point to where we felt we were ready to take the next step,” McCarthy said. “Obviously we were able to build off that the following season.”
The Cardinals lost their next playoff game, the next week in New Orleans to the eventual Super Bowl champion Saints. The roster has changed quite a bit since that day against the Packers – only 15 players remain on the current team – and it seems longer ago than just a couple of seasons.
“Man, it seems like a long time ago that we were in the playoffs,” Adams said. “Shoot, what has it been, a couple years? I just feel like we are due for a pretty good season. Hopefully this is the season and hopefully Green Bay is the team we get back on track against.”
“It’s a good thing, I’d say, we got (Daryl) signed to a contract extension,” coach Ken Whisenhunt said.
The Cardinals’ injury report remained unchanged Thursday. Quarterback
For the Packers, defensive end Mike Neal (ankle) was upgraded to limited and receiver Donald Driver (neck/thumb) was upgraded to full. But receiver Jordy Nelson (hamstring) remained sidelined, as well as fullback John Kuhn (hamstring), linebacker Nick Perry (knee/wrist), cornerback Sam Shields (ankle) and defensive end Jarel Worthy (concussion). Tight end Jermichael Finley (shoulder), guard T.J. Lang (elbow/wrist) and nose tackle B.J. Raji (ankle) were still limited.