PACKERS AT CARDINALS
- 5:20 p.m. Thursday
- State Farm Stadium
- Line: Cardinals -6.5 (For more details see BetMGM.com)
The three biggest things to watch for Thursday when the Cardinals play the Packers at State Farm Stadium:
Cardinals Past Covid, Packers Find Covid
The Cards got past their Covid issues. The coaches are back, all but one player is back. It was not an ideal situation, but they made it work. And maybe that puts them in a unique situation in understanding that even if the Packers are missing their top two receivers in Davante Adams and Allen Lazard because of Covid, even though they are without their defensive coordinator Joe Barry because of Covid, they are still dangerous. That's because, like the Cards with Kyler Murray in Cleveland, the Pack still have their quarterback, and Aaron Rodgers tends to make things happen – even if the roster around him is a little short-handed.
The Konnection For Kliff
Kliff Kingsbury said he felt out of sorts last week because he dropped in to call plays at the last second after missing all week – and the Cardinals looked like they carried that into the offense. This week Kingsbury has been back but practice isn't quite the same this week because of the short week. Not that it necessarily a big deal – even with the shaky first quarter last week the Cards put up 397 yards and 31 points. Then again, in a game against Rodgers, the efficiency of the offense and scoring points always feels necessary. Rodgers already said he expects to have to keep up with the Cards' offense.
Short Week Showdown
Sometimes, there are still good matchups on Thursday nights. But rarely are there ones of this magnitude this late in the season, at least looking at the records. The Cardinals have a chance to go 8-0 for the first time in franchise history, and this is a franchise that started in 1898. The Packers have a chance to get to 7-1 and earn a tiebreaker over one of their top 2021 combatants for playoff positioning (and there is a significant difference playing a postseason game in January in Green Bay compared to Arizona.) The eyes of the NFL will be on the game, to see Kyler versus A-Rod and everything that comes with it. No, all the pieces won't be there, because in the NFL in Week Eight, they rarely are. But it doesn't take away from the magnitude of the matchup.