Play it again: Looking back at last matchup between Packers and Cardinals
The Green Bay Packers arrived in Arizona on Dec. 27 with an outside chance for home-field advantage, but the Cardinals quickly squelched those hopes by registering nine sacks and scoring the first 31 points en route to a 38-8 rout to secure the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye.
The outcome essentially was decided in the final two minutes of the first half following a back-and-forth sequence of turnovers. With Arizona nursing a 10-0 lead, Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer was intercepted at the line of scrimmage, setting up the Packers at the Cardinals' 15-yard line.
Three plays later, Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers was picked off by Justin Bethel in the end zone. Rather than play it safe, Palmer connected with Michael Floyd for 47 yards before capping the 80-yard match with a short touchdown pass to John Brown with 11 seconds left in the half to make it 17-0. Arizona tacked on two early touchdowns in the third quarter to turn it into a blowout.
The romp extending the Cardinals' winning streak to nine games and gave them a slim chance at earning the top overall seed in Week 17, but they were demolished by the Seattle Seahawks 36-6 and have been idle since. Green Bay still had a shot to wrap up the NFC North title and the No. 3 seed, but squandered both in a 20-13 home loss to the Minnesota Vikings.
The Packers earned a rematch with Arizona by erasing an early 11-point deficit in a 35-18 playoff victory at Washington on Sunday, a victory that prompted Rodgers to say the team has its "mojo" back. Running backs Eddie Lacy and James Starks combined for 126 yards and two TDs on 24 carries.
Arizona is well rested while Green Bay must travel on a short week. The Packers will lean on the run and make it closer than the previous meeting, but the Cardinals present too many matchup problems for Green Bay, particularly with injuries to top cornerback Sam Shields (concussion) and wide receiver Davante Adams (knee).