Improbable cast leads Packers to improbable win over the Cardinals

Rasul Douglas picks Kyler Murray off in the end zone, as the Packers win Arizona 24-21. (0:28).
GLENDALE (Ariz.) -- The focus was all on the Green Bay Packers' absence on Thursday night at Arizona Cardinals. There was no Davante Adam, no Allen Lazard and no Marquez Valdes–Scantling.

No chance, right?

It's wrong.

Yes, the Packers were without their top three receivers Adams and Lazard. Valdes-Scantling was not yet ready to return from his hamstring injury. This was in addition to three Pro Bowlers, left tackle David Bakhtiari and outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith, as well as cornerback Jaire Alexander, who were not going to be playing on Thursday.

The Packers only thought about who they were.

It was enough to give the Cardinals a 24-21 win that left them without a unbeaten team in the NFL. Both teams left with 7-1 records.

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The guy who won it for the Packers was not even on the team 22 days ago. Because of injuries to Alexander, Kevin King, Cornerback Rasul Doug picked up a Kyler Murray pass at the end zone from the Packers 5-yard line.

Aaron Rodgers stated, "This is why this squad loves me," after the game on Fox. "The picker was there for four weeks [the Packers signed Douglas from the Cardinals' practice team]. He was walking on the streets, so we brought him in and he's now starting for us. He's a great guy, and he really meshes well with our team. To come up with a play such as that in 15 seconds is amazing."

Rodgers was put in run-the clock mode by Coach Matt LaFleur, which left Rodgers with a disappointing stat line of just 184 yards passing. However, the Packers were happy to win, or at least to be a bit ugly than usual.

Rodgers stated that "we ran the ball well, and we knew we could." "It was difficult in the passing game at times but Randall Cobb did a few big touchdown catches."

The Packers had plenty to offer, despite the loss of key players on Thursday.

Cobb has a record of 71% targets caught by Rodgers over his career, which is Rodgers' highest percentage to any receiver with at most 60 attempts. This was his second multi-touchdown game this season. He hadn't scored in Green Bay since 2015, when he was only scoring once per game.

AJ Dillon rushed for 78 yards, an average of 2.37 yards per rush following contact in the past two seasons. This is sixth best among 90 rushers, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

Aaron Jones was one of two players who have 1,500 yards of rushing and 500 receiving yards since the start in 2020. He caught seven passes for 51 yard.

Robert Tonyan has 13 touchdown catches in the past two seasons, which is second among tight ends. He caught a 33-yard pass to give Cobbs his second touchdown.

Rodgers' steady hand was more important than any play. He averaged 4.8 yards per attempt, which was his third-lowest career average. He was also quick to get rid of the ball, taking 2.25 seconds from snapping to release. This was his fastest time since Week 2 2016.

The Packers ran 34 times for 151 yards in a game that only offensive linemen could love.

Near the goal line, the only offensive problems were when they failed at the 1-yard line in final minutes. This allowed the Cardinals, who had already driven all the way down, to win the game before Douglas was the hero.

Rodgers stated, "This team is scrappy." "This team is tough, physically, and gritty. I am so proud of these guys. I am so proud of my line.

"I love this football team. These guys are so much fun.