3 takeaways from the Packers’ Week 8 win | Launderer report


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    Ross D. Franklin / Associated Press

    The Green Bay Packers dethroned the Arizona Cardinals from the undefeated ranks Thursday night.

    Green Bay produced the victory without Davante Adams, Allen Lazard and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. Adams and Lazard are on the COVID-19 / reserve list, and Valdes-Scantling is coming back from injury.

    Aaron Rodgers wasn’t fazed by the offensive absences as he relied on Aaron Jones and Randall Cobb to send the ball into the end zone.

    The Green Bay defense didn’t have a good game, but it did enough in the four quarters to contain Kyler Murray in the passing game. Murray failed a touchdown pass and threw two interceptions, including the winning choice of Rasul Douglas.

    The Packers haven’t made their life easier in the last four minutes. Head coach Matt LaFleur failed on a risk he took to try his luck in the 4th and goal on the 1-yard line, but the bet was not punished thanks to Douglas’ interception with 15 seconds to play.

    Green Bay’s victory propelled him to the top of the NFC against Arizona. The one-on-one tiebreaker could be vital for the Packers if they stay on the same record as the Cardinals.

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    Rick Scuteri / Associated press

    Aaron Rodgers won the last three games he didn’t have Davante Adams available for.

    Rodgers and the Packers’ attacking staff tweaked Thursday’s game plan based on the players he had available. Green Bay asked Aaron Jones to take on a heavy workload and Randall Cobb was immense in the red zone with a pair of touchdowns.

    While Rodgers doesn’t have his three best receivers available, he still found solace in the pocket with the players he trusts the most. Jones led the team in targets, receptions and receiving yards, while Cobb was massive inside the red zone with two touchdown catches.

    Rodgers also called up tight end Robert Tonyan for three catches and 49 yards before he became the last passing target to fall with an injury.

    The quarterback even found solace in pitching Juwann Winfree, Equanimeous St. Brown and Josiah Deguara, not all of whom are regular targets in the Packers’ offense.

    Thursday’s performance shows just how well Rodgers can adapt to adverse situations, and it boosted confidence that the Packers can run a deep run, regardless of the players on the pitch.

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    Rick Scuteri / Associated press

    Green Bay encountered all kinds of difficulties in their last offensive streak in the red zone.

    Jones appeared to cross the goal line on the first try, but was deemed just short after a review. He was then stopped by Dennis Gardeck and Jordan Hicks on the second try. Rodgers rushed for four yards on the third down after a game delay pushed the team back.

    LaFleur could have gone for a field goal, but it would have been the wrong choice with Kyler Murray receiving more than three minutes to roam the field.

    Instead, the Packers made up a passing game in which Rodgers targeted Cobb. The pass fell incomplete and Arizona was forced to start on their own 1-yard line. The Cardinals pushed the ball to the Green Bay 5-yard line before Douglas intercepted.

    The ease with which the Cardinals did so reinforced LaFleur’s decision to go for it. If Green Bay had been content with a field goal, Arizona would have beaten for a potential touchdown and taken a one point lead with little time on the clock.

    LaFleur was playing to put the game away. The move didn’t pay off right away, but it was the right move.

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    Rick Scuteri / Associated press

    Green Bay is expected to be the favorite to capture the NFC’s No.1 seed.

    The Packers have a valuable tiebreaker against the Cardinals and enter the weekend with a better conference record against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Dallas Cowboys. They also have a firm grip on NFC North, so they will likely be atop the NFC for the remainder of the regular season.

    The NFC leader North has a potentially tricky road trip to Kansas City in Week 9, but he will have a significant rest advantage over the Kansas City Chiefs as they play Monday night.

    Green Bay has yet to play against the Los Angeles Rams, but this game takes place at Lambeau Field in Week 12. A win in this game would give the Packers all the possible tie-offs they need against the rest of the league. NFC since they don’t. play in Tampa Bay or Dallas.

    As long as Green Bay takes care of their divisional opponents and beat the Seattle Rams and Seahawks at home, their conference record will be higher than the Bucs and Cowboys.

    If all goes according to plan, the NFC Super Bowl race will once again pass through Lambeau Field. Thursday’s result will be one of the main reasons.

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