Arizona Cardinals (13-2) 38, Green Bay Packers (10-5) 8
Sunday December 27th 2015 (at Arizona)
GAME RECAP (ASSOCIATED PRESS)
(GLENDALE, AZ) - The Arizona Cardinals flattened Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.
That makes it nine straight wins for the Cardinals, who think they're still gaining steam. "You want to play your best ball at the end of the season," Arizona defensive lineman Calais Campbell said, "and I think this is the best game we've played." The Cardinals sacked Rodgers eight times and returned two of his fumbles for touchdowns in a dominant 38-8 victory. Carson Palmer threw for 257 yards and two touchdowns for the Cardinals (13-2). The winning streak is the franchise's longest since the 1948 Chicago Cardinals won 10 in a row. Green Bay was without starting left tackle David Bakhtiari with an injury and lost starting right tackle Bryan Bulaga to an ankle injury during the game. So the Packers (10-5) were in no position to slow the rout. "They were very aggressive to the line of scrimmage," Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy said. "They played very well and took advantage of it." In all, Packers quarterbacks were sacked nine times in their most one-sided loss of the season. Dwight Freeney had three and Campbell 2 1/2. Cory Redding rambled 36 yards with one of the fumbles for a score, and Jerraud Powers took another 5 yards for a touchdown. The Packers dropped into a tie with Minnesota for the NFC North lead when the Vikings cruised to a 49-17 victory over the New York Giants on Sunday night. Green Bay hosts Minnesota in its regular-season finale next Sunday. "This was a playoff-style game and we played terrible," Rodgers said, "but we have won a lot of games here. When you play long enough you are going to be on the wrong side at times, but I am confident that we have guys and myself that, when it matters for all the marbles, guys will show up." The nine sacks were the most for the Cardinals since they had 10 against Philadelphia on Dec. 7, 1986, two years before the franchise moved to Arizona. Arizona clinched at least the No. 2 playoff seed in the NFC. It still can take the No. 1 seed with a win over Seattle and a Carolina loss to Tampa Bay next weekend. "We still really haven't done anything other than get a bye," Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said. "You don't get rings for byes; you only get T-shirts and hats." Palmer completed 18 of 27 passes and was intercepted once. Michael Floyd caught six passes for 111 yards for the Cardinals, who entered the game with the NFL's No. 1-ranked offense. Rodgers was 15 for 28 for 151 yards and a touchdown with one interception. The game was close until a big reversal of fortune in the final minute of the first half. With Arizona leading 10-0, Palmer attempted to lob a screen pass to David Johnson near the line of scrimmage but Mike Daniels, the Packers' 6-foot, 310-pound defensive tackle, picked it off and Green Bay had the ball on the Arizona 15. But on third-and-goal at the 10, Justin Bethel stepped in front of intended receiver James Jones and intercepted the pass in the end zone. Rodgers' seventh interception of the season gave the Cardinals the ball at the 20 with 57 seconds to play. A 47-yard pass to Floyd advanced the ball to the 33 and two more completions, plus a defensive holding call, set up Palmer's 7-yard scoring pass to John Brown, putting Arizona ahead 17-0. Things just got worse for the Packers from there. On the first play from scrimmage in the second half, Green Bay's James Starks fumbled and Powers recovered at the Packers 28. Palmer threw 14 yards to Floyd, and then Johnson ran 14 yards for a score to make it 24-0. The 6-foot-4, 318-pound Redding's TD made it 31-0.
NOTES: Freeney made an extra $300,000 in incentives with his three sacks... Arizona was without both of its usual starting safeties. Rashad Johnson missed his second game in a row with an ankle injury after being listed as questionable. Tyrann Mathieu is out for the season with a torn ACL... The Packers didn't have cornerback Sam Shields (concussion)... Palmer had to wear a hula dancer outfit for a time pregame for losing a bet in a weekly accuracy competition on Friday.
                         GREEN BAY       ARIZONA
First downs                     16            19
Rushes-yards                26-101        26-121
Net Passing yards               77           260
Passing (Att-Comp-Int)     29-16-1       28-19-1
Sacked-Yards Lost             9-78           2-9
Punts-Average               6-44.7        4-43.0
Fumbles                        5-3           2-1
Penalties-Yards               7-59        10-119
Time of Possession           29:44         30:16
GREEN BAY -  0   0   8   0  -  8
ARIZONA   -  0  17  21   0  - 38
2nd - ARZ - Larry Fitzgerald, 3-yard pass from Carson Palmer (Chandler Catanzaro kick) ARIZONA 7-0
2nd - ARZ - Catanzaro, 19-yard field goal ARIZONA 10-0
2nd - ARZ - John Brown, 7-yard pass from Palmer (Catanzaro kick) ARIZONA 17-0
3rd - ARZ - David Johnson, 14-yard run (Catanzaro kick) ARIZONA 24-0
3rd - ARZ - Cory Redding, 36-yard fumble recovery (Catanzaro kick) ARIZONA 31-0
3rd - GB - Eddie Lacy, 28-yard pass from Aaron Rodgers (Rodgers pass to Jones) ARIZONA 31-8
3rd - ARZ - Jerraud Powers, 7-yard fumble recovery (Catanzaro kick) ARIZONA 38-8
INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS
RUSHING
GREEN BAY - Eddie Lacy 12-60, Aaron Rodgers 3-19, James Starks 3-11, Tim Masthay 1-7, John Kuhn 1-3, Randall Cobb 1-2, Scott Tolzien 1-0, John Crockett 4-(-1)
ARIZONA - Kerwynn Williams 8-44, Andre Ellington 7-40, David Johnson 9-39 1 TD, Drew Stanton 2-(-2)
PASSING
GREEN BAY - Aaron Rodgers 28-15-151 1 TD 1 INT, Scott Tolzien 1-1-4
ARIZONA - Carson Palmer 27-18-265 2 TD 1 INT, Drew Stanton 1-1-4
RECEIVING
GREEN BAY - James Jones 5-46, Davante Adams 3-42, Randall Cobb 3-15, Andrew Quarless 2-17, Eddie Lacy 1-28 1 TD, Jared Abbrederis 1-5, Richard Rodgers 1-2
ARIZONA - Michael Floyd 6-111, Larry Fitzgerald 4-29 1 TD, David Johnson 3-88, John Brown 3-25 1 TD, Jermaine Gresham 1-7, Andre Ellington 1-5, Kerwynn Williams 1-4
Green Bay Packers running back James Starks (44) fumbles the ball after getting upended by Arizona Cardinals safety D.J. Swearinger (36) in the third quarter (Evan Siegle/P-G Media)
AROUND THE NFC NORTH
​Sunday December 27th
DETROIT 32, San Francisco 17 - Matthew Stafford threw for two touchdowns, including one to Calvin Johnson early in the fourth quarter, and the Detroit Lions beat the San Francisco 49ers 32-17 on Sunday. The Lions (6-9) have won five of their last seven games, perhaps giving coach Jim Caldwell a chance to keep his job for a third season. The 49ers (4-11) have lost three straight and five of six under first-year coach Jim Tomsula. Detroit took advantage of several mistakes for San Francisco's defense and special teams. Stafford's 1-yard TD pass to Johnson gave Detroit a 12-point lead one play after Tramaine Brock was called for pass interference in the end zone. During the drive, the 49ers were flagged for being offside or in the neutral zone for the seventh time to set a single-game high by an NFL team this year, according to STATS.
Chicago 26, TAMPA BAY 21 - Ka'Deem Carey caught a touchdown pass from Jay Cutler and the third-string running back also scored on a 1-yard run to help the Chicago Bears end a three-game losing streak with a 26-21 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Carey's 1-yard scoring reception put the Bears (6-9) ahead for good early in the fourth quarter. The second-year pro teamed with Matt Forte and Jeremy Langford to spearhead a rushing attack that produced 174 yards and kept Jameis Winston off the field for long stretches. The victory was only the second in the past six games for the Bears. Tampa Bay (6-9) has lost four of five, including three straight after rebounding from a slow start. Winston completed 15 of 29 passes for 295 yards with one interception for the Bucs. He threw for two TDs, including a 43-yard Hail Mary toss to Austin Seferian-Jenkins with 1 second remaining.
MINNESOTA 49, NY Giants 17 - Adrian Peterson ran for 104 yards and a touchdown over three quarters, Harrison Smith took one of Eli Manning's three interceptions into the end zone and the Minnesota Vikings clinched a playoff spot with a 49-17 victory over the New York Giants on a frigid Sunday night. Teddy 
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) loses his helmet after getting sacked by Arizona Cardinals linebacker Alex Okafor (57) and cornerback Jerraud Powers (25) in the third quarter (Evan Siegle/P-G Media)
​Green Bay Packers guard T.J. Lang (70) slowly gets up after getting hit against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. (Evan Siegle/P-G Media)
Bridgewater turned in another sharp December performance, Blair Walsh chipped in five field goals and the Vikings (10-5) set up an NFC North championship game next week at Green Bay. With Peterson relaxing on the sideline, Jerick McKinnon rushed for two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter, including a 68-yard romp through a disinterested defense with the temperature down to 11 degrees. Manning badly missed suspended wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and his 1,396 yards and 13 touchdowns, as the Giants (6-9) trudged toward a fourth straight absence from the postseason.

NFC NORTH DIVISION STANDINGS
X-GREEN BAY 10   5   0   .667   355  303
X-Minnesota 10   5   0   .667   345  289
Detroit      6   9   0   .400   334  380
Chicago      6   9   0   .400   315  373
X - Clinched Playoff Berth