Thursday night football featured a few former Clemson Tigers and an exciting finish. The Green Bay Packers took down the previously undefeated Cardinals. Once again the Aaron Rodgers-led Packers delivered when not many gave them a chance.
In this matchup, Green Bay was without three wide receivers. Davante Adams is a star and as big of a loss as it gets for the Packers. Allen Lazard is another important receiver and Marquez Valdes-Scantling was unavailable too. This game gave former Clemson wideout Amari Rodgers a chance to make a great impression.
On the season Rodgers had been mainly a returner with very little run with the first-team offense. Due to having three players out the Packers turned to the rookie to give him some big snaps. Rodgers showed some promise and enough to make you excited, but he is just not there yet.
The young Packers receiver had one catch for seven yards and took an end-around for 11 yards. With Rodgers you can do different things, like hand him the ball and be creative. Rodgers was targeted just three times as the Packers ran the ball over 30 times and threw to Aaron Jones 11 times.
Green Bay knee coming into this one that the Cardinals had struggled with the run and they used it to their advantage. This game was a nice opportunity for Rodgers to get some run, but perhaps not the best matchup.
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DeAndre Hopkins coming in had seven touchdown grabs through seven games, which was tied for second in the entire NFL. The Cardinals did a good job of allowing him to be targeted just two times, but he did damage when he was thrown to. Hopkins finished with 66 yards on just two grabs thanks to a 58-yard reception that would have been a touchdown if it was not for an offensive face mask penalty. On the season Hopkins now has 486 receiving yards.
Kyler Murray was unlike the Kyler Murray that has played at an MVP level this season. He threw two interceptions to a defense that was without Jaire Alexander.
Cardinals defense gave up 151 rushing yards and that’s where they were beat. Former Clemson athlete Isaiah Simmons had six tackles and flew around the field, but Packers were able to pound the rock at the end of the day. Simmons had a very nice pass breakup where he went step-for-step with Aaron Jones on a fade and played it perfectly. The second-year player is excelling as a linebacker that can do it all.
Following the game, Simmons is still in the top three for tackles on the Arizona roster with 52. Jordan Hicks had a big 12 tackle game to take over first place from Simmons.
Overall, the Packers did enough to win a game they maybe had no business winning from an availability standpoint. The rookie Rodgers got his chance and good experience, even if he did not capitalize. Former Clemson players who are now on Arizona played okay through the loss and are still on track for a very good season.