Game Plan: Packers at Cardinals

Both the Arizona Cardinals and the Green Bay Packers have a tough job to do this Sunday. Since the two teams might meet the following week in the opening round of the playoffs, the teams must decide whether to show all their cards or play conservatively.

GAME PLAN: Both teams will have a game plan, but they might not reveal too much of it this week. They are likely to play each other again in the first-round of the playoffs. Defensively, the Cardinals have to be conscious of the zone-blocking schemes and staying in their gaps. Packers running back Ryan Grant has posted consecutive 1,200-yard seasons. Offensively, the Cardinals need to be able to run the ball to take some pressure off Kurt Warner and keep the Packers outside linebackers honest.

MATCHUPS TO WATCH:

Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald vs. Packers CB Charles Woodson.

Fitzgerald isn't putting up huge numbers, but he has 12 touchdown receptions, equaling his career high set last season. The Packers play more press coverage than most teams and might be more likely to use man coverage more often on Fitzgerald than most opponents.

Cardinals LT Jeremy Bridges vs. Packers OLB Clay Matthews.

A rookie, Matthews has 10 sacks this season. Left tackle is a huge question mark for the Cardinals, who lost Mike Gandy to a hernia two weeks ago. Bridges' performances have been uneven and he'll be tested severely on Sunday.

Cardinals DL Darnell Dockett vs. Packers RT Mark Tauscher.

Dockett is one of the NFL's most explosive linemen. He has a great burst off the ball and he's relentless in chasing down ball carriers. Tauscher is a crafty 10-year veteran who is steady.

INJURY IMPACT: FS Antrel Rolle has missed practice this week with a bruised thigh and likely will be questionable. Rookie Rashad Johnson is his backup and Hamza Abdullah, signed last week, is the fourth safety.

--K Neil Rackers will increase his workload in practice this week, but it's questionable if he will return from torn groin muscle to kick against the Packers. The Cardinals could rest him another week and keep Mike Nugent.

--OLB Will Davis is practicing after missing five games with a knee injury. This will be Davis' second week of practice and the results have been encouraging. He could be active on Sunday.

--CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie has a mild case of turf toe but has produced the last two weeks. He has three interceptions in those games.

--TE Ben Patrick is recovering from a concussion and should be able to practice this week.

--WR Sean Morey is recovering from his second concussion of the season and should return to practice this week.

--FB Dan Kreider missed practice time this week with a sore neck. It's not believed to be serious, although he missed last week's game.


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