News now! Packers miss chance, Cardinals score late for 17-0 halftime lead

Posted by Mike Spofford on December 27, 2015 – 4:50 pm

151227-q2-in-game-updates-650GLENDALE, Ariz. — The Packers blew a huge chance to score, and the Cardinals drove the other way for a touchdown with just 6 seconds left in the first half to take a 17-0 lead on Sunday at University of Phoenix Stadium.

The Cardinals began the second quarter with a first-and-goal on the Green Bay 10-yard line and took it in for the score. QB Carson Palmer found WR Larry Fitzgerald for a 3-yard TD pass on third down, getting Arizona on the board first.

Just prior to the score, the Packers announced that DT B.J. Raji was in the locker room being evaluated for a concussion. He was hit on the final play of the first quarter and left the game. Later in the quarter, it was announced Raji did have a concussion and was out for the rest of the game.

The Packers next possession was bogged down by a holding penalty, the second on the offensive line in the game. A third-down sack followed by DT Calais Campbell, who beat a double-team of C Corey Linsley and RG T.J. Lang, and the Packers had to punt.

The Cardinals drove for a field goal to extend their lead. Passes of 11 and 17 yards to WR Michael Floyd followed by a 29-yard catch-and-run by RB David Johnson made it first-and-goal. The Packers defense stiffened, though, with S Morgan Burnett breaking up a third-down pass at the goal line intended for Johnson, and Arizona settled for a 19-yard FG by K Chandler Cantanzaro for a 10-0 lead.

Green Bay crossed midfield for the second time in the game, thanks to a 7-yard run for a first down on a fake punt by P Tim Masthay, but the drive stalled there. Campbell recorded sacks on back-to-back plays to push the Packers back, and Masthay had to punt for real at the two-minute warning.

The Packers got the ball right back, though. DT Mike Daniels reached up and snagged an intended screen pass for an interception, returning it to the Arizona 15-yard line. The Cardinals turned them away, however, as CB Justin Bethel picked off Rodgers’ third-down pass in the end zone intended for WR James Jones, and the Packers got nothing on their best scoring chance of the game.

Arizona got moving again right away, as Floyd gained 47 yards on a catch and run over the middle, and then gained nine more to the Green Bay 24. A defensive holding call gave the Cardinals a first down on the 19, and Palmer hit Fitzgerald for a gain of 12 to make it first-and-goal on the 7 with 22 seconds left.

Palmer then found Brown for the TD on third down with 6 seconds left, giving the Cardinals a 17-0 halftime lead.


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