All that running must have left them tired, because the Packers came out sluggish in the second half. They failed to pick up a first down on each of their first four drives, and got only a 33-yard field goal from Mason Crosby despite getting the ball at their own 48, Arizona 17 and midfield.
"We said at halftime, these are the kind of games where you can really put teams away if you play the way you want to play. We didn't do that in the second half," Rodgers said. "We kind of gave them a reason to hang around and hang around."
The Cardinals caught a break when LaRod Stephens-Howling was tripped up behind the line of scrimmage only to land on a Packer instead of the ground. He got up and kept going for a 5-yard gain, and the ruling was upheld on review because officials said only his wrist had hit the ground.
On the next play, Fitzgerald shook off tackles by Tramon Williams, M.D. Jennings and Dezman House for a 31-yard touchdown catch that cut Green Bay's lead to 24-14.
"We wanted to come out and try to attack down field, make some plays and try to get the running game going a little in the second half," Fitzgerald said.
With Matthews in the locker room with a hamstring injury, Skelton and the Cardinals had perhaps their best drive of the day. Skelton threw on seven of the first 10 plays of the drive, completing eight of them to bring the Cardinals to the Green Bay 2. But Mike Daniels and A.J. Hawk stuffed Stephens-Howling on third-and-1, forcing Arizona to settle for a 20-yard field goal that cut the lead to 24-17.
But two plays later, Crabtree ripped off the 72-yard score. As Crabtree mustered what energy he had left for a Lambeau Leap, Rodgers jumped on McCarthy, nearly tackling the Packers coach.
"It was huge," Crabtree said. "They had some momentum going there in the second half, and I think that kind of maybe took a little bit of wind out of their sails."
NFL Week 9
Chicago 51, Tennessee 20
Houston 21, Buffalo 9
Detroit 31, Jacksonville 14
Denver 31, Cincinnati 23
Baltimore 25, Cleveland 15
Green Bay 31, Arizona 17
Carolina 21, Washington 13
Indianapolis 23, Miami 20
Minnesota 30, Seattle 20
Tampa Bay 42, Oakland 32
Pittsburgh 24, N.Y. Giants 20
Atlanta 19, Dallas 13Heady goes here
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