Some things were the same for the Green Bay Packers, some things were very different. I guess if this game reminds me of anything it's the sucker punch by WR Terrell Owens in the 1998 playoff game.
The Packers defense had been outstanding throughout the season, but they went missing. Especially the run defense, which allowed 6.8 yards per carry.
The Cardinals' 3rd and 4th WRs had done little this season, but Steve Breaston had 125 yards and 1 TD, and Early Doucet had 77 yards and 2 TDs (he only had one TD in his career before this game). This wasn't a major shock because this was exactly what the Steelers did to beat the Packers four weeks ago, and the Cardinals came up with an excellent game plan. If I was a Cardinal fan, I'd sure wonder where the hell Breaston and Doucet had been all season.
The Packers had led the NFL in turnover margin (+24) by a wide margin this season, but they committed 3 turnovers and all 3 lead to TDs (including the game losing fumble that was returned by LB Karlos Dansby). Despite the massive offensive performance by the Cardinals, Dansby should be their MVP since he was involved in all 3 turnovers.
Despite the turnovers, QB Aaron Rodgers is still the Packers' MVP. He brought them back, but he also had two big turnovers (the fumble by WR Donald Driver had nothing to do with Rodgers). It's a mixed award for him.
I'm numb at the moment. Nothing went as I expected, which is to be expected in the playoffs, and that's why they play the game. I expected the winning team would win the turnover battle and have the better defense. The Packers did/had neither.
NOTE ON BLOG POLICY: We had a couple of nasty, and one very persistent, trolls on the open threads today. I've initiated a 1 day probationary period for new accounts, but I expect to lift it in a couple days once everything cools down. Sorry to any new visitors who have tried to open a new account to comment. I'm a bit overprotective of the comments. I'm not banning disagreements but members who are just here to make trouble.