The Green Bay Packers opened up their preseason schedule in a rather disappointing fashion on Friday night, as they dropped an ugly decision to the Arizona Cardinals at Lambeau Field by a score of 17-0. Andre Roberts started the scoring in the first quarter by hauling in a 38-yard touchdown from Carson Palmer to put the Cardinals up 7-0. The Cardinals got another passing score from Drew Stanton to Jaron Brown in the second quarter to take a 14-0 lead. They finished out their scoring with a short field goal by Jay Feely after safety David Fulton committed a pass interference penalty inside the 10-yard line.
To start the game, the Cardinals won the toss and elected to receive, but gained only a single first down before punting. Johnathan Franklin took the punt in traffic, making a good catch but failing to gain any yardage.
The Packers' first team offense took the ball and drove down to the goal line before being stopped just short. Aaron Rodgers connected with James Jones on a 50-yard bomb to get the offense into scoring position before failing to connect with Jones on second down and Jermichael Finley on third. On fourth down from the 2, Mike McCarthy called a run up the middle to James Starks, who was ruled down before reaching the goal line. McCarthy challenged the ruling, which was upheld.
The Packers' first-team defense held the Cardinals to another punt, and Graham Harrell took the field for the second drive of the game. The offensive line went to a second-team unit, with David Bakhtiari, Patrick Lewis, Greg Van Roten, Lane Taylor, and Don Barclay from left to right. After D.J. Williams made a fantastic diving catch, Harrell threw an interception to Patrick Peterson. The Cardinals struck on the next play, as Carson Palmer connected with Andre Roberts for a 38-yard touchdown along the left sideline over Davon House.
On the second play of the second quarter, Graham Harrell was the victim of a bad block by Marshall Newhouse, who could not contain John Abraham. The veteran end came over the right side of the line and stripped the ball from Harrell, and the Cardinals recovered near midfield. On the next drive, House was burned again on a deep ball to get the Cardinals into the red zone, where Drew Stanton hit Jaron Brown with a fade over Micah Hyde in single coverage for a touchdown.
After a nice completion to Tyrone Walker and a solid screen pass to Franklin, the Packers' next drive stalled when D.J. Williams dropped a catchable ball along the sideline and Don Barclay was called for a false start. The teams then traded possessions for the remainder of the first half, with neither team really doing much.
The second half got off to a slow start, with the Packers going three-and-out behind Harrell twice and the Cardinals driving but missing a pair of field goals. Vince Young then entered the game and picked up a few first downs before the offense stalled just across midfield. After the Cardinals added a field goal to stretch the lead to 17-0, B.J. Coleman got the last few snaps but couldn't move the chains with any regularity as the Packers continued scuffling on offense and ended up with a zero on the scoreboard.
The Packers will be back in action next Friday evening in St. Louis, when they take on the Rams. We'll have plenty of reaction to the disappointing performance through this weekend.