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Cheese Curds, 1/15: Packers defense faces tough challenge against explosive Cardinals

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The Packers have their work cut out for them this week, with one of the league's best and most productive offenses ready to pounce on any mistake.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

As the Arizona Cardinals romped through most of the NFC this year on their way to a 13-3 record, they did so with a remarkably balanced team. Arizona scored the second-most points in the league this year and the most offensive yards, while allowing the seventh-fewest points and fifth-fewest yards to opponents.

Tomorrow night, the Green Bay Packers will need to exploit the few weaknesses that Arizona has, and must do so on both sides of the ball in order to advance to a second straight NFC Championship. Today's curds look at several previews of how they might do that, including one which concludes that the defense must take a very different direction this weekend than it did in the Wild Card win over Washington.

Packers vs. Cardinals: Five key matchups | Packers.com
With Randall Cobb likely drawing Patrick Peterson for most of the game on Saturday, the Packers will need James Jones and Jared Abbrederis to step up on the outside.

Film Room: Dom Capers' Defense | Football Outsiders
FO breaks down how the Packers' defense approached Kirk Cousins last Sunday, and notes that Capers and company will have to be more creative and take more chances against a very different Arizona passing game on Saturday.

Driven to win: Packers' road map to upset | Packersnews.com
Defending the Cardinals' vertical passing game and attacking the back end of Arizona's secondary are two of the keys outlined in this preview.

Packers buy into coach's confidence heading into Arizona game | JSOnline.com
Joe Thomas, when asked if the team feels like a seven-point spread is justified, responded with "Hell no." He also said that he thinks the spread is solely based on week 16, and that the Packers "came out flat that game."

To Packers' Rodgers, chanting at prep games is one of the 'fun-da-men-tals' - ESPN
Aaron Rodgers would have earned some discipline in high school if California had limited chants the way the WIAA is apparently trying to.

First players from Super Bowl XLV go into Packers Hall of Fame | 247sports.com
Nick Collins and Chad Clifton are the first names from the 2010 squad to enter the team's shrine.

Eagles expected to hire Doug Pederson as head coach, per report - SBNation.com
This makes two new head coaches with significant Packers connections in the past two days. Pederson of course spent seven years backing up Brett Favre during the 90's and early 2000's.