We’re about to find out the value of momentum entering the playoffs. No NFL team is hotter than Green Bay, which won seven of its final eight games this season to finish 11-5.
Packers coach Mike McCarthy played his starters longer than Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt, ensuring a blowout victory at University of Phoenix Stadium. The teams will return to the facility next weekend for a wild-card rematch.
As my NFC West colleague Mike Sando noted, the Cardinals played well when it counted during the 2008 playoffs. But let’s just put some cards on the table. Meaningless or otherwise, the Packers have now trounced the Cardinals twice in less than five months when you count the teams’ Aug. 28 preseason game.
As we speak, the biggest concern for the Packers is the condition of cornerback Charles Woodson, who didn’t return after aggravating a shoulder injury. Earlier, Woodson had intercepted his ninth pass of the season, returning it 45 yards for his third touchdown of the year. Early indications are that the injury isn’t serious. It’s hard to imagine the Packers making it far in the playoffs without him.