While the Cardinals pieced together a calculated patchwork of backups and starters on pitch counts, the Packers played three quarters of the game as if the outcome mattered.
Only time will tell which strategy was the right one, but there were clearly two entirely different approaches to yesterday's game between Green Bay and Arizona.
Green Bay chose their poison: momentum, flow, sync and confidence, wanting to start the postseason on a roll. Arizona selected their strategy: to rest players, hold their cards close to their vest so as to reveal virtually nothing.
The result is that Cardinals fans are quick to point out that it appeared the Arizona players didn't care, among other valid concerns. Critics will say they were lethargic and outmatched even when the starters from both squads were on the field.
I contend that this was all part of Ken Whisenhunt's master plan.
As ESPN's Mike Sando pointed out, if you were paying close attention to his face during the postgame press conference it was very much a smirk. It is as if he is more than just simply unfazed by the game's outcome—Whisenhunt actually seemed pleased by the worst defeat any team of his has suffered.
It is almost as if the Cardinals were intentionally inviting the Packers to have so much success that it would give them a sense of over-confidence heading into the game that really matters—next weekend's first round of the playoffs. Like leading prey into a dark cave.
Offensively it was all vanilla, and defensively Aaron Rodgers was un-pressured, Arizona's bread and butter this season. Rodgers has been sacked a league-high 50 times this year while the Cardinals are tied for third in team sacks, yet the blitz button was paused so as not to reveal any aggressive packages.
No worries Cardinals fans. Arizona has not lost two back-to-back games all year.