The Arizona Cardinals host the Green Bay Packers in a game that could decide who gets a first round bye in the playoffs. Arizona can clinch the number two seed with a win, while Green Bay can put themselves in position to clinch it in Week 17.
It features two of the league's best quarterbacks this season -- Carson Palmer and Aaron Rodgers.
It is the first game the Cardinals will play without Defensive Player of the Year candidate Tyrann Mathieu, who was lost for the rest of the season to a torn ACL last week.
Let's look at the matchup in terms of history, stats and connections, as well as look at some Cardinals milestones on the line.
Green Bay dominates this matchup. They hold a 44-22-4 advantage in the all-time series. However, it is not nearly so lopsided when Green Bay travels. The Cardinals are 13-16-4 at home. The bad thing is Arizona has not beaten the Packers in the regular season since 2003. They last played one another during the 2012 disaster season. Green Bay won 31-17. But Arizona's last win was a sweet one -- in the playoffs following the 2009 season. It was historic -- Kurt Warner had more touchdown passes than incompletions and Arizona got a 51-45 win in overtime when Karlos Dansby returned an Aaron Rodgers fumble for a touchdown. We will conveniently ignore the fact the refs missed a facemask call on Mike Adams, who forced the fumble.
Arizona averages almost 32 points a game. That is the second-most points per game in the league. Green Bay is 10th, averaging under 25. Arizona has scored 52 touchdowns, Green Bay 40. The Cardinals have the number one offense in the NFL in terms of yards per game, gaining over 422 per game. They are sixth in rushing, gaining more than 126 yards per game and third in passing, at more than 296 yards per game. Green Bay is 21st in yards, gaining fewer than 345 per game. They average nearly 120 yards per game on the ground, which is ninth in the league, but the surprising number is their passing offense. They are 26th, throwing for an average of just over 225 per contest.
Defensively, Arizona is seventh in yards allowed (329.1) and sixth in points allowed (19.2). The Packers 17th in yards allowed (351.7) and fifth in points (18.9). Arizona's rush defense, while Green Bay's is not that strong. Arizona opponents rush for fewer than 87 yards per game, the fourth-lowest in the league. Green Bay's opponents rush for more than 116 yards per game. Only nine teams give up more. Arizona is 16th against the pass and Green Bay is 10th.
Arizona hasn't committed a turnover in four games and are +10 on the season in turnover margin. The Packers are +7.
No player on either team has played for the other. That has been rare this season. Some Packers players have Arizona connections. Demarious Randall and Mike Pennel both played at Arizona State. Brett Hundley went to high school at Chandler High School, where he was once the Arizona Cardinals high school player of the week.
With a win, the Cardinals will clinch the number two seed in the NFC and a playoff bye. It will give the team 13 wins on the season. The 12 they have is already a franchise record for the regular season.
A win would extend their winning streak to nine games. The franchise record is 10 games, set in 1948.
With two touchdowns, the Cardinals will set a franchise record for touchdowns in a season. The current record -- 53 -- was set in 1948.
Larry Fitzgerald needs one catch to reach 100 on the season. He would become the ninth player in NFL history with 100 or more catches three times in a career. He will set a career high and a franchise record with five catches. He had 103 receptions in 2005. He also can pass Torry Holt for 14th on the all-time list for receiving yards in a career with 101 yards.
Receiver John Brown needs 67 receiving yards to reach 1000 for the season, giving the team two receivers to reach that milestone for the first time since 2009.
If running back David Johnson rushes for 100 yards, it would be only the third rookie in team history to rush for 100 yards or more in consecutive games. It hasn't happened since Johnny Johnson did it in 1990.
If kicker Chandler Catanzaro scores at least 12 points, he will set a team record for points in a season. Neil Rackers holds the current record with 140 in 2005.