NFL: Aaron Rodgers throws four TDs as Green Bay Packers beat Arizona Cardinals
By Paul Higham Twitter: @SkySportsPaulH. Last Updated: 04/11/12 11:11pm
Aaron Rodgers: Four TDs for Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers claimed he was not at his best but he still three four touchdown passes during a 31-17 victory for the Green Bay Packers over the Arizona Cardinals.
Rodgers did throw an interception and only had 218 yards passing, but the Packers had a much-improved running game going on with James Starks returning to action to compliment Alex Green.
Rodgers found Randall Cobb twice for touchdowns while James Jones and tight end Tom Crabtree also found the end zone as the Packers stayed hot on the heels of the NFC North leaders Chicago by moving to 6-3.
The bye week will be a welcome one for Green Bay though with injuries mounting up as receiver Jordy Nelson and defensive playmaker Clay Matthews left the game.
The Packers started well enough, with Cobb catching his first touchdown of the game after seven minutes as he caught a short pass from Rodgers and danced his way 13 yards into the end zone.
Arizona drew level at the start of the second quarter though as running back LaRod Stephens-Howling bounced his way off a few tacklers from one yard out.
It was the only drive from the Cardinals in the first half that did not result in a punt however, and the Packers could have been further in front but for some unusual dropping issues from their receivers - with four in the first half.
Rodgers also threw his first interception in four games as he was picked off by Williams Gay, but he responded as he always does and led his next two drives to touchdowns.
The first came midway through the second quarter as the talented Cobb hauled in a spectacular catch from 21 yards, only to be outdone by James Jones in the other corner of the end zone five minutes later.
Rodgers' throw into the corner of the end zone could have been picked off by the cornerback, but Jones took it right out of his grasp in mid-air and crashed into the end zone for his eighth touchdown of the season.
Mason Crosby increased Green Bay's lead to 24-7 early in the third quarter, but the Cardinals finally responded through star man Larry Fitzgerald who battled and fought his way to a 31-yard score to reduce the gap to ten points at 24-14.
Jay Feely kicked Arizona even closer but the Packers and Rodgers had the final say as he found tight end Tom Crabtree for a breakaway 72-yard touchdown to seal the game 31-17.