Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy, left, screams at referee Walt Coleman, right, after a call during the second quarter of Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals at Lambeau Field. Field judge Greg Gautreaux is at center. Evan Siegle/Press-Gazette
Rants and raves from Sunday's game between the Green Bay Packers and the Arizona Cardinals at Lambeau Field. The Packers won 31-17.
Rave: Backup tight end Tom Crabtree doesnít catch many passes, but when he does, he makes them count. Crabtree broke open over the middle for a 72-yard touchdown pass on the final play of the third quarter, the longest pass play of the season for the Packers. Crabtree has scored touchdowns on three of his six catches this season.
Rant: Was it really worth challenging a 5-yard LaRod Stephens-Howling run in the third quarter? Mike McCarthy thought so, but lost when it was ruled that only the runnerís wrist was on the ground. It was a bad challenge.
Rave: T.J. Lang shifted from left guard to right tackle seamlessly after Bryan Bulaga went down in the second quarter with a hip injury. Langís versatility is a big bonus.
Rant: What were officials looking at? They awarded two first downs on bad spots in the first half, once to the Packersí Donald Driver and once to the Cardinalsí Larry Fitzgerald. In each case, the ball wasnít close to the first-down marker.
Rave: The Packersí ground game came to life with 126 yards on 19 carries in the first half. Take away Aaron Rodgersí scrambles and they still gained 90 yards on 14 carries. For the game, the Packers rushed for a season-high 176 yards.
Rant: The Packersí offense left a lot of points on the field. Their first possession started on the Arizona 20, but they came away with nothing on the scoreboard. On the first three possessions of the second half, the Packers started on their 48, the Cardinalsí 17 and at the 50 yet produced only three points.
Rave: Is there anything Randall Cobb canít do? He looks more spectacular with each passing week. Cobb was fearless in catching a first-quarter slant pattern and juking Cardinals safety Adrian Wilson on a nice spin move to score on a 13-yard touchdown play. Then he caught a nice over-the-shoulder pass in tight coverage for a second-quarter touchdown. That capped an 80-yard drive during which Cobb had runs of 11 and 12 yards lining up in the backfield. Cobb also had returns of 44 yards on a kickoff and 28 yards on a punt.
Rant: According to stadium replays, Cobb was down by contact on the first play of the second quarter following a reception before Cardinals cornerback William Gay rolled over him and came up with the ball. Officials ruled it an interception and inexplicably didnít overturn the call after a replay review. It seemed like the Seattle game all over again, except in reverse, and once again, the Packers wound up on the short end of the stick.
Rave: Ryan Taylor knocked the daylights out of Rashad Johnson on a devastating block on a first-quarter Packersí punt return. The crowd let out a collective groan when replays of the hit were shown on the replay boards.
Rant: Mason Crosby missed a 44-yard first-quarter field goal attempt wide left after bouncing a 32-yard attempt off the right upright last week. Crosby entered the game ranked No. 32 in field goal accuracy and has converted just 10 of 15 field goals.
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