Rasul Douglas' stunning INT in final seconds preserves Packers' win over Cardinals as last NFL unbeaten team falls

Mike Jones

GLENDALE, Ariz. — An interception with 15 seconds left robbed Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals of a game-winning opportunity and dealt them their first loss of the season as the Green Bay Packers escaped State Farm Stadium with a 24-21 victory Thursday night.

After a goal line stand by the Arizona defense, Murray and Co. marched downfield and into scoring position, but Packers cornerback Rasul Douglas capitalized on a miscommunication between Murray and A.J. Green, delivering the win for a short-handed Packers team.

Green Bay improved to 7-1 while Arizona, which had won its first seven games of the season, now has an identical record. 

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The Packers entered the game at less than full strength while missing their top two wide receivers, Davante Adams and Allen Lazard, and defensive coordinator Joe Barry, who were all on the COVID-reserve list.

The absences meant larger roles in the passing game for running back Aaron Jones, wide receivers Randall Cobb, Amari Rodgers and tight ends Marcedes Lewis and Robert Tonyan, and required more creativity out of coach Matt LaFleur and more wizardry from Rodgers. And defensive backs coach Jerry Gray took over the defensive play-calling duties.

No Adams, who ranks third in the NFL in receiving yards, meant the Packers lacked their usual big-play ability, and would force Green Bay to take a more methodical approach. And that suited the Packers just fine as LaFleur’s unit put on a clinic in balance and clock management, racking up 151 rushing yards and 184 passing yards while dominating time of possession 37:35 to 22:25.

Aaron Rodgers passed for two touchdowns, and Aaron Jones rushed for another for Green Bay. 

Meanwhile, Green Bay’s defense gave Murray fits for the bulk of the first half. The Cardinals strung together two second-half scoring drives thanks to a more up-tempo attack, and cut the Green Bay lead to 24-21 with 10:45 left in the game.

Green Bay Packers cornerback Rasul Douglas celebrates his game-winning interception.

The Packers had the chance to regain some cushion and marched downfield and got the ball inside the 1 on what initially was called a touchdown. But upon further review, Jones was ruled down just inches from the goal line.

Out of timeouts, the Packers drew a delay of game penalty two plays later, and Rodgers was tackled onyard short of the goal line on third-and-goal from the 5. Arizona denied Green Bay on fourth-and-goal as Rodgers’ pass fell incomplete. 

Then Murray led the Cardinals on a potential game-winning drive (one of his biggest throws being a 23-yard strike to A.J. Green on third-and-10 from his own 1), and Arizona reached the Green Bay 8-yard line before Murray threw an interception to Douglas, sealing his team’s fate.