Friday, October 29, 2021

Packers Pick Off Cardinals in Arizona

 By Eric Goska

Rasul Douglas intercepts in the end zone in Arizona.
(screenshot from NFL Game Pass)

Call it a nix-six pick?

Maybe that’s not the best way to refer to an interception that prevents a touchdown late in a game. But absent something better, the term will have to suffice.

Whatever you want to call it, the play Rasul Douglas made late Thursday in Arizona cries out for a catchy nickname. His end-zone interception with 12 seconds remaining allowed Green Bay to escape with a 24-21 win over the previously unbeaten Cardinals.

Not all interceptions carry the same weight. Some, like a long heave before halftime, are akin to a punt. Others, either directly or indirectly, result in points.

Still others seal victory.  Though perhaps not as glamorous as a pick-six, they determine who wins and who loses.

Down 24-21 with three minutes, 23 seconds remaining, Arizona mounted its final drive hell-bent on scoring. The team began at its 1-yard line after quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ fourth-down pass was batted incomplete.

Just over three minutes later, Kyler Murray had his team perched at the Green Bay 5. With 15 seconds remaining, the Arizona quarterback had potentially three shots to pierce the Packers’ end zone.

He got only one.

The Cardinals appeared well-positioned to take the lead. In their previous 22 fourth-quarter plays, they had gashed Green Bay for 166 yards (7.5 average) and 10 first downs.

But Douglas was about to change that. Tasked with guarding A.J. Green, Douglas, and not the former All-Pro receiver, came up with the ball in the end zone on Murray’s first throw there on that final drive.

Douglas tapped both feet down to make sure before heading off to celebrate.

Quite an accomplishment for a player who was on the Cardinals’ practice squad just weeks earlier. A third-round pick by the Eagles in 2017, Douglas was signed to the Packers’ active roster on Oct. 6.

But Douglas did more than provide the climatic play. He registered a team-high nine solo tackles and was on the field for all 55 of Arizona’s offensive plays.

He also saw extensive action in two other games. He had five tackles against the Bears, and made four stops, and forced a fumble against Washington.

Solid work, but nothing as memorable as his dagger in the desert.

So, what separates Douglas’ pick from the many others in Packers history? Time and location.

Since 1942, only nine Green Bay defenders have intercepted a pass in the last two minutes of a game with the line of scrimmage tucked inside the Packers’ 10-yard line. Douglas and Doug Evans (in 1995) are the only two to have done so with the ball resting inside the 6.

Douglas’ interception won’t soon be forgotten. It’s also one that might carry some weight when playoff seedings are determined.

No Fly Zone
Since 1942, nine Packers defenders have intercepted a pass launched from inside the Green Bay 10-yard line in the last two minutes of a game.
  LOS    Date               Interceptor          Opponent    Opposing QB      Final Score
  GB3    10-22-1995      Doug Evans              Vikings           Brad Johnson         GB won, 38-21
  GB5    10-28-2021      Rasul Douglas          Cardinals       Kyler Murray         GB won, 24-21
  GB7    11-19-1967       Willie Wood              49ers              John Brodie            GB won, 13-0
  GB7     9-28-1969       Herb Adderley         49ers               John Brodie           GB won, 14-7
  GB7    10-11-2015       Quinten Rollins       Rams              Nick Foles               GB won, 24-10
  GB8    11-29-1981      Mike Douglass          Vikings          Tommy Kramer     GB won, 35-23
  GB8    10-4-1987        Jim Bob Morris        Vikings          Tony Adams           GB won, 23-16
  GB8      9-5-1993        Roland Mitchell        Rams              Jim Everett           GB won, 36-6
  GB9    10-21-1956       Jim Capuzzi             Rams              Rudy Bukich          GB won, 42-17


  1. Nix-six pick ... great call Eric.

    Green's head wasnt in the ballgame because you never give up on trying to catch a game winning TD, especially with time running out.

    These teams might meet again in postseason but can the Cardinals live up to playoff expectations the rest of the way ?

  2. Interesting that Brodie is on that list twice for futile passes into the endzone ...

  3. Ok Eric Rhymsta I'll raise you: "Alive at the five, Murray’s on the brink end zone dink sinks the redbirds at a dozen before buzzin'."

  4. ....if you want to learn Green Bay Packer history you read the distinguished Mr. Eric Goska....each week during the season you get articles like the above. continued success Packer Dude!

  5. Memorabilia has a similar meaning to souvenirs. As you get football souvenirs you also get football memorabilia. As the word says football memorabilia are football souvenirs that are to be treasured because of its memories. norwich city