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Cardinals Fall To Packers; Kolb Looks A Little Sharper

The Arizona Cardinals lost a pair of six-point leads and dropped their preseason game 28-20 to the Green Bay Packers Friday night at the (un)-Frozen Tundra, Lambeau Field.

Of course we who follow the NFL know that preseason results matter little; it is the individual player and unit performances that matter as far as evaluation and regular-season preparations and deciding on the final 53-man roster and practice squad.

To that end, the Cards got a few such good performances despite the loss. And there were some negatives as well. 

Quarterback Kevin Kolb engineered a pair of scoring drives -- and improvement on his performance in the first preseason game -- as Arizona took a 6-0 lead on two Jay Feely field goals. The first unit on offense looked OK, particularly the harder, lower running of running back Beanie Wells and the lead blocking of fullback Reagan Maui'a

Kolb was looking early and often for star receiver Larry Fitzgerald but the two only connected for one 15-yard completion in the first quarter that set up a field goal. 

Kolb played three series (jnto the second quarter) and found rookie tight end Robert Housler twice for double-digit yardage. Kolb was 6 of 11 for 80 yards.

It wasn't a good night for starting left tackle Levi Brown, who was penalized for a hold and two false starts. A screen pass to Wells for 20 yards was nullified by a penalty on WR Early Doucet for an illegal shift in the second quarter. 

Arizona committed 11 penalties for the game.

The Packers tested starting cornerback A.J. Jefferson early, which was good for him, and Darnell Dockett and Calais Campbell sacked Packers QB Aaron Rodgers when it was ones vs. ones. 

It was rookie first-round pick Patrick Peterson whom Rodgers picked on for a touchdown pass to receiver Greg Jennings that gave Green Bay a 7-6 lead with 4:54 left in the first half. 

John Skelton finished out the half with little success for the Cardinals, who trailed 14-6 at halftime. Skelton didn't return after hurting an ankle, and Richard Bartel entered the game to start the third quarter after Charles Ali forced a fumble and recovered it on the opening kickoff return of the half. 

Running back Ryan Williams was injured on a run early in the third quarter and was removed from the game on a cart. He suffered a right knee injury and didn't return, and it didn't look good.

Bartel finished the drive with seven-yard touchdown pass to Stephen WIlliams, who fought off his defender and created space in the end zone to make the catch.

The Cardinals went up 20-14 on a one-yard TD run for Alfonso Smith, who subbed in for the injured Williams and took advantage of his opportunity. But it was all Packers from that point, as they took a 21-20 lead on a 97-yard pass play in which cornerback Desia Dunn was beaten on the outside edge in one-on-one coverage with no safety help.

Bartel played most of the second half, with Max Hall getting one series of action at QB. Bartel was 13 of 19 for 169 yards with a TD and an interception thrown.

Former Arizona State receiver Kerry Taylor caught a touchdown pass for the Packers and got his chance to perform a Lambeau Leap into the crowd. For the Cardinals, O'Brien Schofield registered a sack and showed some skill off the edge on the pass rush. Housler, who looks like he could be a factor in Arizona's offense sooner or later, caught a team high five passes for 68 yards, and Wells ran for 44 yards on 11 carries.