Cardinals rout Packers to earn playoff bye

The Arizona Cardinals sacked Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers eight times in a dominant 38-8 victory that clinched a first-round playoff bye.

In all, Packers quarterbacks were sacked nine times in their most one-sided loss of the season. Cory Redding carried one fumble 36 yards for a score, while Jerraud Powers took another fumble five yards for a touchdown.

The Cardinals' ninth win in a row sealed at least the No 2 playoff seed in the NFC. They still can take the No 1 seed with a win over Seattle and a Carolina loss to Tampa Bay next week.

Arizona quarterback Carson Palmer threw for 257 yards and two touchdowns, completing 18 of 27 passes, with one interception. Michael Floyd caught six passes for 111 yards for the Cardinals, who entered the game with the NFL's No 1-ranked offense.

Rodgers was 15 for 28 for 151 yards and a touchdown with one interception.

The game was close at 10-0 until the final minute of the first half. A 47-yard pass play to Floyd advanced the ball to the 33 and two more completions, plus a defensive holding call, set up Palmer's seven-yard scoring pass to John Brown, putting Arizona ahead 17-0.

Things got worse for the Packers from there. On the first play from scrimmage in the second half, James Starks fumbled and Powers recovered at the Packers' 28. Palmer threw 14 yards to Floyd, then David Johnson ran 14 yards for a score to make it 24-0.

Redding's touchdown then made it 31-0 and although the Packers managed a response through Eddie Lacy's catch and a successful two-point conversion attempt, the Cardinals had the final say when Powers rounded off a miserable day for the Packers' beleaguered quarterbacks.