GAME BLOG: Packers fall to the Saints, 38-3
The Action 2 Sports team will be tweeting throughout the game, and their updates will be posted here.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (WBAY) - The Green Bay Packers faced the New Orleans Saints Sunday afternoon in Jacksonville due to damage caused by Hurricane Ida in New Orleans for the first game of the regular NFL season.
Here’s a recap of the game, courtesy of the Action 2 Sports team:
The Saints took the first possession of the game down the field, and were able to make a 44-yard-field goal to make it 3-0 on the ninth play of the drive.
One of the big takeaways from the Packers in their first drive was going for it on 4th down on their own 34 yard line, and converted.
However, that conversion wasn’t enough to get them to the end zone.
The first quarter ended with a 3-0 lead for the Saints, however, they pushed their way down the field and scored within a minute of the 2nd quarter.
Although the Packers trail 10-0 in the second quarter, statistics show they trailed by 10 or more points three times during the 2020 season.
Rodgers was sacked for a loss of 11 yards on the team’s first drive of the second quarter, making it 2nd and 21.
That drive ended with a punt after Rodgers threw an incomplete pass to Marquez Valdes-Scantling, putting the Saints at their own 20 yard line.
The Saints went for it on 4th and 7, and were able to convert a first down with less than 5 minutes to go in the first half.
The Saints were in the red zone and threatening to score at the two minute warning.
The Saints went for a touchdown on 4th and goal on the own three yard line after a big stop by the Packers defense on third down. However, a penalty on Packers player Dean Lowry was called, and put the Saints on the one yard line.
The following play resulted in a touchdown pass from Winston to Johnson, with the extra point putting the Saints up 17-0 with just over a minute to go in the half.
With less than two minutes to play in the half, Rodgers and company took the field.
The Packers took their third timeout with less than 10 seconds left on the clock after a deep pass that was caught by Davante Adams.
Before the ball could be snapped on the next play, the Saints called a time out, their first of the game.
An pass from Rodgers to Robert Tonyan was incomplete, and kicker Mason Crosby took the field.
His 39-yard-field goal was good, putting the Packers on the board, and trailing the Saints at the half 17-3.
The Packers got the ball back right away at the start of the second half.
Two plays into the half, Packers player Deguara went down during a play. ESPN reports his return is questionable. Deguara was able to walk off the field under his own power.
After he left the field, Rodgers threw a 19-yard pass to Marcedes Lewis.
The Packers went for it on 4th and 3, and penalty flags flew after an incomplete pass. Pass interference was called on the Saints, leaving the Packers with a first down.
The Packers announced Deguara is now out for the rest of the game, and has a concussion.
While inside the five yard line, Rodgers threw a pass meant for Adams, but was intercepted by the Saints, who ran it back 33 yards.
The Packers defense forced a 4th and 11, resulting in a punt from the Saints , who then downed it inside the five yard line.
The first play of the Packers’ drive was an incomplete pass from Rodgers to Valdes-Scantling. Rodgers was under pressure in his own end zone when throwing the ball.
A penalty on the second play on the Packers pushed them back another two yards.
Two plays later, Rodgers threw a deep pass on third down, and was intercepted by the Saints. They returned it to the red zone.
The Saints were able to reach the end zone, and with the extra point, made it a 24-3 game.
With less than three minutes to go in the third quarter, the Packers start at their own 13 yard line and try to make something happen.
A few plays later - two of which were incomplete passes by Rodgers - the Packers faced a 4th and 1 on their own 22 yard line, but it wasn’t meant to be.
While Darnell Savage brought a glimmer of hope to the Packers’ defense with an interception in the end zone, it was wiped out by a penalty on Za’Darius Smith for roughing the passer, and resulted in no play.
One play later, the end of the third quarter arrived, with the Saints still up 24-3, and threatening to score once again inside the 10 yard line.
The opening play of the 4th quarter resulted in a Saints touchdown, making it 31-3 with the extra point.
More incomplete passes and penalties resulted in a 4th and 16 for the Packers, forcing them to punt.
The Saints scored another touchdown, with Winston throwing to Harris, who was covered by Kevin King. The extra point made it a 38-3 game, with just under 11 to play.
In addition, the Packers announced Safety Darnell Savage is questionable to return due to a shoulder injury. They soon after announced he was out.
The Packers put back up quarterback Jordan Love in on the next drive.
A few plays later, the Packers punted once again, giving the Saints the ball with just over 7 minutes to play.
The Saints ended up punting on that possession, and Love took the field once again. He connected with Randall Cobb for a 32 yard gain late in the 4th quarter.
At the 2 minute warning, Love and company were deep in Saints territory.
Despite getting within the 5 yard line, Love was sacked, and then fumbled the ball, which was recovered by the Saints with less than a minute to go.
Next week, the Packers will host the Detroit Lions on Monday night. Meanwhile, the Saints will travel to North Carolina to take on the Panthers at 12 p.m. on Sunday.
INITIAL REPORT: Although the Saints are the home team, both teams are playing away from their home venue due to damage caused by Hurricane Ida, and will instead be playing in Jacksonville, Florida.
The Packers are 2-0 in Kickoff Weekend games against the Saints. Sunday’s game is expected to be a high-scoring game, with team officials noting that during eight of the last 10 matchups between the Packers and the Saints, the winning team has scored at least 34 points.
Since 2007, the Packers have won 11 of the past 14 Kickoff Weekend games, and have the past six Kickoff Weekend games. In those games, quarterback Aaron Rodgers has completed 136 of 203 passes, with 14 touchdowns and one interception.
The Packers’ all-time regular season record against the Saints is 17-9, and their all-time record visiting the Saints is more evenly matched at 7-6.
While Rodgers is returning to the field, the Saints’ previous quarterback won’t be playing. Former Saints quarterback Drew Brees retired following the 2020 season.
The Packers will be without Tackle David Bakhtiari, who - as Action 2 News first reported - will miss the first six weeks of the season after tearing his ACL in December of last year during practice. When the team released its initial 53-man roster last month, Bakhtiari was placed on reserve/physically unable to perform.
Earlier this week, the Packers’ outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith was practicing on a limited basis, however Packers officials announced early Sunday afternoon that he is now playing.
The Packers listed the following players as inactive for Sunday’s game:
- CB Shemar Jean-Charles
- C Jake Hanson
- DL Jack Heflin
- LB Isaiah McDuffie
- S Vernon Scott
In addition, the teams has listed DL Tyler Lancaster as active, after he was ruled questionable before Sunday.
Expectations are high in Green Bay, after the Packers failed to advance to the Super Bowl for the past two years after reaching the NFC Championship game, both under head coach Matt LaFleur. However, there are some coaching changes from the off season to take note of.
Earlier this year, Joe Barry was named the defensive coordinator, and Maurice Drayton was promoted to special teams coordinator.
In addition, Jerry Gray was promoted to defensive backs/passing game coordinator, and Adam Stenavich was promoted to offensive line/run game coordinator. Other promotions include:
- Rayna Stewart - Now the assistant special teams coach
- Connor Lewis - Special teams assistant/game management specialist
- John Dunn - Senior analyst
Although this is LaFleur’s third season as the Packers’ head coach, this is Sean Payton’s 15th season as the Saints’ head coach.
Another thing that will be high during Sunday’s game - the temperature. The forecast in Jacksonville calls for the upper 80′s, and that doesn’t factor in the humidity.
Kickoff is scheduled for 3:25 p.m. CT, and the game airs on FOX.
Check back for updates from the Action 2 Sports team.
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