Packers vs. Saints – Game Day First Impressions, Unfiltered: GB 28 NO 27

ALLGBP.com All Green Bay Packers All the Time

Green Bay Packers vs. New Orleans Saints:

My unfiltered game day recap and blog post of comments, observations and first impressions.

Inactive for Packers today:

11 WR Jarrett Boykin
28 S Sean Richardson
31 CB Davon House
44 RB James Starks
56 LB Terrell Manning
84 TE D.J. Williams
94 DE Phillip Merling

Notes:

No one imagined the Packers and Saints would be a combined 1-5 going into this game, but despite their records, it should be a premiere match-up for Sunday afternoon football.

The Packers offense has yet to find its footing or its identity during the first three games. Will the abysmal Saints defense help to get them back on track?

New Orleans may be suffering on defense, but their offense is still the high-powered machine it has been. Dom Capers and the Green Bay defensive unit will have their hands full going against big playmakers like Drew Brees, Jimmy Graham, Darren Sproles, and Marques Colston.

All the Packers players are pretty healthy going into this game. Sean Richardson (hamstring) is the only one ruled out, with Davon House (shoulder) designated as questionable. James Starks’ turf toe has healed up, but he might be a healthy scratch this week.

This marks the beginning of a consistent schedule for the remainder of the season. The Packers have nothing but Sunday games from here on out.

 

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Mike McCarthy Pregame Show on 620 WTMJ:

Offense Struggling: We just have to exercise the game plan. It’s a new week. We can’t let past experiences affect us in any way. We need to pick up the tempo.

Health of Team: I think this is the best we’ve been so far this year. When you’re healthy it makes for tough decisions – who’s up, who’s down.

Impressions of Saints: Offensively very explosive. Plenty of weapons around Drew Brees. Solid offensive line that’s played well. Special teams get after it. Offensively, we need to be balanced and play fast. Their defense has had trouble against the run.

Saints Attitude as Winless Team: I’m not in their locker room, I really don’t care either. We want to get the crowd into it early. We want to make this a high-energy, fast-paced type of football game.

Play-Calling Balance: You want balance. You always want to tilt the play-calling to what-s variable for your players. We want to create balance running and throwing the football.

Saints Offense: This is the best offense we’ll face up to this point, no question. I think they have complete balance. Perimeter players, all-pro tight end, all-pro linemen. This is an offense that can run it and throw it.

Darren Sproles: He’s one of those dynamic players that can change a game. Coverage units have to be on the mark today. Sproles and Hester are two huge challenges on special teams.

 

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Packers vs. Saints – First Impressions – First Half:

Packers win the toss and don’t defer, as McCarthy likes to do.

Apparently, moving the 4:15 games back 10 minutes this season didn’t do anything to prevent overlapping. Replay booths taking a lot of time.

Figure it out, FOX. I want to be watching the Packers right now.

Jennings needs to haul it in . . . like Nelson does for a great catch and gain.

First 1st quarter TD of the year goes to Jones on a Rodgers scramble.

Rodgers seems to be threading the needle a little more so far.

James Jones making a big statement so far this year.

Brees getting a lot of time in the pocket to find soft spots in zone coverage.

Graham exploiting the middle of the defense a second time. How long will this continue?

Colton pushes down Burnett for a TD. Brings up a lot of bad memories from the Fail Mary.

Fans are relentless in booing refs. Hope they brought their thick skin to officiate this game.

Jennings is not helping his contract situation a lot this year.

Despite endzone drop, Finley showing he is a playmaker to move the chains.

Offensive line seems to be a doing a 180 this week as Rodgers gets all day to find Jennings in the end zone.

Loving the aggressiveness of the secondary.

That’s what they call him “Balls” McCarthy. First down on a punt fake.

Benson is not elite, but he is perfect for the Packers.

MD Jennings shoulder injury. Questionable return.

Would like to see Capers try blitzing a little more.

Packers 21 Saints 14

 

Packers vs. Saints – First Impressions – Second Half:

We knew they would get some of those from Worthy. Keeps things alive for the Saints.

Defenders flock to Sproles to stop him short.

Keeping Saints to FG in red zone is a big win for Packers . . . barring penalty . . .

Dating back to 2011, Packers own Saints on 1-yard line.

Raji getting mean might actually be good for him.

Packers down to one timeout. Could come back to haunt them.

Not a good injury for a quarterback. Need depth perception from both eyes. I think we all know a running play will be coming next.

Dear lord. Fire up the spits for Graham Harrell.

And with that TD we welcome back the 2011 defense giving up the big play on a PA boot.

Crabby makes up for his foul with the first down.

Three guys covering one Saints receiver, leaving a nice big open space underneath . . .

IT IS TIME! Clay Matthews gets his sack.

I’m going to have nightmares of Aikman saying “over the middle” tonight.

People complaining about 3-man rush have selective memories.

Worthy comes off that line like lightning. Wow.

Naked bootleg for the first.

The trolls are going to be out in full force this week if the Packers lose.

Dammit, Burnett! I blame that missed interception on you. Tramon had it.

Saints definitely trying to keep Cobb pinned to the sidelines and prevent a return.

I think Cobb just likes doing summersaults.

Great hands by Cobb on first down catch.

McCarthy making some nice play calls on this drive.

Nelson battles his way into the endzone! TD gives Packers the lead with the conversion.

Officials are not going to be welcome in Green Bay for a long time after these past two games.

The “refs still suck” chant has broken out.

Kick is no good after two penalties move Saints back a net 5 yards.

Jones is money this year. Mark it.

Triplette calls the first down in realization that he’ll escape a mugging by Packers fans tonight.

Packers 28 Saints 27

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Chad Toporski, a Wisconsin native and current Pittsburgh resident, is a writer for AllGreenBayPackers.com. You can follow Chad on twitter at @ChadToporski

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  • PackersRS

    1 more game and it’s soccer

  • Mr. Bacon

    For this game only. I know there is alot of things that need to be fixed.

    That being said, we played flawlessly. It seems the referees have in for us this year, so now we OFFICIALLY have a team identity.

    We are the Superbowl bound team, because it was our destiny to have bad calls go against our ways yet we still find a way to eek out a win. Two games in a row is far from co-incidence.

    Seriousness though, this will be the game that will be the turning point. Rodgers came alive, although he still has issues. Benson ran well, Jones and Finley were catching passes.

    We are not the best team in the NFL, but with all this drama that happened this past week I can take great pride in being 2-2, having a Tiebreaker over Chicago at the moment and the Vikings being 1st in the Division while the LIONS are in the basement.

    Still. This game has been the MOST taxing game I have ever watched in my Packers love ever since I have understand Packers and Football. It’s embedded in my Wisconsin DNA, and frankly I was able to headbutt the hell out of my television if this ended in a loss and sent us to a record of 1-3 (Which is still recoverable…).

    Until next Sunday, I toast the faithful on this site with the bread and wine of the religion. Brats and Beer.

    Go Pack Go!

  • BTF

    Never in doubt…

    Seriously when I saw the replay of that Sproles fumble I was sure we were going to get stiffed again. To get a win in that fashion feels like it could blow away the clouds of last week. Let’s hope..

    • PackersRS

      I really, really appreciated the fans booing the hell out after that. I’ve only been to one game, and it was really loud. But it was the “we want the ball and we’re gonna score” game, so. I get the feeling that the fans are too mild at times. Maybe it’s the way the broadcast is played…

      Nice to see them fired up and playing with the team, and it showed. It definitely helped.

      • Chad Toporski

        Amen. Hearing those fans chant “refs still suck” was awesome. I think the amount of energy that emanated from Lambeau field really helped to energize the team.

        • ZeroTolerance

          I was there. Life-long season ticket holders said it was the loudest they have heard.

  • Wagszilla

    Defense had a horrible night.

    I don’t know what rock old man Capers was smoking calling that much zone but it sure was potent.

    Oh and Morgan Burnett should wear the cone of shame all week. That play where he interfered with Tramon was unforgivable. The guy is the Jermichael Finley of the defense.

    Hopefully they’ll “get it cleaned up”. Big games coming up.

    Go Pack!

    • Oppy

      Morgan Burnett is the “Jermichael Finley of the Defense”?

      Could you please elaborate? I have a feeling I do not agree on many levels ;)

      • Wagszilla

        He’s inconsistent.

        He’ll make great plays like that goal line stand where he’ll have a good read/big hit, etc.

        Others he will shy away from contact or completely blow his coverage. Or you know, prevent his own player from making an interception.

        It’s time for him to become more than just a guy yet he still hasn’t answered that call.

        Also Woodson on Jimmy Graham? What the hell was Capers thinking?

    • PackersRS

      That play was imbecile, but overall he was one of the few guys who had a good night. Broke up 3 passes IIRC and had 6 tackles.

      Not pro bowl material yet, but he’s been playing well. Except for the whiff on Gore in the SF game.

      Agreed on Capers. Just too passive. Afraid to put his guys on bad matchups, but the young players clearly can’t play zone on a consistant basis, not against Drew Brees. Too many communication errors.

      He should’ve figured it out already. Need to play aggressive man coverage.

      But Woodson got slow fast. He’s a liability right now. Yes his play had clearly diminished last year but the QB rating in throws against him was very good (was a low QB rating, below 60 IIRC). I don’t think they’ll bench him this year, but next offseason will be interesting. In a bad way.

      • Art Rosen

        I’ve been saying for two years that Woodson is a liability! Too often his missed int’s go for big plays by the opponent. He’s slow and he costs us. How many completed passes were down the middle. Where was he? And as for Finley, can this guy stop falling down? Whether he catches the ball, drops the ball or isn’t even in the play, he falls down! WTF?!

  • Oppy

    The questionable (and flat out bad) calls were on display again. Is it going to be that type of season? It’s almost as though now that the refs are actually protecting Aaron Rodgers (Remember how two years ago we couldn’t get a roughing the passer call if we paid for it?), the refs have decided to take away other calls to make up for it.

    People are talking about MM’s mismanagement of challenges, and indeed, the Nelson possession challenge was a poor one.. But challenging the Saints’ catch looked like an easy choice, yet still upheld. Baffling.

    • buckeyefanindaphils

      Am I the only one that thought Nelson showed possession before he hit the ground? He caught the ball and made a “football move”, imo.

      • Chad Toporski

        No, you’re not. I thought the same thing.

        I even said during the game that something is wrong when Nelson’s catch doesn’t count and Graham’s was upheld.

  • Elle

    I would call the officiating laughable, but it somehow wasn’t funny at all. The officials made our defense look even worse than they were; it was probably more like a 300-350 offensive yard day, not the 400+ they ended up with.

    That said, the Saints’ O-line was winning their 1-on-1 matchups. That team came to play today, they knew they were fighting for their playoff lives. The Packers won the game more soundly than the final score shows, despite absurdly bad and biased officiating, though they did not, and would not have, dominated in any sense.

  • Dan

    Good win, we needed it. I was hoping the D would play good against the Saints because they have a legitimate O. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. I blame Capers as much as the players. I hate playing soft zone. I’m not sure what team we have yet. Our O played a bad D today and our D played a good O. We should start winning some games now, but, I’m curious on how the Pack will play against Houston and NY Giants. Teams that are well rounded…like the Niners were when we played them.

    • Big T

      Finley played like a little school girl as usual… Sure he will catch 1 out of 3 passes and look brilliant when he does and act like he just won the superbowl. How many dropped passes in the endzone does one put up with? I bet Rodgers is ready to kick him in the ding ding….

      • Chad Toporski

        That’s funny… Jennings was the one with 1 catch on 3 targets yesterday. Finley was 4 of 5.

        Jennings and Nelson were the only receivers to miss two or more of their targeted throws.

        • Big T

          Maybe it is just more noticeable because old fumble fingers celebrates like he just won the superbowl when he gains 2 yards………….

  • LMB

    Finley played like his career depended on it….., the defense held em at the end zone when it counted. Wish they could have done that more. Brees didn’t do much wrong…..dang it! I just hope this isn’t a trend for us to win or lose at the last minute! My heart won’t handle that!

  • Tarynfor12

    Was there a donation plate for 3rd and longs being passed around the Packer defense?

  • Since ’61

    Overall a good game for the Pack. The O-line looked pretty solid. The run game is making nice contributions for a few games now. The defense still needs some work on tackling but I didn’t understand the soft zone the they played most of the game. There were too many open receivers all game because of it. The regular officials were just about as bad as their replacements with three calls against the Pack, the worst being the call on the fumble kickoff return. But in spite of the officials we live to fight another day. On to Indy. Thanks, Since ’61

  • Chad Lundberg

    Oh God, it’s sounds so broken to say it at this point, but the Saints were essentially handed 14-17 points. I’m tired of making excuses for the Packers, but that doesn’t take away the principle. It is what it is.

    Bottom Line, this game should have ended around 35-21 Packers.

  • Big T

    When will the dumbazz officials be held accountable? When they make consistently bad or incorrect calls they should not get a paycheck for that game. Or they could chose to be kicked in the ding ding by the fans on the way out……

  • Big T

    What is up with Greg? I love this guy, really think he is a class act, but lately there is something seriously wrong with him… Is it the Money? Will he continue to pull his testicle all season? Maybe his girlfriend and/or wife should be on top for awhile so he can protect those testicles. And no more Lambeau Leap…. is that because of the pulled testicle? Someone shed some light on me please…

  • FITZCORE1252

    We lost the T.O. battle, the refs did their best to job us… AGAIN. And we still pulled out a win.

    This pleases me.

    GBP 4 LIFE