Packers vs. Saints – First Impressions GB 42, NO 34 All Green Bay Packers All the Time

Green Bay Packers vs. New Orleans Saints 2011 NFL Week 1It’s finally here; the Packers vs. the Saints to open the 2011 NFL season that almost wasn’t.

In this meeting of the last two Super Bowl Champions, tiny Green Bay has a big-city feel tonight. Hundreds of thousands of fans and others just looking for a party have descended on the Lambeau Field area for the NFL Kickoff Celebration. The pre-game hoopla is reminiscent of a Super Bowl atmosphere, something both of these teams are familiar with.

Newsflash: I’ve just heard on twitter that Mason Crosby has hit a 63 yard field goal… in pre-game warmups. Just. Amazing.

Back to game prep:

Inactive for the Packers tonight are:

DE Mike Neal, CB Davon House, LB Frank Zombo, TE Ryan Taylor, LB Vic So’oto, T Derek Sherrod, & S M.D. Jennings,

As usual, the Packers are conservative with injuries. No surprise that Neal is held out to be sure his shoulder is fully healed. Only two of the rest are fully healthy scratches, Sherrod and Jennings. Taylor had a minor hip injury and was listed as probable for the game, so his sitting is a mild surprise, especially since he has been on almost all of the special teams first units.

The Packers go with seven active offensive linemen, with Marshall Newhouse and Evan Dietrich-Smith the only reserves. Those aren’t two names that will scare anybody. Paper-thin depth on the offensive line…


Mike McCarthy Pregame Show on 620 WTMJ:

Hoopla: We’re excited to be playing in a big time atmosphere… it’s been a great week of practice… guys are ready to go

Big game nerves: Both  teams have been thru this…  no concern on either sideline.. it’s a big deal from atv standpoint.

Unscouted looks: Neither team is going to see things they’ve never see before… we just have to focus on winning the fundamentals and discipline battles

Satisfied with Preparation: The last 21-22 days we’ve been headed in the right direction… took time to get everybody coordinated… high quality practices… will carry over to game time.

Playing Saints: Grateful for my time in New Orleans and the opportunity that was given to me… that was my first time coordinator job… all about the GBP now – this will be my home for the rest of my life.

Drew Brees: 2 superbowl MVP QBs… both didn’t just show up yeaterday. Both have put up big numbers. Drew will be a big challenge and we’re ready for it

Mark Ingram: Like his running style… doesn’t waste any steps… excellent crease runner… great instincts and power to get to the 2nd level

Capers/Williams: A lot of similarities in how both guys operate… Hopefully going up against our defense in practice has helped us.

Off-Season Workouts: no impact. I don’t know why I have to keep answering that… I think it’s convenient… will come down to the 46 guys on the field.

Pre-game festivities:

Maroon 5: um, not so good outside of the studio – horrible live performance.

Kid Rock: well, he was Kid Rock, but his voice was crackling even more than usual.

Lady Antebellum: Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Bart Starr:  ding. ding. ding. We have a winner.

Jordan Sparks: Very nice job – in-tune – got the words right… take that Christina!

Flyover: Always a winner…


Packers Saints – First Impressions – First Half

Packers go immediately to the no-huddle on second down. Grant bounces off his own player instead of running up his butt – good sign.

After Rodgers is sacked on a blitz, Saints go three man rush and Rodgers easily finds Driver for the first down on 3rd and 12. I sure want to see the Saints go three man rush more often…

Another back shoulder TD at the pylon. Ball is thrown to the spot with Jenning’s back still to Rodgers. Pretty much impossible for defensive backs in man coverage to stop.

Nick Collins puts his helmet on the ball and forces fumble. Excellent tackling form.

Rodgers again throws to the running back’s feet on a screen. What is that all about?

Tramon Williams beaten for a touchdown, but where where was Collins? Not normal for a cornerback to have to cover deep with no help in the middle of the field.

This is just we were all hoping for when the Packers picked Cobb. Defensive coordinators everywhere are quitting their jobs…

Have to say, I’ve always loved Pierre Thomas. Never quits – great in the screen game.

Speaking of screens – Saints try one and Ryan Pickett smells it and gets out there to force Sproles to cut it back inside into a few Packers. Nice hustle by the big guy…

Rodgers overthrows a wide open Jordy Nelson by 10 feet. You don’t see that too often – would have been 6 points…

Um, no, Saints, you are not out running Sam Shields down the field. uh-uh. If only Shields had better hands…

Packers Saints – First Impressions – Second Half

Saints get a gift with a very generous spot on third and one. I though he was short by two feet.

Randall Cobb – 108 YD Kickoff return: I was so excited when the Packers drafted him. This is exactly what I envisioned he could be , but in his first game? Absolutely no way!

I’m usually really bad at predicting how games will go, but I said last night on @Cheeseheadrdio that both offenses will move the ball at will but the Packers will win because the D will hold the Saints to 3 field goals instead of TDs.  We’re on the way…

Greg Jennings is so much fun to watch.

Still chuckling to myself at Cobb doing a flip, landing on his feet and just continuing on for a 108 yd return

Really smart move by Jordy Nelson. Thought about extending the ball out for the TD, but pulled it back as the defender approached – no fumbles on goal line.

Love the aggression that Starks hits the hole with. No pussyfooting around.

Masthay punts one out of bound and people on the live blog I;m on are complaining. Really? At this point, I’d much rather have that than kick it to Sproles.

Some things never change – the Packers always give the ball back late to give the other team one last chance.

What a clean acrobatic play by Hawk – a shame the refs tainted it… Interference my ass.



Follow Jersey Al:

                    Add to Circleson Google+

Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for


24 thoughts on “Packers vs. Saints – First Impressions GB 42, NO 34

  1. Overall I would say that our offense started really hot but that in typical fashion McCarthy decided to take his foot off of the gas and things slowed down drastically for us. Hopefully our defense improves because they were really looking wore out in the third quarter. Overall this was a win – I am not really sure my few small complaints really matter in the end. I love Cobb, hope that he keeps up the amazing work!!! Go Pack Go!!!

    1. When the Saints adjust their D by keeping two safeties deep all the time, then you have to run it a bit. i don’t have a problem with that so much as not being able to get a first down to close the game out.

  2. Ok I put my hands up I was cringing when he brought that KO out from 8 yards deep. Not a bad first NFL game though you would have to say..

    First impressions O-line held up OK, Starks and Green both ran well, Starks seemed to miss some pickups though which may be a worry. Wynn was impressive on the D-line and the D made just enough big plays against a very potent offense. Oh and to make a point a lot of other people will apparently off season player run work outs make sod all difference….

  3. I totally agree that was one of the worst interference calls I have ever seen. What more can you ask for from a defender? Hawk clearly was going for the ball seeing that he did bat it down. Last I heard as long as the defender is going for the ball it isn’t interference!!!

    1. He did everything he possibly could to avoid touching the receiver and got to the ball before hitting him. I don’t like to complain about calls to much unless they are just god-awful. And this one was.

  4. James Jones INVISIBLE! Randal Cobb real visible!
    Charles Woodson, likely about $25K poorer!
    How’s Tramon Williams?

  5. My first impression is that the D seriously needs to pick it up. Organized worked out Brees or not, 400 yards is just not acceptable. We’re supposed to have one of the best secondaries in the league. But a win is a win, and the Packers offense looks like it could become the best in the game.

  6. The defense will be fine … as long as Tramon is not lost for the season. Apparently he was in a lot of pain in the locker room after the game – not good

  7. Any insight into why Bush’s knee being down at the 2 before his foot hit the endzone was called a touchback? I heard Collinsworth mention something about momentum. Not whining, just want to know what happened there.

      1. The TV guys (Michels and Collingsworth) answered the question about Bush’s touchback — by rule it is considered a continuous play, so he has to down it AND keep every part of his body outside the endzone.

        1. I didn’t hear them say that. That’s what I always thought the rule was but their jabbering about his knee being down made us all doubt ourselves.

      2. Al, I tweeted the answer to you. My understanding is that, if momentum carries the player downing the ball into the endzone, it’s a touchback. If you hear otherwise, please let us know.

        Al and Chris just confused the issue.

        1. If you read football outsiders audible on the game they go into a very detailed analysis of those rules…fyi

          1. Thanks for that – here are the NFL rules from that discussion:

            Fourth-and-5 on A45. The punt hits at the B9 and rolls toward the end zone. A2 possesses the ball at the B7 and carries it into the end zone. Ruling: B’s ball, first-and-10 on B20. Touchback.

            A.R. 9.37 TEAM A RECOVERS BALL AND TOUCHES IN END ZONE Fourth-and-5 on A45. The punted ball is untouched and rolling inside the B5. A2 dives on the ball at the B4 to prevent it from going into the end zone. A2 gains possession at the B2-yard line. A2’s right foot is touching the goal line as he possesses the ball. Ruling: B’s ball, first-and-10 on B20. Touchback.

            9-2-2 Item 2: If a player touches the goal line with any part of his body while touching the ball, the ball is dead and the result of the play is a touchback.

  8. I’ve been saying it since 2008 about Rodgers and screens. He just can’t do them. Hell, last season I was calling him out for pump faking to the RB. On a screen. What the..?

    You know what? I don’t care. Just find other plays that cater to his strengths.

    Also, credit where credit is due on the kickoff TD. Kuhn kept Cobb up on that return when he barrell rolled. Great plays by the entire unit.

    1. You are 100% correct. For me, being a big screen guy, it’s the only thing about Rogers that drives me crazy. On this play, however, after watching it over again, I can’t really fault Rogers. DL was big in his face and he did great to even get it off, regardless of where it ended up.

    2. he doesn’t have the soft touch on short throws.

      Otherwise it’s like he’s playing Madden on Rookie.

    3. Holmgren practiced the screen game a lot more. We were spoiled watching his teams screen. It’s just not an emphasis anymore.

  9. Great to be back everyone. If our D-line plays like this most games, how many players will make the pro bowl?

Comments are closed.