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…
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.
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.
Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of AllGreenBayPackers.com, 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 Drafttek.com.