Week 1: Saints 26, Packers 23

Discussion in 'Thread Archive' started by Big D, Sep 16, 2011.

  1. Big D

    Big D Walk On

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    Saints Come Back to Steal One at Lambeau

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    September 13, 2011

    Green Bay, WI- It was the great battle everybody expected, with two great teams trading heavyweight punches throughout a back and forth season opening contest in Prime Time.

    In the end it was Drew Brees using his legs to carry his team to victory and give the defending champs notice that there is a serious challenger in the NFC.

    Most of the first quarter saw both teams playing conservative, taking jabs at each other while the defenses dominated.

    Green Bay would take an early lead with a a field goal after their defense stopped the Saints on the games opening drive.

    However Brees would finally connect on a big play to end the quarter. After a long sustained drive that saw the Saints on a slow march into Green Bay territory, the veteran quarterback would hook up with Devery Henderson for the go ahead touchdown.

    However kicker Garrett Hartley, who is playing this season with a partially injured leg, missed the extra point. That lone point off the board would factor into decisions for both teams down the stretch.

    The second quarter saw Green Bay use a blueprint that other teams may try to copy; a heavy dose of Ryan Grant and risk free passes that would end in a 12 yard Grant touchdown run to give the Packers the lead back.

    The Saints would go into their two minute drill and finally get some rhythm with a nice mix of runs and passes. They would quickly get the ball inside the ten yard line and force the Packers into a guessing game defensively.

    They would guess wrong and go with a 9 person zone on the goal line, and while that worked to not allow any receivers open for Brees, the defense would forget that he is still spry enough to run when given the opportunity. He would this time, all the way to the end zone to give New Orleans a 13-10 halftime lead.

    The Packers would open the second half with a long drive that stalled inside Saints territory, forcing them to settle for a field goal and the tie.

    Enter Mark Ingram.

    The standout rookie tailback would finally see some running room and he would take advantage, plowing over defenders on numerous runs including on the drive capping four yard touchdown rumble.

    But the Packers weren't done yet.

    A quick strike 68 yard touchdown pass from Aaron Rodgers to Greg Jennings would catch the Saints defense napping and again tie the game, this time at 20-20.

    The fourth quarter would be a classic battle of wills and attrition.

    The Saints would lose the attrition war, with All-Pro receiver Marques Colston landing awkwardly on his shoulder and breaking his collarbone. Colston is expected to miss 7 weeks.

    However New Orleans would win the battle of wills.

    A Packer field goal to give them the lead with 4:20 left, and then Drew Brees would go to work.

    He would complete 5 straight passes and cause the Packer defense to start second-guessing themselves into a panic. That panic would lead to disaster.

    Green Bay would eventually dry to drop ten players into coverage, rushing just one, and leaving the running lanes for Brees open.

    He would take advantage as two times in that scenario he would scramble for big yardage. The second one was a monster 17 yard run that would set up a first and goal inside the five yard line.

    It only took one play for Mark Ingram to bull his way into the end zone, giving the Saints the come from behind win and sending the Packers and their fans home in shock.

    "I thought our guys fought really hard tonight," said Coach Dunlap.

    "It takes a lot of will, moxy, and guys just playing together and believing in eachother to beat the defending champs at their place. It's not easy. I'm just really proud of the effort and the result tonight."

    Brees finished 15/20 for 212 yards and one touchdown, but perhaps more important were his 58 yards rushing that included two game changers on the final drive.

    The Saints come home next week when they will take on the Bears (1-0) in the Superdome in a Sunday afternoon contest.
     

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