Three of the four NFC darlings (Green Bay, New Orleans, Philly) don’t play each other during the regular season except for the lone meeting between the Saints and Packers.
Clearly, this a must-blog event.
8:25 – I failed miserably while trying to avoid the Bermuda Triangle of music…Kid Rock, Lady Antebellum, and Maroon 5. There is always next year.
8:27 – In honor of Packers head coach Mike McCarthy, who during last night’s America’s Game admitted to struggling with the prices of Starbucks, I give you a venti hot green tea. Translation: I’m bleeding caffeine at the moment.
8:39 – The amount of caffeine in my system at the moment is comparable to the amount of crack in Pookie’s system during New Jack City.
8:40 – I’ve never been happier to see a placekicker in my life…AND WE’RE OFF!
8:41 – Aaron Rodgers to Greg Jennings is the first play of the NFL season.
8:43 – Dr. Heat dials up a blitz and it leads to a Saints sack by Jonathan Casillas.
8:44 – Rodgers turns Dr. Heat into Dr. Cold with a first down completion to the immortal Donald Driver.
8:45 – A long completion to Jordy Nelson for 36 yards sets the table for our first red zone visit of the evening by Green Bay.
8:46 – Rodgers to Jennings on a wonderful back shoulder throw to open the scoring. Not an awesome start for the Saints defense. You’re up Drew.
PACKERS 7, SAINTS 0
8:50 – The new kickoff rule is going to hurt a lot of players, including Darren Sproles.
8:53 – Marques Colston catches the ball, and promptly fumbles. Green Bay football. Rut roh.
8:54 – The second coming of Ozzie Newsome brings the football inside of the New Orleans 15. Collinsworth: “I have no idea what that coverage is.”
9:00 – A three-yard TD to Nelson. Target practice for Aaron Rodgers. 9 of 10 with 2 TDs so far. It is way too easy for Green Bay.
PACKERS 14, SAINTS 0
9:03 – You know things aren’t going well when Al Michaels finally intros your offense after a half-hour into the game. Ouch.
9:06 – Sproles gains 36 yards on a reception. Reggie Bush weeps silently in Miami.
9:08 – That didn’t take long. Brees rushes the Saints down the field and into the end zone. Reservations for six…Mr. Robert Meachem from 31 yards away.
PACKERS 14, SAINTS 7
9:11 – First official ever named Clete?
9:13 – Newsome Jr. (Finley) again nets GB a first down after another mind-numbing touchback.
9:17 – ONJ again into New Orleans territory, which is promptly followed a 31-yard TD reception by rookie Randall Cobb. Rodgers is eating the Saints secondary alive.
P.S. It’s still the first quarter…
PACKERS 21, SAINTS 7
9:24 – Leave it to Al Michaels to squeeze a Leon Lett mention into the game.
9:27 – Saints drive in progress…They might need 40 to win tonight. No joke.
9:33 – Bad News Bears for the Saints. An incomplete pass on third down deep in Green Bay territory leads to a field goal from John Kasay.
PACKERS 21, SAINTS 10
9:36 – Holy ghost. Randall Cobb was a one-year-old when John Kasay began his NFL career in 1991. Woah.
9:39 – Darren Sproles takes a punt to the house for a 72-yard touchdown. Reggie Bush is still weeping silently in Miami. Game on.
PACKERS 21, SAINTS 17
9:42 – You know what Hollywood needs right now? A movie about boxing robots. Real Steel coming to a theater near you.
9:48 – The Saints defense is still on the tarmac at Louis Armstrong International Airport in New Orleans. The Packers are on the stroll again…
9:54 – James Starks makes like Marshawn Lynch and bulldozes his way through the Saints defense for six. His 17-yard TD run extends the Green Bay lead to 11.
PACKERS 28, SAINTS 17
10:00 – Fun fact. Green Bay passed over current Saints head coach Sean Payton in ’06 when they eventually hired Mike McCarthy. Saints grab a timeout with :59 seconds left in the half.
10:07 – Saints fail to generate anything on their final first half drive, which leads us to the end of the first half. Green Bay’s offense fell 24 yards short of a 300-yard first half.
HALF: PACKERS 28, SAINTS 17
10:13 – Your halftime entertainment…
10:26 – The Saints better take the air out of the football to start the third. Otherwise, they’ll give up 50.
10:29 – So far so good for the Saints. Their opening drive of the second half just eclipsed the five-minute mark.
10:30 – A third down offsides penalty on Clay Matthews gives New Orleans a doable third and 2…Oops, eats it after a sack Green Bay’s Erik Walden. Kasay time once more for the Saints.
PACKERS 28, SAINTS 20
10:34 – It’s Randall Cobb Night at Lambeau Field. First Saints defender to tackle him to ground will get a new car. He takes a kickoff out of the end zone…and returns it 108 yards for a score.
PACKERS 35, SAINTS 20
10:42 – The Saints go into full-scale panic mode and push the ball down the field. Brees culminates a brief drive with a 29-yard touchdown pass to Devery Henderson. Fantasy football owners are having hot flashes thanks to all of the points.
PACKERS 35, SAINTS 27
10:48 – I think I’m good if don’t hear Foster The People’s Pumped Up Kicks for the next five years. Anyhow, we get a rare sighting…a Green Bay punt! Good on you Saints defense.
10:54 – Charles Woodson attempts to land an uppercut and gets a personal foul call for his trouble. Amazingly, the Saints are closing in on potentially tying this game.
10:56 – Meanwhile, Mark Ingram comes up small on a short yardage run on third down. Payton goes for it on fourth…
10:57 – Packers bring pressure on Brees and is forced to throw well short of the marker…Turnover on downs. Good call by Payton though. You’re not winning this game kicking field goals.
11:01 – Another drive and the Packers are casually heading into Saints territory again after being pinned deep on their own side of the field after the defensive stand. Boyd Dowler and Sterling Sharpe are the only Packers receivers without a catch in this game.
END OF THIRD QUARTER: PACKERS 35, SAINTS 27
11:08 – COWBOYS…JETS…BLITZING…RYANS…SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL!
11:10 – Packers clean up a 12-play, 93-yard drive by sending John Kuhn in from a yard out. Saints defense = non-competitive.
PACKERS 42, SAINTS 27
11:12 – The good news for Saints fans is that Green Bay still needs a TD and two-pointer to hit 50 for the night.
11:15 – Jarrett Bush leads a committee meeting in the backfield…Destination: Drew Brees. Punt time again for the Saints.
11:20 – Fantasy note: If you didn’t handcuff Ryan Grant with James Starks, that will be a dreaded mistake.
11:23 – The Grant/Starks combo chomps up clock. By the way, Charles Woodson needs some fighting lessons from this fella…
11:30 – Not what you want to see as a Packers fan. As New Orleans moves down the field, Tramon Williams is shaken up with some sort of arm injury. Uh oh.
11:36 – Jimmy Graham catches a five-yard touchdown pass from Drew Brees…and then puts on the championship belt in Lambeau. Rule: an opponent can only mock the belt if they hold the lead.
PACKERS 42, SAINTS 34
11:39 – NO goes for an onside kick but Green Bay recovers. Saints left with one timeout and the two-minute warning.
11:43 – Rodgers throws short to John Kuhn on a 3rd and 4 from the NO 37. Punt time for Green Bay. They left the door open for Brees…
11:45 – Brees picking his way through the Green Bay defense patiently with under 60 seconds left…
11:47 – Brees and Saints pick up the pace…inside of GB 10 with three seconds left.
11:48 – Brees to Sproles…PI in the end zone!!!
11:49 – At the 1, Payton dials up a run (!??!) to Ingram on the game’s final play…straight ahead. Green Bay blows it up to end a fantastic opening night game.
FINAL: PACKERS 42, SAINTS 34
SYNOPSIS: Great game with some interesting plots coming out of it for each team. From Green Bay’s perspective, the offense was as good as advertised. However, the injury to cornerback Tramon Williams appeared to be somewhat serious. We learned Green Bay is well-equipped to handle injuries last season though.
As for the Saints, some questionable offensive play calls with some dreadful defense early got them in trouble tonight. Their offense can score with just about anyone; and if the defense plays like that again, they’ll need to.
One game down, 255 more to go.