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The Green Bay Packers were able to bounce back after last weeks heart breaking loss and hold off the winless New Orleans Saints 28-27.
The Saints took over momentum in the 3rd quarter after injuring Aaron Rodgers with the Packers in the red-zone. On the following play, back up quarterback Graham Harrell tripped while handing the ball off to Benson and the Saints recovered the fumble. A few plays later, New Orleans took the lead late in the 3rd quarter when Drew Brees connected with Joseph Morgan for an 80 yard touchdown bomb. On the Packers next drive, the Saints regained possession forcing an Aaron Rodgers interception.
Two drives after throwing his lone interception, Rodgers brought Green Bay down field and connected with Jordy Nelson for the game winning touchdown. On the ensuing kick-off, Green Bay was victim of another terrible call after New Orleans kick returner Darren Sproles fumbled and the referees called he was down by contact.
With an opportunity to take the lead, Saints kicker Garrett Hartley nailed a 43 yard field goal, but it was called back because of an offensive holding. Pushing the Saints ten yards back, the Packers jumped offside to give the Saints back five yards. Finally, Hartley lined up for a 48 yard field goal, and just missed giving the Packers the ball back with 2:49 left in the game. After a three-yard Cedric Benson run, the Saints called their final timeout. On a 3rd and 3, Aaron Rodgers threw a bullet to wideout James Jones, who miraculously caught the ball for a first down. Regardless of the catch the Saints were flagged for defensive pass interference, granting the Packers a first down. Rodgers and the Packers offense kneeled their way to a much needed victory.
Rodgers led the Packers offense, completing 31-of-41 passes for 319 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. This was Rodgers 24th, 300+ yard passing game in his career. Rodgers was able to connect with eight different targets against the Saints. Packers wideout Jordy Nelson led Green Bay with eight receptions for 93 yards and one touchdown. Greg Jennings also contributed with an early touchdown catch for his only catch of the game and James Jones caught five passes for 56 yards along with two touchdowns.
Green Bay was able to successfully keep the ball on the ground against the Saints. Cedric Benson led the Packers with 18 carries for 84 yards, a season high. Benson also contributed with four catches for 22 yards. This was Benson’s second game of the year compiling a total of 100+ all purpose yards. Green Bay continues to develop a run game to become less predictable offensively.
Drew Brees entered the record book, matching Johnny Unitas throwing a touchdown pass in 47 consecutive games. Brees passed for a season high 446 yards and three touchdowns. It was also Brees’ first 400+ passing game of the season. Marques Colston led the Saints with nine receptions for 153 yards and one touchdown. The Saints were unable to run the ball against Green Bay’s defense, only compiling a total of 45 rushing yards. The winless Saints are 0-4 for the first time since the 2007 season.
Green Bay (2-2) will be on the road next week against the Indianapolis Colts as they continue to play well and look to earn another victory. As for the Saints, they will look to earn their first victory of the season at home against the San Diego Chargers.
Image Courtesy of Green Bay Packers