By Daniel Sigl
What can a fan take away from Thursday’s 42-34 win over the New Orleans Saints?
The game was not perfect, but there were many positives. The Green Bay Packers got ahead early, had a ground game, and made big plays when they mattered.
First, the Packers got ahead early in the game. Less than five minutes into the game, Aaron Rodgers threw a back shoulder pass to Greg Jennings for a seven yard touchdown. Immediately after that, the defense forced a Marques Colston fumble. With 6:24 remaining in the first quarter, Rodgers strikes again — this time a three yard touchdown to Jordy Nelson.
Less than nine minutes into the game, Green Bay is already up 14-0. Getting up early is crucial with the explosiveness of both of these teams’ offenses.
The Green Bay Packers had a legitimate rushing attack. James Starks, Ryan Grant, and John Kuhn together put up 102 yards on the ground. That is just a hair over a quarter of Green Bay’s total offense (399 yards). A good ground game will certainly help out Rodgers manipulate opposing defenses.
When it mattered most, the Packers came up big. On the last play of the game, the Saints were stopped at the 1 yard line. A touchdown there, and a 2 point conversion, would have taken the game into overtime. The Packers stopped the Saints on a third and one in the red zone, and again on fourth and one.
Following the critical stops by the defense, Rodgers and company drove 93 yards down the field and scored a touchdown. Big plays can go a long way in helping a team win games.
Some people have questioned the ability of the defense. 34 points is a lot to give up, but the Saints are one of the best offenses in the league.
The Packers should not have a problem with most teams.
Randall Cobb had a great game, as 108-yard kickoff returns don’t happen very often.
Overall, the Packers played a great game. It is too early to make any predictions, but the Packers should have a lot of success on the field in 2011.
#1 Packers fan