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Sept 30, 2012; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson (87) catches a pass against New Orleans Saints safety Roman Harper (41) at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-US PRESSWIRE

Packers vs. Saints - Every play of Packers 28-27 win

Sept 30, 2012; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) passes during the game against the New Orleans Saints at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-US PRESSWIRE

The Green Bay Packers escaped with a 28-27 win over the New Orleans Saints, despite having to overcome a blown non-call on a fumble, a huge day by Drew Brees and an injury to Aaron Rodgers when the Packers were on the  4 yard line and backup QB Graham Harrell tripped and botched a handoff to Cedric Benson.

Those were the big plays in a game filled with them – and a game when the honeymoon with the return of the regular referees was short-lived.

For a recounting of every play of this game that will surely go down in Packers lore as one of the most exciting to take place in Lambeau Field, read on. It was a brutally intense day that tested the mettle and character of this team that was coming off the infamous “inaccurate reception” game in Seattle.

First quarter

Saints kick off to Packers

Packers start the game going three and out. Pass to James Jones on third down and 3 goes for two

On the Saints first possession, pass to Marques Colston for five: Pierre Thomas goes for four and then Clay Matthews buries Thomas on third and one

Saints punt goes only 28 yards and Packers take over for second possession on own 38.

Packers first possession

On first down, Rodgers throws 15 yards to Jordy Nelson; Benson runs for five yards;

In the hurry-up offense, Rodgers hits Finley on a quick hitter to the sideline for 12 yards.

On second and 10 from 31, Rodgers in the shotgun hits Jordy Nelson with a laser over the middle for 17 yards down to the 12; first and 10 Rodgers hits Finley in the hands, but he juggles and drops it.

On second down, Rodgers scrambles left, stays on his feet after nearly being tripped up and throws a TD pass to James Jones in the left side of the end zone. On the extra point, Bryan Bulago holds and Mason Crosby hits a 30-yard extra point.

Packers 7-0

Packers kick off for touchback

Saints start at the 20 yard line with 9:02 in the first quarter.

Mark Ingram 3 yards; Darren Sproles takes quick hitter, makes a good move and pics up 6; On third and 2, Brees rolls right and hits Jimmie Graham for 5.

First and 10at 34, pass for five toTE  David Thomas; pass to Lance Moore for 10 yards.

Brees has time to throw, but on first down the Saints are called for holding to move ball back to the 41.

Throw over the middle to Graham for 23 yards down to the Packers 36.

On second and 6, Graham again catches a first down pass down to the Packers 19.

A first down run by Thomas is snuffed out by Erik Walden who brings him down for a one yard loss; second and 11, Marques Colston pushes off on Morgan Burnett, but no flag thrown – touchdown Saints. That’s the 47th straight game that Drew Brees has thrown a touchdown, tying him with the late great Johnny Unitas.

Packers fans officially end love affair with regular referees.

Sept. 30, 2012; Green Bay, WI, USA; New Orleans Saints interim head Aaron Kromer during the first half against the New Orleans Saints at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Mary Langenfeld-US PRESSWIRE

Packers 7 Saints 7

Saints kick off – touchback, Packers take over at 20 yard line.

First and 10 for Packers, Incomplete pass; second and 10, Benson runs left for four yards; third and six, Rodger runs left for the first down – a seven yard gain to the 31.

Quick pass on first down to Randall Cobb for five yards; second and 5, Benson up the middle for seven yards; ball at 43, the Packers run a screen to Benson, but he gets just two yards; Second and 8, Rodgers hits Cobb for 10

First and 10 from the Saints 45; Pass to Finley for 20 yards as Rodgers spreads the ball around.

First and 10, Pass to Donald Driver for four yards.

End of first quarter – Packers 7 Saints 7

Packers with a second and 6 at the Saints 22 yard line; defense in the neutral zone. Second down and 2 – pass to Finley with his third catch (40 yards) for first down.

Bal at 9 yard  line first and goal; Rodgers with all kinds of time hits Jennings in the middle of the end zone for a touchdown – it’s Jennings 50th career TD pass.

Extra point by Mason Crosby

Packers 14 Saints 7

Packers kick off  – Sproles with a 31 yard return out to the 26

Saints possession

First and 10, Brees’s pass to Lance Moore is short of the mark to bring up second and 10. Pass to the left side to Pierre Thomas for three yards; third and 7, Brees to Graham for 10, first down

First and 10 Ingram for 2 yards; from the 42, Colston hauls in 17 yard pass from Brees for first down.

Ball at the Packers 41, hand off to Thomas and he get stoned by A.J. Hawk; second and 10, quick pass attempt to Moore is knocked down by Tramon Williams on a textbook coverage play; third and 9, pass is broken up on good Packers defense.

Saints punt to nine yard line; Cobb fair catch.

Packers get ball back, but lack of a pass rush and zone defense is somewhat of a concern. Brees has been known to pick defenses apart.

Packers at the 8, Benson off left tackle for 4 yards, and on second down a flag for illegal use of hands by Josh Sitton pushes Packers back to the 6; second and 12, Rodgers is pressured out of the pocket to the right and hits Nelson on the sideline for an apparent first down, but it’s called incomplete as Nelson doesn’t maintain control of the ball all the way through the play; Packers head coach Mike McCarthy challenges the call, but loses the timeout when the referees confirm call.

Third and 12 from the 6, pass to Cobb is complete and he leaps for it, but comes up inches short. Packers have to punt.

Packers fake punt, snap it to John Kuhn and he runs for first down

Sept 30, 2012; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb (18) is tackled by New Orleans Saints linebacker Martez Wilson (95) and safety Corey White (24) at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-US PRESSWIRE

On first down from the 22, Benson runs for 3 yards off left tackle; Rodgers rolls right and throws down right sideline to Nelson; defensive back caught holding.

First down at the 30, Benson pushes the pile for five; Benson again up the middle for six more – he’s tripped up in the open field.

first and 10 from the 42; Benson runs right for four; Quick pass to Cobb for first down with face mask penalty and 15 yards added.

From the Saints 30, shovel pass to Benson for 10 yards and a first down as he breaks tackles and runs hard.

Ball at the 19, Rodgers hits Benson on the checkdown for five yards; on second and five, Nelson drops a Rodgers fastball over the middle; third and 5, Rodgers hits James Jones for a touchdown, his second of the game to give the Packers a 21-7 lead. Rodgers is pumped and gives the belt for the first time this year.

Packers 21 Saints 7

Packers kick off – touchback.

Saints possession

Saints start at the 20, Brees to Colston for 14 and first down; first and 10 at the 39, pass incomplete to Moore, but penalty on the Saints; first and 15, pass to Devry Henderson for 10; Second and five from the 39 Brees hits Sproles for four; third and 1 and the Saints take first time out – quick pass to Moore for 2 yards.

First and 10, Ingram for 2; second and 8, Packers offside. On second and three Woodson knifes through to stop Thomas at the 2-minute warning.

Third and 1 for the Saints, pass to Graham for first down to the Packers 40; Drew Brees throws incomplete; second and 10, screen to Sproles for 20 yards down to the Packers 20; first and 10; pass to Moore to the Packers 11; pass to Colston to the Packers 6 …

Time out Saints with 33 seconds left

Pass to Sproles for the touchdown; Brees was 9-10 on the drive for 77 yards

Packers 21 Saints 14

Saints kick off and Cobb returns it to the 25

Benson runs out the clock with a one yard run.

Halftime

Passing

Brees

#9 QB
CP/AT YDS TD INT
20/24 195 2 0

Rushing

Benson

#32 RB
ATT YDS TD LG
11 51 0 7

Receiving

Colston

#12 WR
REC YDS TD LG
5 62 1 20
Second half
Packers kick off to Saints
First down, Woodson nearly intercepts and Brees thrown incomplete on second down; third and 10 from the 26, Packers called for encroachment on Jerel Worthy; On third and 5, from the 31, Brees hits Graham for apparent first down. McCarthy challenges completed pass ruling. McCarthy’s second challenge. Referees confirm using on the field. McCarthy isn’t happy.
First and 10 at the 39, Pierre Thomas gets one yard, second and 9 Brees hits a wide open Marques Colston for huge gain to Packers 35.
Packers run defense is stout as Thomas gets 2 on first down; second and 8, handoff to Sproles gets 2; third and 6, ball at Packers 30, Brees with big pass to Moore to the 11 against Tramon Williams.
First and 10, Brees throws a dangerous screen pass across the field that was nearly intercepted by D.J. Smith. Pass on second and 10 knocked away by Morgan Burnett; third and 10, pass to Sproles keeps him short of the first down; fourth and 2
Field goal attempt, but flags thrown, personal foul on BJ Raji – automatic first down.
First and goal pass to Ingram complete but loses one yard.
Second and goal, pass to Colston in the corner of the end zone incomplete.
Third and goal, Williams knocks ball out of Graham’s hands – fourth down
Field goal good
15 plays 72 yards for the Saints
Packers 21, Brees 17
Saints kick off – touchback

Sept 30, 2012; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson (87) catches a pass against New Orleans Saints safety Roman Harper (41) at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-US PRESSWIRE

Packers 

First and 10, Nelson pass for 10 over the middle
First and 10, pass to Benson for 4; second and 6, beautiful back shoulder throw and catch to Jones for first down;
First and 10, pass to Driver tipped and incomplete; penalty on Saints for hands to the face, first and 10, Benson for 3; second and 7, ball at 37 – pass to a wide open Jordy Nelson for 12 and another first down at the 25; Rodgers passes to Finley for 12; first and 10, Benson for 4 down to the Saints 7; second and 6, Quick pass to Nelson dow to the three yard line; third and 3, Rodgers calls quick time out.
Green Bay has just one time out left
Third down and 3 from the 4, Rodgers pushed out of the pocket, but gets a hand to the eye, Rodgers has to come out, Graham Harrell comes in for at least one play.
On first and goal, Graham Harrell is tripped and the exchange between Harrell and Benson results in a fumble.
Saints ball
Sproles for five yards; Second and 5, pass dropped; third and 5, pass to Moore for 7 – first down
First and 10 from the 20, pass to Joseph Morga for 80 yards – broken coverage by Sam Shields
Saints 24 Packers 21
Saints kick off – touchback
Packers possession
Aaron Rodgers is back in the game
First and 10 – Packers holding penalty; first and 20; Pass to Nelson for 16; pass to Crabtree for 16 and a first down
Rodgers intercepted by Patrick Robinson; 2:35 in third quarter
Saints with with ball at the Saints 34, first down pass to the flat for 13 yards; first and 10 at Saints 46, Ingram for 2; second and 8, Clay Matthews with a sack – number seven on the season; third and 17, Brees first down pass to Marques Colston – Woodson hurt
First and 10, Sproles loses one yard
End of third quarter
Saints 24 Packers 21
Second and 10 at Packers 38, screen play sniffed out by DJ Smith who cuts down Thomas for a loss of 4; third and 14, pass to Colston for first down to the 15; ball inside the 10; Brees throws the ball away; third and 4, pass incomplete
Packers defense finally holds on third down
Field goal Saints
Saints 27 Packers 21
Saints kick off – Cobb with 35 yard return
Packers possession
Packers first down at the 34, Benson for nine on the quick pitch to the right; second and 1, Rodgers incomplete; third and 1, Rodgers with the naked bootleg gets 10 yards for a first down.
First and 10, pass incomplete to Jones down right sideline; second and 10 from Saints 47, Benson gains three off left side; third and 7 at the Saints 44, incomplete to Cobb – through his hands and off Driver.
Punt to the nine yard line.
Saints ball with 10:40 left in the game

Sept 30, 2012; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers running back Cedric Benson (32) is tackled by New Orleans Saints cornerback Jabari Greer (33) at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-US PRESSWIRE

First and 10 from the nine yard line, Brees throws it away; second and 10, ball tipped and inc., Burnett and Williams fight for it and it falls to the ground;

Saints time out
Third and 10 from the nine yard line, pass incomplete … finally force the Saints to punt to the Packers 43
Packers possession from their own 43
Packers first and 10, Benson runs hard for 8 yards, breaking tackles on the way; second and 2, quick pass to Cobb for 8 and a first down
first and 10 at Saints 41, pass to Cobb over the middle for seven; second and three, Rodgers flushed to his right drills a pass to Nelson for a first down under heavy pressure
First and 10 at 28, shovel pass to Cobb down to the 11
First and 10, pass to Driver incomplete;
second and 10, pass to Nelson touchdown!
Crosby extra point
7 minutes remaining in fourth quarter
Packers 28 Saints 27
Packers kick off – Sproles fumbles it, but no call on the field – blown call – Saints ball
Saints possession
Sproles for nine yards; second and 1, Ingram for one yard and a first down.
First and 10 at the 41, CJ Wilson with the sack, loss of 7; second and 17, pass to Colston for 15; third and 2, incomplete with good coverage by DJ Smith; 4th and 2 Saints go for it, but Saints call time out; Pass for six yards to Moore.
First and 10 at Packers 45 incomplete; second and 10, pass to Moore to the Packers 32;
First and 10, false start penalty on Saints, First and 15, pass to Graham to 25; second and 4, Thomas for one yard; Third and 4, pass incomplete with Jaron McMillian on coverage.
Field goal of 43 yards good, but holding penalty on Saints makes it a 53-yard attempt – but Packers called on encroachment
Now 48 yard try –
Kick is no good – wide left
Packers 28 Saints 27
Packers first and 10, Benson for 3; second and 7, Saints time out; 2:44 left, Benson for four; third and 3
Two minute warning
Third and 3 from the Packers 45, James Jones with an incredible catch for first down, despite pass interference on Saints …
Poetic justice as the Packers line up in victory formation 

Packers

Passing CP/AT YDS TD INT
Rodgers 31/41 319 4 1

Saints

Passing CP/AT YDS TD INT
Brees 35/54 446 3 0

1st Quarter

GB PackersJames Jones 12 yd pass from Aaron Rodgers (Mason Crosby kick), 9:02 Drive: 7 plays, 62 yards in 2:04
Green Bay 7-0
NO SaintsMarques Colston 20 yd pass from Drew Brees (Garrett Hartley kick), 3:33 Drive: 10 plays, 80 yards in 5:29
Tied 7-7

2nd Quarter

GB PackersGreg Jennings 9 yd pass from Aaron Rodgers (Mason Crosby kick), 14:15 Drive: 11 plays, 80 yards in 4:18
Green Bay 14-7
GB PackersJames Jones 14 yd pass from Aaron Rodgers (Mason Crosby kick), 4:50 Drive: 13 plays, 92 yards in 6:08
Green Bay 21-7
NO SaintsDarren Sproles 6 yd pass from Drew Brees (Garrett Hartley kick), 0:27 Drive: 12 plays, 80 yards in 4:23
Green Bay 21-14

3rd Quarter

NO SaintsGarrett Hartley 20 yd FG, 9:41 Drive: 15 plays, 72 yards in 5:19
Green Bay 21-17
NO SaintsJoseph Morgan 80 yd pass from Drew Brees (Garrett Hartley kick), 3:49 Drive: 4 plays, 92 yards in 1:21
New Orleans 24-21

3rd Quarter

NO SaintsGarrett Hartley 20 yd FG, 9:41 Drive: 15 plays, 72 yards in 5:19
Green Bay 21-17
NO SaintsJoseph Morgan 80 yd pass from Drew Brees (Garrett Hartley kick), 3:49 Drive: 4 plays, 92 yards in 1:21
New Orleans 24-21

Saints

Passing CP/AT YDS TD INT
Brees 35/54 446 3 0
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
Sproles 5 20 0 9
Thomas 9 14 0 6
Ingram 5 11 0 3
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
Colston 9 153 1 27
Graham 7 76 0 24
Moore 7 67 0 19
Sproles 5 44 1 20
Thomas 2 -1 0 3
Morgan 1 80 1 80
Collins 1 12 0 12
Henderson 1 10 0 10
Thomas 1 6 0 6
Ingram 1 -1 0 -1

Packers

Passing CP/AT YDS TD INT
Rodgers 31/41 319 4 1
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
Benson 18 84 0 9
Rodgers 5 13 0 10
Kuhn 1 5 0 5
Harrell 1 0 0 0
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
Nelson 8 93 1 18
Cobb 7 66 0 17
Jones 5 56 2 20
Finley 4 54 0 20
Benson 4 22 0 11
Crabtree 1 16 0 16
Jennings 1 9 1 9
Driver 1 3 0 3
Fumbles FUM LOST REC-O
Harrell 1 1 0

Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/football/nfl/gameflash/2012/09/30/4952/index.html#ixzz2807SqAl1

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