Packers: 5 takeaways from Week 7 loss to Saints

GREEN BAY, WI - OCTOBER 22: Brett Hundley
GREEN BAY, WI - OCTOBER 22: Brett Hundley /
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GREEN BAY, WI – OCTOBER 22: Ted Ginn Jr.
GREEN BAY, WI – OCTOBER 22: Ted Ginn Jr. /

Third down defense fails

Third down defense can be the difference between winning and losing. The Saints converted eight times on 15 third downs, Dom Capers’ defense unable to get off the field time and again.

With the Packers up 14-7 in the second quarter, the Saints were third-and-17 on their own 13-yard line. Green Bay had a great opportunity to force a punt and receive the ball with great field position. Instead, Drew Brees found Ted Ginn for a 17-yard completion. The Saints didn’t come away with any points, but the Packers were forced to begin their next drive on their own 19-yard line.

New Orleans started the third quarter with the football, but soon faced a third-and-9. Yet again Brees converted, finding Michael Thomas for 21 yards. The drive ended with a touchdown. Another great opportunity to quickly get off the field was wasted, and the Saints took advantage.

Despite coming away with two interceptions in the first quarter, Green Bay’s defense failed on third down. The conversions on third-and-17 and third-and-9 were particularly frustrating, as both could have made all the difference to the outcome of the game.