Packers vs Saints in Sunday's Marquee Matchup

Packers and Saints Both In Desperate Need of Win

9/30/12 in NFL   |   Andrew_Ericksen   |   230 respect

Sep 24, 2012; Seattle, WA, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) reacts during the 2nd half against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field. Seattle defeated Green Bay 14-12. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-US PRESSWIRE1 win, 5 losses: The combined efforts of the two teams that will take Lambeau Field Sunday evening.  Yes, two of the last three Super Bowl winners, and two of the most dominant offenses in the NFL the past 5 years.  But after a bounty scandal and one of the most widely discussed last second calls in the past decade of sports, the Packers and Saints are both in desperate need of a win.
Expect to see both Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees in top form when they take the field at 4:25 EST.  Brees has struggled taking care of the ball so far this year, with 5 interceptions in 3 games, while Rodgers just hasn’t been his usual point-scoring machine with 3 touchdowns in 3 games (after averaging 3 per game last season).
New Orleans has been out of sync without Sean Payton at the helm, while the Packers haven’t gotten consistent play out of their top wide-out Greg Jennings.  But there’s too much talent on both offenses to see a losing trend continue and I really think we’ll see a lot of points go up on the board in this one.  The difference is going to be which defense is able to make the stops when it matters most.
The Packers haven’t had much to be concerned about on the defensive side of the ball.  After the 49ers did some damage in week one, the Packers smothered the Bears offense and then only allowed one and a half touchdowns this past Monday night to the Seahawks.  The same can’t be said about the Saints, not in the least bit.  After allowing 40 to Washington, 35 to Carolina, and 27 to Kansas City, I’m scared to see what the Packers offense could do if they’re on their game.
September 23, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) looks for a receiver against the Kansas City Chiefs during second half of their game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the New Orleans Saints 27-24 in overtime.  Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-US PRESSWIREBut one thing that we can undoubtedly take from this past Monday night game, final second touchdown or not, is that the Packers running game is a serious problem.  Lead back Cedric Benson averaged only 2.6 yards per carry, rarely finding any light against a disciplined Seahawks defense.  While last year’s Packers weren’t anything of a juggernaut running the football, they were definitely able to get yards when they needed to.  This year, the Packers have amassed only 149 rushing yards out of their backfield: 144 for Benson, 3 for Kuhn, and 2 for Alex Green.  Only 5 teams have rushed for fewer yards through the first three weeks this year.
Now the Saints should be well aware of the fact that their run defense needs some fine tuning after Jamaal Charles literally ran through any hole he wanted last weekend en route to 233 yards, so this weekend is the perfect opportunity for the defense to show whether they can support Brees and the offense or not.
Despite the 0-3 record, the Saints offense is still right in the top 10 in total yards so far this season while the Packers are in the bottom 10.  It’s hard to pick against the Packers on their home field when they desperately need a win, but it’s similarly hard to pick against a veteran team that’s determined to fight for another shot at a playoff run, so make sure you have your TVs tuned in for the opening kickoff.
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