NFL Game Summary - New Orleans at Green Bay
(Sunday, September 30th)
Final Score: Green Bay 28, New Orleans 27
Green Bay, WI (Sports Network) - The regular referees are back, right?
Less than a week after being robbed by the replacement refs in 14-12 loss at
Seattle, the Green Bay Packers endured another sloppy finish and held on for a
28-27 win over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday at Lambeau Field.
Aaron Rodgers threw four touchdown passes for the Packers (2-2), including a
go-ahead 11-yard strike to Jordy Nelson with seven minutes remaining.
After Nelson's grab, New Orleans' Darren Sproles fumbled the ensuing kickoff,
but was ruled down by contact. Out of challenges, the Packers were forced
to accept the botched call, and the Saints took advantage with a march to the
Green Bay 25.
Garrett Hartley drilled a 43-yard field goal from there, but this time the
newly reinstated officials got it right with a holding call on David Thomas,
which negated the kick.
After an encroachment call on Green Bay, Hartley pulled his 48-yard attempt
wide left and the Packers took over with 2:49 to go. They were able to run
out the clock and secure the win courtesy of a tough catch by James Jones on
Rodgers finished with 319 yards and an interception on 31-of-41 passing, while
Cedric Benson ran for 84 yards on 18 carries for Green Bay. Nelson caught
eight passes for 93 yards, Jones added a pair of touchdown grabs and Greg
Jennings scored in the second quarter before departing with a groin injury.
"You can't help but have that feeling of 'Here we go again' and unfortunately
there was a little bit of that on some of the calls," said Rodgers. "But we
were able to overcome it. I think it says a lot about the character of this
team. This was an important win for us."
Drew Brees completed 35-of-54 passes for 446 yards and three touchdowns
without and interception for the Saints (0-4), who have dropped four straight
to begin a season for the first time since 2007.
"We need to find a way to win," said Saints interim coach Aaron Kromer. "(The
players) are going to be a little bit disheartened but we're going to fight
back and we're going to climb the mountain."
With a 20-yard first-quarter scoring pass to Marques Colston, Brees tied
Hall of Famer Johnny Unitas for consecutive games with a touchdown pass (47).
"Obviously I'd like to be sitting here talking about (the record) after a win,
but certainly it's significant to even be in the same realm as a guy like
Johnny Unitas," said Brees.
Packers' backup quarterback Graham Harrell entered for one play late in the
third quarter after Rodgers was injured on Malcolm Jenkins' facemask
infraction, which gave Green Bay a new set of downs at the New Orleans 4.
Harrell's first NFL snap proved disastrous, as the Texas Tech product
tripped over the foot of center Jeff Saturday and botched a handoff to
Jenkins recovered the loose ball and Brees found Joe Morgan moments later for
an 80-yard touchdown strike to give the Saints a 24-21 lead -- their first of
the game -- with 3:49 left in the third quarter.
After a Packers three-and-out, Colston made a pair of 3rd-and-long grabs
during a 57-yard march which resulted in Hartley's 27-yard field goal early in
the fourth quarter, which capped a run of 20 straight New Orleans points.
The teams then traded punts before Rodgers and Nelson connected for the go-
ahead score. Randall Cobb had a 17-yard catch-and-run during the 57-yard
touchdown trek, which ended when Nelson snared a slant, barreled over a
defender, and fell across the goal line.
Looking to bounce back from Monday night's debacle, the Packers were in
They grabbed a 7-0 lead on their second possession when Rodgers found Jones
for a 12-yard touchdown. Nelson had catches of 15 and 18 yards during the
The Saints responded on the ensuing drive when Brees found Colston for a 20-
yard touchdown to cap a lengthy trek, but Green Bay answered with a pair of
scores to go on top by a 21-7 count late in the second quarter.
First, Rogers found Jennings for a 9-yard touchdown -- the fourth different
receiver he hit during an 80-yard drive which spanned four-plus minutes.
Following a Saints punt, the Packers took over at their own 3-yard line and
unfurled a methodical march, which Rodgers and Jones finished with a 14-yard
touchdown connection with 4:50 left in the first half.
New Orleans made it 21-14 when Brees found Sproles for a 6-yard score less
than a minute before halftime, and Hartley tacked on a 20-yard field goal on
the opening drive of the third quarter.
Cobb caught seven passes for 66 yards and Jones finished with 56 yards on five
catches ... Colston had nine catches for 153 yards ... The Packers are 10-2
all-time against the Saints at Lambeau Field ... New Orleans finished with a
7-9 record when it started the 2007 season 0-4.
09/30 21:30:22 ET
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