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Packers Periscope: Week 7 vs. New Orleans Saints

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Packers Periscope: Week 7 vs. New Orleans Saints

The Green Bay Packers return home to host the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.  The Packers dropped to 4-2 after last week's loss to the Minnesota Vikings and will look to get back on track.  They'll be doing it with Brett Hundley at quarterback in his first regular season NFL start.

Here's a closer look at the match up.

The Past

The Packers lead the series 16-8 all time with the last meeting coming in 2014.  The Packers were run out of the Louisiana Superdome to the tune of a 44-23 beat down by the Saints. 

The Packers have not fared well in New Orleans over the past 20 years, losing all three times they have visited the Bayou.  Fortunately, this meeting comes at Lambeau Field, where the Saints have not won since 2006.

Some memorable games from the past include a 1989 comeback thriller with Don Majkowski at quarterback for the Packers and Green Bay getting one of only four wins in 2005 with a rout of the Saints, 52-3.

More recently, the 2011 opener following Super Bowl XLV came down to the last play of the game and 2012 featured Graham Harrell fumbling his only snap in relief of Rodgers.

It's a brief history but Hundley his hoping to make his own personal history by leading the Packers to a win in his first start.

The Present

The present state of each team can be summed up by the mid-week injury report.  The Packers seemingly had half of their roster on it, although only five players were unable to practice at all.  The Saints, by contrast, only had two players limited in practice.

What was once a marquis quarterback match up between Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers has turned into the Packers being underdogs at home for the first time in nearly four years.  Brees leads a Saints team that just took the Miami Dolphins behind the wood shed last week.

New Orleans has a chance to get a road win and stay in contention for the NFC South.  The Packers are hardly in any type of "must win" situation, but they're at home and still have a better overall team.  This is the type of game they need to find a way to win.

New Orleans brings the fifth-best passing offense in the league against a young Packers secondary.  A secondary that should be getting Davon House and Kevin King back, but that also lost Quinten Rollins.  That will force young corners Josh Hawkins and Lenzy Pipkins into action.  Pipkins is in the concussion protocol and has not yet been cleared.

More than Hundley at quarterback, the Packers are likely keying on stopping Brees and a good Saints run game that is averaging just under 114 yards per game.

The Saints are allowing just over 100 yards rushing per game and will look to take that out of the equation for the Packers offense. 

Green Bay Head Coach Mike McCarthy often says they want to run the football but the offensive line could be without two or three of their preferred starters.  Left tackle David Bakhtiari and right tackle Bryan Bulaga have both been limited in practice so far this week.  Guard Lane Taylor hasn't practiced at all.

If Bakhtiari can't play, the preferred option at left tackle is Taylor.  If he isn't able to go, Justin McCray will likely get the nod.  Bulaga is still in the concussion protocol and if cleared, will play.  Otherwise, Adam Pankey will play in his stead.

Injuries have been such a problem for the Packers and now that they've suffered the ultimate, they find themselves fighting for any chance that exists for their 2017 season.

The Future

Nothing fancy here as far as what to expect Sunday.  The Packers can certainly find a way to beat a Saints team that still hasn't turned a corner after a few years of sub par football.  The question is: will they?  Many still feel confident and won't bet against Green Bay at home.  I'm not sure I'm among them.

I won't be surprised if the Packers find a way to come out on top but I need to see it with my own eyes first.  There are still too many questions after Hundley's performance last week that need to be answered.

Drew Brees knows how to beat a defense and if he's not under a lot of pressure, he'll pick apart a young Packers secondary.  That's what I foresee happening unless Green Bay can force a few turnovers.

This one ends up a close final score and with the Packers coming up just short.  I really, really hope I'm wrong.

 

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (10) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Nick Perry's picture

The Packers have 11 sacks on the season, 2 in the last 3 games. Drew Brees has been sacked just 4 times this season. THAT in a nutshell will probably determine this game. Brees is lethal to begin with but when given time he could pick apart any defense, especially one as wounded as the Packers.

Deep breath and....Sigh...............

RCPackerFan's picture

If Rodgers was the only injury to the roster I would feel good about Hundley and the Packers chances.

But without Rodgers, potentially without 3/5ths of their starting OL, I really am not sure what to expect.

I think the Saints will be loading up the box bringing a safety down a lot to stop the run. To counter that, I think we will see a lot of play action passes, and roll out plays. Allowing Hundley to use his athleticism, and also help cut the field in half for him.

I think we will see McCarthy getting creative with some misdirection stuff to allow Hundley to have easier options as well. Doing some misdirection type of stuff will help keep the defense on its toes.

While we don't know who will be starting on the OL, we do know we have all of our weapons. And they are very dangerous.

croatpackfan's picture

I think that many of you predict that Saints will load the box to prevent run game and left Brett to beat them by passing game. And, by many, it will be winning situation for Saints!

Well, I'll be glad if Saints have similar thoughts. Than they'll underestimate Brett. And I hope that will be the situation.

At the moment when they find out their mistake, Packers will lead the game. I believe in this team. I know that injuries are the biggest problem (well, second to biggest), but this season Packers were finding, somehow, their way to win the games.

I know it will be hard, but I believe we will have something good to talk about Sunday afternoon (late evening for me!)...

EDIT: I would love to see Devante Mays. He is the fastest and strongest RB on the Packers roster. His running style is similar to Eddie's, but he is much faster!

dobber's picture

"Some memorable games from the past include a 1989 comeback thriller with Don Majkowski at quarterback for the Packers"

I was at that one...so high up in the bowl (before they enclosed it) that I could look over the edge and see the bay. Fun game to watch. Beautiful day.

Bearmeat's picture

Agreed with both NP and RC above.

Green Bay has a decent, but far from great, pass rush when everyone is healthy. Perry's club is limiting him. Brooks has been in and out and Fackrell is a waste of space on defense. Add to it that Daniels is still not right. CM3 has played better this year than he has since the last half of 2014, but he is no longer any more than an above average chase player with a big contract. Then you throw in that the secondary has been screwed by injuries - even though they're getting somewhat healthier now... it doesn't look good.

That's not even counting the OTs being possibly out. LG being almost certainly out... oh and that we are playing a backup QB instead of a league MVP.

I think GB can compete if they get healthy in the NFCN. I don't think they can compete on Sunday with an improved Saints D and a Brees-led O. I expect to get drummed. Hope I'm wrong. The bye can't get here fast enough. :(

EdsLaces's picture

I agree. We could compete with most north teams, but this week is gonna get ugly...fast.

dobber's picture

It couldn't be much worse in terms of timing.

The Vikings game was there to be taken. That was a winnable game if they'd either had #12 for 3 quarters or if maybe Hundley could have prepared for it in full. Now they play the Saints who look like a contender for a WC bid and the Lions after the bye who fall into that same category. All conference games against teams with a green QB and a beat up OL and secondary where head-to-head may mean the difference between a WC and staying home in January. At least the bye is next week and not 3-4 weeks down the road, yet.

TommyG's picture

Fantasy is fun.

We play fantasy football because it's fun.

We read fantasy stories like GOT and LOR because they are fun.

We watch clips on pornhub because, well, fantasy is fun.

But the truth hurts. And the truth is that the saints are gonna to make this game a horrible experience. I've heard predictions of a 52-48 game. 52 points may be scored by the winner, but the pack is only going to maybe12 tops.

This will be U-g-l-y ugly; note the capital U.

I love our packers. I'm an owner and a season ticket holder. But I know what awaits us on Sunday. I'll be good and drunk to soften the impact.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

My understanding is that Bulaga has cleared the concussion protocol.

Jonathan Spader's picture

I'm watching this game with real season consequences with the preseason goggles I put on. Instead of worrying about whether the Packers win or lose I want to see how the healthy remaining Packers perform. If we win great. If we lose at least I'll have something to be happy or upset about other than the score.

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