Packers Periscope: Week 3 vs New Orleans Saints

The last time the Green Bay Packers faced the New Orleans Saints, they were a tattered version of their current state. In week seven of 2017, Brett Hundley was starting his first game in replacement of an injured Aaron Rodgers. If not for Aaron Jones, the Packers offense would not have moved the ball much at all that day. When they meet again this week on Sunday Night Football, you can expect to see a different Green Bay team take the field.

Since 2002, the Packers are 3-5 against the Saints, including two losses in the last two meetings. One of course with Hundley under center, and the other from 2014 in a game where New Orleans lit up the Packers defense on their way to a 44-23 victory. Rodgers finished with 418 yards but threw two costly interceptions that led to touchdowns.

Six years ago, when Green Bay last traveled to New Orleans and lost by 19 points, they were the sixth-ranked offense in the NFL. Through two games this season, they are number one in total offense, points, and average time of possession. Sunday night will it also be the first time the Saints face the Packers under Matt LaFleur.

New Orleans is 1-1 to start the season, but they probably aren't too happy about it. Their defense has talent, however, they fell flat against the Las Vegas Raiders on Monday night. Quarterback Derek Carr connected on 74 percent of his passes for 282 yards, three touchdowns, and zero interceptions. They also added 116 yards rushing led by Josh Jacobs.

Rodgers and Jones are set for big nights against a Saints defense coming off a putrid performance in prime time. Jones had a career day in week two, and Rodgers is trending toward having one of his best statistical seasons ever. They aren't showing signs of slowing down either.

Both teams are coming off seasons in which they finished 13-3, but while Green Bay appears to be picking up steam, New Orleans is slowing down. Led by a now 41-year-old Drew Brees, the consensus is not the same player he once was. The Saints will likely rely on Alvin Kamara to carry most of the load offensively so they can get back on track and not fall to 1-2.

Needless to say, Mike Pettine’s defense has to come ready. They took a step forward in week two but got off to a slow start last week allowing the Detroit Lions to march down the field with relative ease at the start of the game. This will not be the Lions in week three. New Orleans has better talent and is better coached.

Should the Packers win, they will move to 17-9 all-time against the Saints and be 3-0 for the second year in a row. It would be the first time Green Bay has started back to back years 3-0 with Rodgers at quarterback.

Most of the credit goes to LaFleur, who so far has been nothing short of brilliant with his play-calling and ability to squeeze every bit of talent from his personnel. If he outduels Sean Payton, it will say a lot about his stature among head coaches around the league.

Looking ahead, this Sunday will mark the beginning of a tough three-game stretch against NFC South opponents. Rest assured, we will learn a lot about Green Bay’s defense after they face a gauntlet of offenses, including New Orleans, the Atlanta Falcons, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. At this rate, finishing 2-1 following this stretch would be impressive. However, 3-0 isn’t off the table.

 

 

Brandon Carwile is a Packers writer who also enjoys watching and breaking down film. Follow him on Twitter @PackerScribe.

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Comments (15)

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Bearmeat's picture

September 25, 2020 at 03:12 pm

Without Davante it's going to be much harder. Hopefully Kenny can play.

Honestly, I penciled this down as a loss before the year and I'm not going to change that prediction. Our offense has exceeded all expectations so far - against awful competition. We'll see on Sunday night how good it really is. I honestly expect a struggle. And the defense... oh boy... I think we're going to get lit up by Kamara and Cook and Trequan Smith.

38-31 Saints.

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Tundraboy's picture

September 25, 2020 at 11:10 pm

Awful competition? Why not just enjoy how they are playing.

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Leatherhead's picture

September 27, 2020 at 06:47 pm

He meant to say “division opponents “. We don’t know how good or bad Minnesota and the Lions are yet. We don’t know how good anybody is yet.

We targeted Adams 3 times last week and scored 42. Maybe super duper WRs aren’t as important as some people believe. Our RBs accounted for over 300 yards on about 40 touches and targets. This is crazy talk, I know.

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murf7777's picture

September 26, 2020 at 09:52 am

I believe last year we were 4-0 without Adams. One thing I’m impressed with about coach Matt is he does a great job game planning and comes up with mismatches for Rodgers to take advantage of with what ever players he has to utilize. Defenses have a hard time figuring out his game plan. He has also shown good adjustments after the D adjusts to his original plan.

I think Brees will have a tougher time without Thomas vs Rodgers without Adams.without many fans I think this game is a toss up. The edge goes to the Packers cuz I’m a homer and that’s where my money is riding.

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Lphill's picture

September 25, 2020 at 04:23 pm

Both teams will be without there number 1 receivers but I think the Packers still have more weapons ,my concern is the Packers defending the middle , when a team doesn't value the middle linebacker this is a game that will rock the cradle .

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jannes bjornson's picture

September 25, 2020 at 07:11 pm

greene will float with kamara for the double team.

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Thegravedigger's picture

September 26, 2020 at 11:22 am

Kirksey did good against hockensen. But idk if he can run with jared cook.

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PatrickGB's picture

September 25, 2020 at 04:42 pm

Jenkins is listed as questionable. That’s not good.

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CAG123's picture

September 25, 2020 at 06:21 pm

All I see is Kamara and Cook having a field day in the middle of the Packers def because the Packers think they can just stick anybody there and it’ll be fine I really want to be wrong about this game but it gives me vibes from the Eagles or even the Chargers.

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mnbadger's picture

September 25, 2020 at 07:09 pm

I understand your trepidation, but Pack makes one or two more plays than aints and wins by a touchdown. GPG

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Leatherhead's picture

September 27, 2020 at 06:50 pm

Ok, when is the Time Of Death? At what point in the game will we already have more points than the Saints end up with? I’m going to say 9:33 in the 4th.

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GatorJason's picture

September 26, 2020 at 02:47 am

If Raven Greene can spy on and effectively slow down Kamara, the Saints don't stand a prayer.

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Coldworld's picture

September 26, 2020 at 08:18 am

Probably going to be tough to run on NO. Jones might be that could but can’t plan on it. If Adams doesn’t go, I’d like to see a couple of things:

1) A healthy dose of Dillon to pound them early. With Deguara questionable and Lovett either elevated or not available and Jenkins out, pounding in 2 back sets or with Lewis makes a lot of sense in the first half.

2) Our TEs need to show up and create mismatches. In reality that means Tonyan most likely. Perfect opportunity for him to announce his arrival against a team that couldn’t handle an athletic TE last time. Deguara too if he is healthy, but I’m skeptical.

Taken together with MVS’s deep threat, this should enable us to open running and passing lanes, keep possession and set up Jones.

Those are my suggested keys to the game, for what that is worth.

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Leatherhead's picture

September 27, 2020 at 06:58 pm

If we keep pushing guys around like we have so far, I could probably gain some yards before I broke. We are getting guys blocked. The line, Tonyan, Lewis, Lazard......we’re blocking. Add in all the misdirection and I’ve seen some pretty good holes .

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Thegravedigger's picture

September 26, 2020 at 11:28 am

One thing about the defense. Im not really sure who the vocal leader is after two weeks?? In the first quarter against the lions, i saw alot of guys standing there with there hands on there hips. Apparently, they made some halftime adjustments, but the offense also took the lead and forced the lions to throw. With no fans in the stands, who is the guy who gathers the troops? Last year it seemed like it was blake and tramon. Whos the guy now??

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