NFL Game of the Week: Packers vs. Saints

Story posted September 27, 2020 in Sports, CommRadio by Jonathan Draeger

After an entertaining and very injury-riddled Week 2 in the NFL, Week 3 is on the horizon.

Week 2 had stars on certain teams catching the injury bug, most notably New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley, San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa and Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey. With these losses, teams will hurry to fill in the holes in their starting lineup.

Along with the injuries, new beginnings happened last week. The Las Vegas Raiders opened their new home stadium, Allegiant Stadium, with a 34-24 victory over the New Orleans Saints.

The next state over, the Los Angeles Chargers played their first home game in SoFi Stadium against the Kansas City Chiefs. Justin Herbert, the rookie from Oregon, was deemed the starting quarterback after Tyrod Taylor missed the game for a punctured lung. Even though the Chargers lost, Herbert did not disappoint in his first career start.

As the page turns to another exciting week of football, one game to mark on your calendar would be the Green Bay Packers vs. the New Orleans Saints on Sunday Night Football. Let’s break down the star-studded showdown.

Green Bay is coming off a blowout victory against the Detroit Lions, all thanks to running back Aaron Jones. He scorched the Lions defense with 168 yards on 16 carries, 68 yards on four receptions, and three total touchdowns.

On top of Jones’ performance, quarterback Aaron Rodgers heaved the ball to multiple receivers, five gaining at least 25 yards on the day. Rodgers put up 240 yards on 60% passing.

The Packers defense has been relentless on the pass rush with six sacks on the season and two turnovers. Granted, Green Bay has only played mediocre teams in the Detroit Lions and the Minnesota Vikings, but it absolutely killed both on the scoreboard and on the field.

As for the opposition, the Saints has had quite the hit with the loss of star wide receiver Michael Thomas. He is said to be out for several weeks with a high ankle sprain.

Without Thomas, the receiving corps looked weak on Monday night. The Saints had many opportunities to make plays on offense, but the receivers just dropped too many catchable passes. Head coach Sean Payton needs to find answers on how to have a pass attack without the number one guy.

One bright spot for New Orleans is its running back Alvin Kamara. He racked up 79 rushing yards on 13 carries for two touchdowns while snagging nine receptions for 95 yards. He carried his team, but he couldn’t do it all.

The New Orleans defense put good pressure on Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, but the secondary fell apart. Carr dotted them up for 282 yards and three touchdowns. New Orleans also gave up 10 penalties for 129 yards, compared to just three penalties for 13 yards for Las Vegas.

The Saints looked good against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 1, but with the loss of Thomas, it could shape up to be a rough slate of games ahead, including this week against the potent offense of the Green Bay Packers. If the New Orleans defense can hold down the arsenal of Matt LaFleur’s team, the Saints can keep it close, just not close enough.

The Packers plan to dismantle the secondary, and they will do so by spreading the ball around and have Rodgers make his magic as he scrambles from the pass rush. Expect Green Bay to run away with the game from the start.

Prediction: Packers 38, Saints 21

 

Jonathan Draeger is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email jrd6052@psu.edu.