The Packers come into this Sunday Night matchup as one of the hottest teams in the NFL. After the teams week 3 loss to the Lions they found themselves at 1-2 and the teams fan base started to panic. Quarterback Aaron Rogers went on a local radio show an literally spelled put the word R. E .L. A. X and told the fans that everything was going to be o.k. They have since won 4 straight games and are 5-2 headed into Sunday night. Saints quarterback Drew Brees is lucky that he didn’t make any proclamation to the Saints fan base because their season has not gone according to plan. They looked like they were going to get a big road win in Detroit vs. the Lions last week. With the score 23-10 and less than 4:00 minutes remaining all the Saints defense had to do was get a few stops and they would have evened their record at 3-3. They were in control until Stafford found Golden Tate for a 73 yard touchdown pass that made the score 23-17. On the ensuing Saints possession they elected to throw a pass on third down and it was intercepted and taken back to the Saints 14 yard line. The game still would have been over if defensive back wasn’t called for a pass interference penalty on fourth down. This led to a new set of downs that resulted in the eventual game winning touchdown pass that took the teams record to 2-4 and their playoff hope in doubt.
The Packers were set for a tough contest vs. the Panthers on Sunday. They were coming off a tie in their previous game and always play well on the road. Then the Packers unleashed their offense early and often in the first quarter and held a 21-0 lead and they let their dramatically improved defense do the rest. The big early lead took the threat of a running game out of Panthers game plan and helped keep Panthers quarterback in the pocket. They were able to dominate the game through great secondary play as well as a defensive line that was able to keep pressure on the quarterback. If their defense can continue to play at a high level, their high-powered offense led by Rogers, and star wide receivers Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb.
The Saints have always been known as an explosive offensive unit and they have been unable to duplicate that success thus far. They will need to find a way to run the ball more consistently in order to open up passing lanes. Running back Mari Ingram was rusty in his first game back from injury, but hopefully he will evolve into the in between the tackles runner that the team desperately needs. They will also need to get tight End Jimmy Graham healthy and rely on him in the red zone. The defense has not been spectacular but they have played well enough. It is imperative that the offense gets going.
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