09 September 2011

Packers Hold Off Saints in 2011 NFL Season Opener, 42-34

Saying that the 2011 NFL season started off with a bang would be an understatement. In an exciting game that went down all the way to the wire, the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers defeated the prior Super Bowl champion New Orleans by a 42-34 score in the NFL Kickoff Special.
Aaron Rodgers went at the Saints secondary early and often, leading the Packers to a 21-7 lead at the end of the first quarter. The Saints in their opening drive coughed up the football and that ultimately was the difference as Rodgers was just so lights out early on. Rodgers threw three touchdown passes and 312 yards. One of the touchdown passes was to rookie wideout Randall Cobb, who made his NFL debut in style with a touchdown reception and an 108 yard kickoff return for a touchdown, tying Ellis Hobbs for the NFL record.
Drew Brees had a spectacular night, throwing for 419 yards and three touchdowns himself. But in a game that came down to the final yard, literally, the first quarter fumble was costly.
The Saints did have a final chance down eight after forcing the Packers to punt with less than two minutes left. The Saints almost had to start their drive at their own one but the one of the players on the coverage unit was ruled to be in the end zone that touched the ball. Brees then moved down the field with precision until with three seconds left A.J. Hawk broke up a pass in the end zone but was called for pass interference. The Saints tried to run it in and got stuffed and that was the game.
NBC Sports' Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth called the exciting showdown on Thursday night and have the recap from Lambeau Field.

Here's an interview with Rodgers:

And here's an interview with Packers center Scott Wells, who he and the Packers' offensive line as a whole was tremendous:


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