Packers XLV

Rodgers, Cobb Shine as Packers Hold Off Saints To Win Opener

Posted September 9th, 2011 @ 04:09am

If the Packers and Saints meet again for the NFC Championship, as I have predicted, they'll be hard-pressed to top this one--an instant classic that ended on the Packers' one yard line when Clay Matthews and Morgan Burnett stuffed Mark Ingram just short of the goal line to preserve a 42-34 win that had a little bit of everything.

It couldn't have started any better for the Pack, with TDs on their first three drives. Aaron Rodgers' first quarter line: 14-15 for 188 yards and 3 TDs, a perfect passer rating. They Pack came out in the no huddle and marched 74 yards on their first drive. A Saints fumble gave the ball right back and it was 14-0 before you could say, 'Who Dat!'

Rookie Randall Cobb exploded on the scene with a 32 yard touchdown catch and run over the middle. then midway through the third, after the Saints had cut the Pack's lead to eight at 28-20, he took the kickoff eight yards deep and brought it out. "I wasn't cheering for him until he spun out of that tackle," Mike McCarthy said after the game. "Then I was happy he brought it out. The 108 yard touchdown tied an NFL record and offset Darren Sproles earlier punt return for a TD. McCarthy mentioned how players have noticed that Cobb is a special player. "He's gifted," he said after the game.

Donald Driver finished the game tied with James Lofton as the Pack's all time yardage leader for wide receivers, but it was his grab of New Orleans' onside kick attempt in the final minute that was his biggest play of the game.

Concerns: well, the defense got torched through the air, giving up a 400 yard passing game to Drew Brees and nearly surrendering a 15 point lead in the final five minutes. When Tramon Williams left late with a shoulder injury, Brees went after Jarrett Bussh immediately. We'll have to wait and see on the severity of the injury. The Pack has 10 days before their next game and he could probably sit against the Panthers and rest up for the Bears the following week. Special teams was also shaky, despite Cobb's brilliant return. Darren Sproles caused the team fits: look for the team to make some adjustments for next week.

I thought the Pack's running game was solid, just shy of 100 yards--James Starks had 57 of them and averaged nearly five yards per carry and scored his first regular season touchdown. I maintain he will be the Pack's starter before long.

All in all, a thrilling opener for the Pack--maybe a little too close for comfort, but the Pack took care of a very good team and showed that with the return of Finley and the emergence of Cobb, points will be plentiful this season. Now, let Dom Capers work on tweaking the D and we will be on our way.

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Comments (13):

Together with the launch of this scholarship is also an appeal to Kate

on June 27th, 2012 at 09:57am

Scott will be soooo jealous. That is his van. You'll have so much fun. It's the oprnptuoity of a lifetime for sure! Enjoy! Oh, and if you feel a bit tired when driving .pull OVER and REST. Trust me, personal experience here.

on May 18th, 2012 at 04:23pm

SO excited for you!!!!! I hope you can visit Bill and the boys on your way acsros the country!!!! The boys would be so excited to meet their cousins!Have a wonderful year and thanks for including me in your updates!Julie

on May 18th, 2012 at 12:28pm

I don't see the uplink anntena (I'm sure its coming.) Have a great trip, I'm very jealous as I sit here in NYC, thinking of the fresh mountain air and the peace that comes as you walk the trail. Best wishes!

on May 18th, 2012 at 12:50pm

Congratulations you guys. I'm so excited for you Easy Riders out there on the Western roads. We're in NYC too of cousre, and it's so tempting to get a hold of fresh air and open space .best of luck and stay in touch.

on May 20th, 2012 at 02:30am

Honestly i am in two minds on whether to take stand for or aaginst. you are simply sharing your own point,i appreciate it. For some it will ring true for others it may not resemble their experience at all. Iím simply encouraging dialogue in the hope others will get the support they need.

on May 20th, 2012 at 05:23am

Now i'm from Germany and we all are incredibly happy with Dirk Nowotzki. A German is known as a sustaperr inside the highest basketball league on the earth. We are excited how the Us residents celebrate our Dirk. This might be less well recognized in the usa.

on May 20th, 2012 at 05:25am

Great game. Offense looks like it could be pretty good. Every week is different, however, so lets not get too giddy just yet. Defense needs to tweak a few things as you have all pointed out. ---Noboby beats his own drum quite like OSSG. Nice call on Cobb though. He really does look the part. Great articles about him after he was drafted about his "game smarts" and it showed Thursday night. -- As for sticking with "GoPack", I am happy to oblige. --Great point Davey about sitting Tramon next week against Carolina. thats a great idea. Newton won't be able to pick on Bush/Lee the way Brees did. What a start to the season. Can't wait. GoPack!

on September 10th, 2011 at 07:12am

Hopefully, the Packers are being honest about Tramon only having a shoulder bruise. They don't have a history of being completely honest about the injury report ala Clay Matthews playing with a broken shin last year. Keeping my fingers crossed on this one.

on September 10th, 2011 at 10:35pm

Looked like Tramon was holding his hand as he was walking off the field. Very concerning. He was reportedly in a lot of pain after the game. Can't afford to lose him for very long. Nick Collins also had his shoulder examined before the half. Hopefully, it won't be a season long issue.

on September 8th, 2011 at 11:38pm

I was totally wrong on how the Pack would open this game up, I'll just say that first. Second, I would bet Tramon's elbow got a little hyper-extended. I've been there. If that's what it is, he should be fine as long nothing actually tore. I'm going to be hard on Matthews here, because he's a big boy and we expect a lot. This was not a great game for him. Several times he was late in recognizing the play and got washed out early. I don't think the tape will be kind to him. I'm also sure they'll give him a half sack that really was just piling on. Next, I really would have like to have seen Rodger switch to the dump off pass to Driver on that last offensive series. Driver is sitting up there with the safety 10 yards off. I get the arguments against, but this should be a long hand off. Instead they end up 3 and out throwing a no gain on 3rd down. Hopefully quality control see that. Lastly, I love our problems, it is Great to be Good!

on September 9th, 2011 at 08:23am

Exciting game with some concerns. First of all to beat my drum: Last March before the draft I wrote on this blog even before Davy got on him about Randall Cobb and the Pack hopefully going after him. He will be our Percy Harvin type. He will not be a Driver type over the middle with tough possession catches....but MM has to keep finding ways to get him touches in space other than kick returns. I think he will do this. Secondly...I continue to be concerned on our kick coverage.....we cannot keep letting teams start near midfield. I thought some of the 10 rookies were kept to upgrade this over last year..so it remains a work in progress. Besides the obvious big play guys for us in this game here is one guy that will go under the radar for this game with all the big plays. Brian Buluga had a very nice solid game. If you noticed....outside of Starks TD run to the left most of Grant and Starks runs were behind Buluga.....this tells me he is probably more of a drive,snowplow run blocker rather than the future left tackle after Clifton where you need quicker feet to pass block. As a final note to my friend Scheny....thank you for letting me use my sign-off Go Pack Go by staying with your signoff GO PACK !! GO PACK GO !!

on September 9th, 2011 at 08:34am

Starks should be the starter, no doubt after last night. I can't wait to see how MM will integrate Cobb in the offense after last nights demonstration of his abilities and versatility. This is an overwhelming receiving corp and don't see too many teams coming close to covering that many weapons. If the D backs correct some of those missed assignments and stay healthy, 14 or 15 wins wouldn't just be possible, but realistic.

on September 9th, 2011 at 09:31am

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