Packers’ clicking offense takes aim at Saints
The Green Bay Packers have been one of the most impressive teams in the NFL in the first two weeks of the season.
On Sunday night, they will visit a New Orleans Saints team trying to find the form that produced NFC South championships each of the past three years.
Aaron Rodgers has passed for an average of 302 yards while throwing six touchdown passes and no interceptions as the Packers (2-0) scored 43 and 42 points in wins against the Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions, respectively.
The Saints (1-1) opened the season by spoiling Tom Brady’s debut with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, then squandered a 10-point lead in losing to the Raiders, 34-24, in Las Vegas’ home debut on Monday night.
“Both the Saints and us have pretty big aspirations that I think are real,” Rodgers said. “They’re a really talented team and so are we, so I think it will be a good measuring stick.”
Rodgers received plenty of support last week from Aaron Jones, who rushed for a career-high 168 yards and two touchdowns and caught one of Rodgers’ two touchdown passes. Davante Adams has 17 receptions for 192 yards and two touchdowns on the young season.
“(Rodgers) is one of the top quarterbacks in the game, playing at a high level for a long time,” Saints linebacker Demario Davis said. “You’ve got to understand what they do well, that it’s not just Aaron Rodgers, one of the top receivers in the game, one of the top running backs in the game, very explosive offense, just a whole cast of other great players on the team.”
Saints quarterback Drew Brees, the NFL’s all-time leading passer, has not been up to par through two games. The 41-year-old veteran has a passer rating of 93.5, and his 64.7 percent completion rate is well below his league-leading 74.3 percent from last year.
“I feel good, borderline great,” Brees said. “I’m confident with the guys that we have, with the system we have and everything that we have that we’re going to get back on track.
“There are so many things that go into the precision of the passing game, and I think we have always been one of the best teams in the league, probably in history, at the precision of the passing game. And I think we are on our way to being back there very soon.”
Green Bay coach Matt LaFleur said he expects Brees to be back at his top level soon.
“I still see a guy who is a Hall of Famer,” LaFleur said. “I’ve had the opportunity, or misfortune, however you look at it, of going against him many times. There’s a reason he will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
“It’s just a matter of time before he gets it rolling like we’re all accustomed to. So you can never take that for granted or let your guard down because as soon as you do, he’s going to go out there and hang 45 on you.”
Saints All-Pro wide receiver Michael Thomas missed the game against the Raiders because of an ankle injury. New Orleans did not practice Wednesday, but the injury report indicated Thomas would not have practiced. The same was true of defensive end Marcus Davenport, who has yet to play this season because of an elbow injury.
Adams was held out of the Packers’ Wednesday practice because of a hamstring injury sustained against Detroit. He was unsure of his status for Sunday.
The game will be played without any spectators inside the Superdome.
–Field Level Media