Green Bay Packers at New Orleans Saints 10/26/14 NFL Score, Recap, News and Notes
Andrew’s Week 8 NFL Breakdown and Analysis
October 26, 2014
Finishing up the weekend NFL festivities on “Sunday Night Football,” we had a marquis matchup between the Packers and the Saints. New Orleans came into this one reeling from a one-point loss to the Lions, while Green Bay took care of business against the Panthers in Week 7. Most people were expecting lots of offensive fireworks in this one, and that’s certainly what we ended up getting.
Let’s take a closer look at the key players and statistics from the game so we can see why things played out the way they did. Afterward, we’ll look forward to Week 9 to see what’s in store for both teams.
What Happened: Things started off pretty evenly, but after a while the Saints began to assert their home dominance and pull away. It’s no wonder everyone says they’re like a different team In New Orleans.
The Packers drew first blood here, finding pay dirt on a 70-yard Aaron Rodgers bomb to Randall Cobb for a 7-0 lead in the early going. The Saints would strike back on a 4-yard Brandin Cooks run to tie it up, and then Mason Crosby and Shane Graham would exchange 31-yard field goals for a 10-10 tie after one.
The touchdowns slowed to a halt in the second quarter, and it was all kicking. Crosby hit from 49, then Graham hit from 29. After that, Crosby hit from 27 and Graham hit from 37 to make it a 16-16 game heading into the locker room.
In the third, the Saints began to pull away. They scored on a 50-yard pass from Drew Brees to Brandin Cooks, then again on a 22-yard score from Brees to TE Jimmy Graham. It was 30-16 after three.
In the fourth, Josh Hill added a 2-yard TD reception before Rodgers and company could respond with a 14-yard TD run from Rodgers himself. That’s as close as the Pack would get, however, as Mark Ingram sealed the deal on a 21-yard run. In the end, it was a 44-23 win by New Orleans. Interestingly enough, there were no punts in this game--it’s just the third time in NFL history (and the second this year) that’s happened.
The victory sets up a battle for divisional supremacy on Thursday between the Saints and Panthers.
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The Stars: Brees was on point here, especially in the second half. He managed 311 passing yards alongside his three touchdowns, with his main beneficiaries being Cooks (94 yards, TD) and Graham (59 yards; TD). Ingram was also instrumental, logging 172 yards and a score on 24 carries.
On the other side, Randall Cobb led the receiving effort with 126 yards and the TD on five grabs, while Eddie Lacy managed 123 receiving yards on eight catches of his own.
The Goats: Green Bay left a lot of points out on the field, when promising drives stalled out before reaching the end zone. They also lost the time of possession battle 28:21 to 31:39, most of that due to a poor running game (68 yards between three backs). The three turnovers and 504 total yards allowed by the defense certainly didn’t help, either.
Injuries: Rodgers was reportedly bothered by a sour hamstring in this game, which explains the reliance on the pass and the constant shotgun formations. The team was hurting on defense with the absences of CB Sam Shields and S Morgan Burnett as well, and it cost them in the long run.
Outlook: Looking ahead to Week 9, the Saints have the shortest of turnarounds; they’ll hit the road to face the Panthers on Thursday (Oct. 30; 8:25 PM ET on NFL Network).
Meanwhile, the Packers will rest and try to get some players healthy. They’ll be on a bye.
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