Week 1 without Aaron:
After a deflating week for the coaches and players, the Packers will look to regroup and put forth a Herculean effort against the Saints this Sunday at the friendly confines of Lambeau Field. The Packers are fortunate that week 1 of this painful transition from Aaron Rodgers to Brett Hundley begins at Lambeau field as opposed to the raucous venue of the Mercedes Benz Super Dome where the Saints play like they are the greatest show on turf.
Despite the Packers home field advantage, the Saints come into this week feeling rejuvenated after winning each of their last three contests against formidable opponents. After starting off with an 0-2 record, the Saints feel like they have a new lease on life. The (3-2) Saints are coming into Lambeau field playing good football on both sides of the ball, and are showing off a very well balanced offensive attack. The Saints come into Sunday’s contest ranking 4th in points (29.0), 7th in yards (372.2), 5th in passing yards (258.4), and 14th in rushing at (113.8). This well balanced offensive attack is sure to pose problems for a deflated, banged up, and inconsistent Green Bay Packers defense.
The Green Bay Packers Keys to Victory ????????:
Limit Saints Offensive Possessions:
The Packers meanwhile, are tasked with silencing all of the doomsday critics for the next week, at least. In order to be able to do this, the Packers must establish the run, be able to extend drives, and methodically move the ball down the field. It is vitally crucial that they adopt the schemes that their opponents attempt to implement on them, dominate the time of possession battle and keep Drew Brees off of the field! If the Packers do not limit Drew Brees’s number of plays, they will almost undoubtedly lose the game by two scores.
Turn the Saints Over:
Secondly, the Packers defense must come alive and force turnovers. The Packers defense needs to continue to force turnovers like they have done the previous two weeks. I believe that the Packers will have to be at least a +2 in the turnover battle if they expect to come out of this game with a win.
Hold the Saints to 23 or under:
Finally, The Packers defense must develop a bend but don’t break mentality by holding the Saints to field goals in the red zone. The Saints are a team that is going to have no problem moving the ball on the Packers defense. However, if the Packers can limit the Saints to a (let’s say) 2 for 5 day in the red zone they will most likely have a chance to win the game in the fourth quarter.
I expect to continue to see growing pains from Brett Hundley. At this point, it is just not fair to expect him to be in sync with and develop continuity with his wide receivers after receiving just one week of repetitions and preparation with the first team offense. I think the real jump in development for Brett Hundley will occur after the bye week against the Detroit Lions when he can get increased immersion into the game plan and increased reps with the first team.
I expect the shock and despair to linger at least another week causing both sides of the ball to continue to look out of sorts causing Coach McCarthy to continue to take out his frustrations on the media.
I expect a back and forth contest in the first half in which the Packers defense is on the field for 20 plus minutes. I see the Saints offense being able to methodically have their way with the Packers defense in the second half, ultimately tiring them out late in the fourth quarter. This winning of the war of attrition will allow the Saints to seize control of the game late.
I expect to see the Packers lose by a score of 34-17 this Sunday afternoon at Lambeau Field.——————
David Michalski is a recent college graduate from Princeton New Jersey who has been a life long Green Bay Packers fan. Like the great Vince Lombardi, he values God, family, and the Green Bay Packers in that order. You can follow him on twitter at @kilbas27dave