It was quite noticeable how quiet the crowd was in Lambeau Field for the first three quarters of the Week 3 win for the Green Bay Packers over the New Orleans Saints. But a little momentum that started early in the fourth quarter got both the team and its fans back into it, resulting in a 18-17 grueling victory.
Everything was going wrong for the Packers across the first three quarters, mistakes that were mostly caused by Green Bay. A young team getting in its own way is expected, especially early in the year, but that was honestly the only reason they were down 17-0 heading into the fourth quarter.
Jordan Love was unflappable, staring down a home opener shutout, and he was able to rally his troops to an 18-point fourth quarter. This team has a TON to work on still, but a come-from-behind effort like Sunday is a remarkable result at this point in the season.
A turnover on downs, three punts (one returned for a TD by the Saints), and a kneel-down to end the first half is what the Green Bay offense produced across the first two quarters. It was noticeable that this team missed Aaron Jones and Christian Watson, as the offense really lacked an explosive player to take over.
However, much to everyone’s surprise, it was Love who put the team on his back and led this team to victory. A costly interception on a mis-placed deep ball on Green Bay’s first second-half possession made it seem like this team was doomed to be shutout, but Love was methodical in his dissection of the Saints secondary for the rest of the contest.
Leading three consecutive scoring drives in the fourth quarter was all it took for Green Bay to earn the win, and a key two-point conversion after the first touchdown of the day helped cement the fact that this team was not going to lose.
AJ Dillon was incredibly inefficient yet again (11 carries for 33 yards) on the ground, so the tandem of Patrick Taylor and rookie Emanuel Wilson took over, making their presence felt in the passing game. The offensive line was strong yet again, even though they were without both David Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins, as Love was only sacked once all day – and they also helped spring Love free for a rushing score.
Romeo Doubs (5 receptions, 73 yards, 1 TD), Jayden Reed (3/63), Luke Musgrave (6/49), and Dontayvion Wicks (4/45) led the way in the passing game, with Love connecting with Doubs for the game-winning score. The red zone connection between Love and Doubs has been very evident since Week 1, as another fade ball found its home after Doubs made a spectacular catch.
It was a pretty consistent game for Joe Barry’s unit, as the Saints only produced 252 yards of total offense. While they didn’t force any turnovers, all short passing work was kept in front of them, only allowing Chris Olave to get behind them a few times.
With Derek Carr being knocked out in the second half with a shoulder injury, the offense became even more stagnant with Jameis Winston under center. Allowing 4.6 yards per pass and 3.5 yards per rush was solid, especially after the defense lost De’Vondre Campell to an injury.
Campbell and Carrington Valentine were both lost to injuries during the game, and Jaire Alexander was ruled out with a back injury before the game kicked off. Facing a passing attack with Olave and Michael Thomas leading the way without your top CB is tough, but they kept both guys in check for most of the game.
All in all, the defense did enough to keep the offense in the game, which included pitching a shutout in the second half. Rashan Gary looked like his old self on Sunday, producing a three-sack performance, with Kenny Clark pitching in one himself.
Special teams had a lapse when they allowed Rashid Shaheed to take his lone return back 76 yards to the house. Coverage on kickoffs was solid, as Shaheed averaged less than 20 yards per run-back.
Looking ahead, Green Bay has a short week, as they get to host the Detroit Lions for Thursday Night Football for Week 4.뿓뿓뿓
Mike Johrendt has been an avid fan of the Packers ever since he can remember. He is now a writer at PackersTalk and you can follow him on Twitter at @MJohrendt23