Packers vs. Saints: What to Watch For

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The Green Bay Packers (1-2) will return Sunday afternoon to face the New Orleans Saints (0-3) at Lambeau Field after having a win stolen from them in Seattle.

It will be interesting to see how they react. Either band together or fall apart, men!

Here’s what you need to know and what to watch for.

Who’s not going to play?
Surprisingly, the Packers are relatively healthy for a 1-2 team. Rookie safety Sean Richardson will be out for Sunday’s game, but he wasn’t going to be seeing the field much anyway. Cornerback Davon House, who’s been working with a shoulder sling, could see his first action of the season, but isn’t a sure thing. The Saints will be thin on defense. Linebackers Jonathan Casillas and David Hawthorne and defensive end Turk McBride are all out. Oh, and coach Sean Payton won’t be on the sideline. He got suspended for the season for something or other.

Who should I bet on?
The Packers opened as five-point favorites. They’re now nine-point favorites. The Saints have lost by eight, eight and three in their first three games. They have the offense to keep up with the Packers, but their defense is beat up and giving up a lot of points. Expect the Packers to make a statement on Sunday and win by double digits. For the record, we’re 1-2 on the season in this department, although we should be 2-1.

What to Watch For

The Packers running game
What? The Packers have a running game? Well, they do when Mike McCarthy actually chooses to use it. Look at the times the Packers offense has been successful this season. Against Chicago, the team ran a season-high 28 times and won handily. The only time they ran on a consistent basis against Seattle was in the second half. That’s also the only half they scored any points. The Saints are last in the NFL in rushing defense (and they’re banged up). They’re giving up 215 yards per game, which is over 50 more yards per game than the 31st ranked team. In addition to Cedric Benson, the Packers will also have a healthy James Starks for the first time this season (at least until he gets injured in the second quarter). Pound the ball and run play-action and you’ll win handily, Mike.

James Starks

Bryan Bulaga’s bounceback
The Packers right tackle had a terrible game last week, giving up three sacks. Even he admitted it. He looked like Herb Taylor out there. Fortunately, he won’t be facing Bruce Irvin again anytime soon. The Saints have six sacks on the season. By comparison, the Seahawks had eight last week alone. This game is tailor made for Bulaga to bounce back, regain some confidence and remove his head from his ass.

Bryan Bulaga

The rookies’ evolution
Safety Jerron McMillian is starting to look like the real deal. Linebacker Nick Perry notched his first sack last week (although Erik Walden is still clearly the better pass rusher). Cornerback Casey Hayward is contributing in defensive sub-packages. Defensive end Jerel Worthy shows up every once in a while. So does defensive tackle Mike Daniels. You can already see the considerable strides (some more than others) these guys have made since the preseason. It’s about time they started to make the jump from occasional contributors to playmakers.

The fan reaction
Last week, the Packers got jobbed. We also got jobbed and the NFL is at fault. Will Lambeau Field be empty in protest on Sunday? We highly doubt it. We’re sure there will be more than a few signs with choice words for Roger Goodell, though. Someone also suggested to me that people might walk in 15 minutes late in protest of the great train robbery in Seattle. Whatever happens, if you’re going to game and feeding the beast by throwing a bunch of your hard-earned money at the Packers and the NFL, you had damn well better make your displeasure about last week’s NFL coverup known in some fashion.

Roger Goodell Fail

About The Author

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.

21 Comments on "Packers vs. Saints: What to Watch For"

  1. Richard

    I like the point spread analysis. I didn’t realize it opened at 5, the first spread I saw was 7.5 and it went to 9 almost immediately.

    It will be interesting to see what wins out…the fact that GB obviously deserves a free cover after last week, or the fact that Vegas will make a killing if NO keeps it close.

  2. Richard

    …and the flip side of that, Seattle opens as a 1 point favorite at St. Louis and are now favored by 3. I’d say a bet on St. Louis looks pretty good as well.

  3. Pack Lethal

    I wouldn’t bat an eye if Wilson and Tate go down for the rest of the year and St. Louis wins in a blowout. Fuck em.

  4. Richard

    Pack Lethal, I’m with you, it’s time to focus on the common enemy. Fuck the rest of the league. The Packer blowouts start this Sunday..:.

  5. nurseratchett

    Golden Taint sounds like a great name for a stripper.

    Onward & upward. If the O-line plays even slightly better than last week, there won’t be any issues.

    GO PACK GO!

  6. Pack Lethal

    Richard and Jervey, you guys are alright. I feel bad for talking shit now. Thanks for the Comeraderie boys. Go Pack!

  7. E. Wolf

    What happened last week could have a chain reaction,, not just hampering this season, but beyond. Bad calls, fluke plays have effected the destinies of franchies. Se eg Tuck Rule game, Marino feigning to spike the ball in that game against the Jets, there are others.
    The Pack needs to use this as a catalyst for the opposite sort of chain reaction, embracing the anger, hatred and rage to fuel an unstoppable fury, and unleash it on every single opponent on the march for another Lombardi. Somone must pay for this.

  8. Cry me a river

    Hey Nurseratchett,
    Starting today & pushing out 6 games, the only 2 real opponents (that potentially create problems) I see is Houston & Arizona. The matchups are sufficiently broke up (2 games between) to allow the O-line to get some time to gel! I infer (correctly I hope) that the O-line concerns you. For me it does, as I argue this is the most important & fundamental base of building a winning team. Give me time, they will come together!

  9. Cry me a river

    Hey Packer Fans,
    This might be old news for you but I thought I would still share this funniest of videos. It should especially be appealing to those who have an unshakable hatred of the Vikings (yes Pack Lethal, it applies to you but give it a try, you will score a TD in your Viking bashing)

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=RUGq8hIBuhQ

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