THE MATCHUP: SAINTS VS. PACKERS 2021 WEEK 1
The New Orleans Saints will open the season by facing the Green Bay Packers. The two teams will meet at 3:25 p.m. CT Sunday, September 12 at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Fla., a temporary relocation of the contest necessary for the host Saints as the greater New Orleans region recovers from Hurricane Ida, which made landfall on Sunday, August 29. In the midst of hurricane recovery and municipalities restoring services, the Saints moved their football operation to the Dallas-Fort Worth area to prepare for their opener. Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews and Tom Rinaldi will have the call on FOX in a contest that will be broadcast in the majority of the nation.
Mike Hoss and Deuce McAllister will bring life to the game on radio through WWL, while Mario Jerez, Juan Carlos Ramos and Victor Quinonez will present the game in Spanish on KGLA.
The Saints have a 19-35 all-time record in season openers, but will be seeking to win three straight openers for the second time in franchise history on Sunday (2008-10).
SAINTS-PACKERS SERIES HISTORY
This is the third time the Saints and Packers have faced off in a Season opener. New Orleans dropped the 1977 opener 24-20 to the Packers in the Superdome. Green Bay upended New Orleans 42-34 in the 2011 season opener at Lambeau Field.
Green Bay bested New Orleans in the last meeting, 37-30 at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Sept. 27, 2020.
Sunday's contest will be the 28th meeting between New Orleans and Green Bay, with the Packers leading the all-time series 17-9. Saints Head Coach Sean Payton has posted a 4-2 record against the Packers.
THE LAST MEETING
Packers 37, Saints 30; Sept. 27, 2020 @ Superdome – The Saints battled back from four deficits to tie the score at 27-27 on the final play from scrimmage in the fourth quarter on a spectacular 52-yard touchdown reception by running back Alvin Kamara, then stopped Green Bay on downs near midfield to put themselves in position to take a fourth quarter lead. But a fumble that set up a field goal, hurt New Orleans' momentum, as well as three defensive penalties on Green Bay's drive, proving to be the difference.
In a contest that featured seven different lead changes, New Orleans tied the score on the third quarter's last play from scrimmage at 27-27 when Kamara took a screen pass from quarterback Drew Brees and slithered and broke multiple tackles for the career-long 52-yard receiving touchdown, also moving into first place in franchise history in multiple-score contests (16). Safety Malcolm Jenkins and cornerback Marshon Lattimore then combined to stop Packers running back Aaron Jones on an unsuccessful fourth-and-one rushing near midfield.
Following a seven-yard rush by running back Latavius Murray, quarterback Taysom Hill fumbled on an option play as it was forced and it was recovered by Green Bay linebacker Z'Darius Smith, setting up a 49-yard field goal by kicker Mason Crosby. On Green Bay's final drive, with the Packers up 30-27 and third-and-three, Linebacker Demario Davis jumped offsides, giving quarterback Aaron Rodgers a free play. On it, cornerback Janoris Jenkins was assessed a defensive pass interference penalty at the New Orleans one-yard line, exhausting New Orleans' hopes for a comeback.
Kamara had a huge performance, setting career-highs in receiving yardage and touchdown receptions with 13 grabs for 139 yards and two scores, adding 58 rushing yards on 12 carries for 187 total yards from scrimmage. Brees completed 29-of-36 passes for 288 yards with three touchdowns, zero interceptions and a 127.8 rating.
Rodgers completed 21-of-32 passes for 283 yards with three touchdown passes, zero interceptions and a 124.9 passer rating. Green Bay wide receiver Allen Lazard recorded six catches for 146 yards with one touchdown, including a career-long 72-yard grab. Jones rushed 16 times for 69 yards with one touchdown, as the Saints did not surrender 100 yards rushing to a player for the 45th consecutive regular season/postseason contest, now tied for the third-longest streak in NFL record books.
SAINTS-PACKERS SERIES FAST FACTS
Saints' Largest Margin of Victory vs. Packers:
22 points, Saints won 51-29 on 11/24/08 at Superdome
Packers' Largest Margin of Victory vs. Saints:
49 points, Packers won 52-3 on 10/9/05 at Lambeau Field
Current Series Streak:
Packers have won the last game, 9/27/20
Saints' Longest Win Streak vs. Packers:
(Tie) Two games, 10/23/14-present, 9/17/06-11/24/08, 9/14/86- 12/27/87
Packers' Longest Win Streak vs. Saints:
Seven games, 11/7/76-11/17/85
Most Points by Saints in a Game vs. Packers:
51 points, Saints won 51-29 on 11/24/08 at Superdome
Most Points by Packers in a Game vs. Saints:
52 points, Packers won 52-3 on 10/9/05 at Lambeau Field
Most Combined Points (Both Teams):
80 points, Saints won 51-29 on 11/24/08 at Superdome
Fewest Points by Saints in a Game vs. Packers:
Three points, Packers won 52-3 on 10/9/05 at Lambeau Field
Fewest Points by Packers in a Game vs. Saints:
10 points, Saints won 24-10 on 9/14/86 at Superdome
Fewest Combined Points (Both Teams):
PACKERS IN WEEK 3 OF THE 2021 NFL PRESEASON
GREEN BAY – The Packers, not playing their starters, wrapped up their 2021 preseason with a 19-0 loss to the Bills at Highmark Stadium in Buffalo.
Here are five takeaways from the game:
1. QB Jordan Love learned a lesson or two.
Going against Buffalo's starting defense for the majority of the first half, Love was effective moving the ball down the field. But a couple of his own mistakes cost him points.
2. The defense had similar problems closing the deal but earned valuable experience as well.
The Packers' reserves on defense had the Bills' No. 1 offense in third-and-20 but gave up a 31-yard touchdown pass to QB Josh Allen. They had them backed up on the 2-yard line but allowed a 22-yard completion before forcing a punt. And they allowed conversions on third-and-8, fourth-and-2, and third-and-goal from the 3 on Buffalo's second scoring drive.
SAINTS IN WEEK 2 OF THE 2021 NFL PRESEASON
Saints' Week 2 Recap: Saints vs. Jaguars game recap: New Orleans holds on for 23-21 victory
Saints 23, Jaguars 21; August 23, 2021 @ Caesars Superdome – First and foremost, the New Orleans Saints won on Monday night in the Caesars Superdome and preseason game or not, if a score is being kept, it's always good to be on the plus side of it. Second, though, was the fact that the Saints showed improvement in two important categories in their 23-21 victory over Jacksonville, dropping their turnovers from six to none from the preseason opener and slicing their penalties from 10 to six. Those numbers helped New Orleans overcome its third-down shortage (2 of 10 on third down) and to maximize the big plays it generated.
And Monday night definitely was an occasion during which the Saints flashed some big-play potential, to the tune of acrobatic, 43- and 29-yard touchdown passes from Jameis Winston to Marquez Callaway in the first quarter that allowed New Orleans to grab a 14-0 lead in a game it never trailed.
Winston (9 of 10 for 123 yards and two touchdowns) and Callaway (five catches for 104 yards and two scores) were synched offensively. That unit scored touchdowns on two of three possessions with Winston on the field, as Callaway capped 72- and 57-yard drives with contested catches in the end zone, one he finished despite pass interference, and the second he completed one-handed while his right arm was grabbed and pinned. And despite a slow start, Taysom Hill also led a touchdown drive. Hill completed 11 of 20 passes for 138 yards and a 14-yard touchdown to Lil'Jordan Humphrey, who caught four passes for 74 yards.
The New Orleans Saints host the Jacksonville Jaguars during preseason play at the Caesars Superdome on August 23, 2021.
All told, New Orleans totaled 369 yards on 61 plays, but averaged 13.3 yards on its 24 completions. Coach Sean Payton said the Saints expected to come out throwing because of Jacksonville's effectiveness against the run. The efficiency of Winston, Callaway's ability to find opening after opening and a clean pocket made for a successful strategy. That was more than enough for the Saints' first-team defense.
At halftime, Jacksonville had 134 yards and a field goal, was 3 of 8 on third down and 0 for 2 in the red zone. The Saints forced three-and-outs on three of Jacksonville's first four possessions and on one second-quarter drive, cornerback Ken Crawley broke up a pass at the goal line, and safeties Marcus Williams and C.J. Gardner-Johnson broke up passes inside the 10-yard line. The Saints produced 10 pass breakups (the Jaguars had 58 pass attempts), two sacks, seven quarterback hits, three tackles for loss and an interception.
What could have been a standout night in the kicking game was smudged by a missed point-after attempt in the third quarter. But Aldrick Rosas drilled a 52-yard field goal as time expired in the first half, exhibiting the distance that Payton noted after the Saints signed Rosas.
NEW ORLEANS-GREEN BAY STATISTICAL COMPARISON
2020 Final NFL Regular Season Rankings
|Scoring Avg. (NFL Rank)||30.1(5)||31.8 (1)|
|Opp. Scoring Avg. (NFL Rank)||21.1 (5)||23.1 (13)|
|Total Off. (NFL Rank)||376.4 (9)||389.0 (5)|
|Rushing Off. (NFL Rank)||141.6 (7)||132.4 (8)|
|Passing Off. (NFL Rank)||234.9 (19)||256.6 (9)|
|Total Def. (NFL Rank)||310.9 (4)||334.0 (9)|
|Rushing Def. (NFL Rank)||93.9 (4)||112.8 (13t)|
|Passing Def. (NFL Rank)||217.0 (5)||221.2 (7)|
|Kickoff Return Avg. (NFL Rank)||25.4 (6)||18.9 (31)|
|Punt Return Avg. (NFL Rank)||10.2 (8)||4.8 (30)|
|Turnover Margin (NFL Rank)||+9 (3t)||+7 (7)|
|Opp. Penalty Yards||517||684|
Photos of previous New Orleans Saints vs Green Bay Packers games. Photos by Michael. C. Hebert (New Orleans Saints photos)
- New Orleans QB Taysom Hill was originally signed by the Packers as an undrafted free agent out of Brigham Young in 2017 and spent training camp with the team before being picked up off waivers at the start of the regular season by the Saints
- Green Bay Outside Linebackers Coach Mike Smith tutored Saints LB Demario Davis as a rookie with the New York Jets in 2012
- Green Bay Defensive Line Coach Jerry Montgomery went to training camp with the Saints in 2002
- New Orleans Offensive Assistant Declan Doyle is an Iowa City, Iowa native who served as baseball team captain at Iowa Western Community College and served as an offensive student assistant at the University of Iowa as he completed his education
- Saints K Wil Lutz and Packers CB Chandon Sullivan were college teammates at Georgia State.
- New Orleans S Malcolm Jenkins and Sullivan were teammates in Philadelphia in 2018
- New Orleans DB J.T. Gray and Green Bay C Hunter Bradley, G Ekgton Jenkins and S Will Redmond were college teammates at Mississippi State
- Saints C/G Cesar Ruiz and Green Bay G Jon Runyan Jr. were teammates on the offensive line at Michigan and also played with Packers LB Rashan Gary
- Saints C/G Erik McCoy and Packers TE Jace Sternberger were college teammates at Texas A&M
- New Orleans WR Ty Montgomery played for Green Bay from 2015-17
- Packers Executive Vice President/Director of Football Operations Russ Ball spent six seasons (2002-07) with the Saints in their front office, the final two as Vice President of Football Administration and the first four as Senior Football Administrator
- Saints T Ryan Ramczyk is a Stevens Point, Wis. native who played at Wisconsin Stevens-Point and then Wisconsin in 2016, where he was a first-team All-American
- New Orleans LB Zack Baun is a Brown Deer, Wis. Native who played at Wisconsin
- Green Bay General Manager Scouting Brian Gutekunst received his first NFL experience in the summer of 1995 when he assisted the Saints coaching staff with the offensive line during training camp in La-Crosse, Wisc
- Packers Special Teams Coordinator Maurice Drayton served on the Southern Mississippi coaching staff in 2012
- New Orleans S Jeff Heath and Green Bay WR Randall Cobb were teammates in Dallas in 2019
- New Orleans TE Juwan Johnson, OL Calvin Throckmorton and Green Bay C Jake Hanson were college teammates at Oregon
- Saints LB Pete Werner and Packers C Josh Myers were college teammates at Ohio State
- New Orleans DB C.J. Gardner-Johnson and Packers DT T.J. Slaton were college teammates at the University of Florida
- Saints DL Christian Ringo was originally a sixth round draft pick of Green Bay in 2015 and played in eight regular season games and one postseason contest for the Packers in 2016, posting two tackles and one forced fumble.