Lambeau Field– The season opener of the 2011 NFL season kicked off Thursday night. The Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints are both two high powered offenses and the game was highly anticipated to display them both.

The Packers quickly rallied behind Aaron Rodgers who looked as if he never stopped playing the game on the off season. Lockout….Super Bowl “hangover”…..??? Not today.

The Packers came out swinging and New Orleans just could not keep up. Green Bay scored on their opening drive with a pass from Rodgers to Greg Jennings. On New Orleans first drive Marques Colston loses the ball on 2nd and 7 which was recovered by the Packers.

Before the end of the first quarter Donald Driver made his 700th career catch which was a huge milestone in his career. Rodgers wanted to make sure he was able to complete this feat on his home turf. The drive continued with a touchdown to Jordy Nelson and the Packers led 14-0 with the 1st quarter slowly ticking away. I’m sure very slowly for the Saints.

can be deadly when launching a pass deep down the field.

The Saints offense was certainly shaky out of the gate. Brees was being rushed and hurried the entire game, it seemed. His receivers were not helping him, not catching the football. But Brees would find hope and get the offense up and running. He made a beautiful deep completion to Robert Meachem to boost the teams morale and cute the Packers lead 14-7.

The Saints defense had no answer for Packers tight end Jermichael Finley, who breezed by Roman Harper (who was playing with a broken hand) on more than one occasion for large gains in plays. Not only Finley but Randall Cobb the 2nd round draft pick from Kentucky was able to get by Harper and score his first NFL touchdown. The 1st quarter had not fully ticked away and the Packers had already scored 3 touchdowns. But it would not end here.

The Saints were their own worst enemy. Keeping the ball on the ground seemed to re-amp the offense with a great run by Pierre Thomas to start the 2nd quarter. Although Brees was being rushed and hurried he was able to find receivers to dump the ball off to. Sam Shields however, made it difficult and almost intercepted Brees on numerous occasions. Clay Matthews was also a nightmare for Brees. After a particular play a frustrated Brees picks himself up and picks grass clippings out of his helmet after a hard hit from Matthews. This would not stop Brees from making 3rd down conversions and giving the Saints a light at the end of the tunnel.

Darren Sproles made us say WHO DAT Reggie Bush? The lightning fast running back from the San Diego Charges lit up the field with a punt return TD. This made the game 21-17 Packers still with the lead.

By the half the Packers would gain another touchdown scored by James Starks and the score 28-17. Opening the 3rd quarter the Saints were forced to settle for the 2nd field goal of the evening. The next play would prove to be incredible.

Randall Cobbs ran back a return for 108 yards for a huge boost for the Packers and a huge moment for this young player in his debut game. The 108 yard kickoff return tied the NFL record longest kickoff return in history. What was even more amazing, is Cobbs was knocked into a barrel roll landed on his feet and balanced himself with his hand! He didn’t even seem phased by this and continued to fly down the field for the touchdown. Really a remarkable play!

PHOTO BY: (AP photo/Mike Roemer)

Sproles came back on the field and almost scored another return TD himself but throughout the night, when possible gave the Saints good positioning on the field to do something with. Henderson would then score a touchdown for the Saints and 35-27 it would be.

With another Packers touchdown, it was time for the Saints to grind it out. Brees was able to find Jimmy Graham for a touchdown (the new tight end who replaced Jeremy Shockey) and the Saints then attempted an on side kick which was recovered by the Packers.

With the score 42-34 the Saints were driving down the field hard with 55 seconds left in the 4th quarter. Brees was masterful in this last series of the game. He was able to keep control, pace, and open looks to receivers and gave his team a chance to tie the game. Colston made up for his mishap earlier with a great low catch to keep the drive alive. Unfortunately, that catch would lead to a broken collarbone and he will be out for 4 weeks.

Brees spikes the ball with 3 seconds to go. One play left, and it needed to go straight to the endzone. The pass was broken up but pass interference was called on AJ Hawk and extended what would have been GAME OVER. On the 1 yard line, the Saints had a chance to score and make a 2 point conversion play to tie. The ball was given to rookie Mark Ingram and he was stopped by a wall of Packer jerseys before he got to the endzone.

Many question and wonder why Sean Peyton would call such a play when Brees was clearly red hot striking down the field. I also wonder why he chose Ingram for this particular play. I feel he wasn’t as heavily relied on during the entire game and yet for this play, when the game is on the line you choose the rookie to punch it into a wall of jerseys. It was almost obvious that that would be the play to come. I don’t know, I feel like a pass play would have worked and Brees was ready to do it. I don’t know what goes on in a coaches head to make a decision like that but I do trust Peyton’s judgment calls for the most part. He is unconventional with some things and it turns out genius for the most part. This one was in my opinion to easy. The win went to Green Bay 42-34.

All and all the season opener was a success and a great way to start off the 2011 season! Can’t wait to see what the rest of the teams bring Sunday and Monday.

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