How to Watch: Packers at Saints

Bill Huber

GREEN BAY, Wis. – The Green Bay Packers (2-0) will face the New Orleans Saints (1-1) in a big NFC game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome at 7:20 p.m. Sunday.

How to Watch

TV: NBC – Mike Tirico, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya (field reporter).

How to Listen

Packer Radio Network (50 stations in four states) – Wayne Larrivee, Larry McCarren and John Kuhn (sideline).

National radio: Westwood One – Brandon Gaudin, Rod Woodson.

Sirius: 81 (GB), 83 (NO) | XM: 226 (GB), 225 (NO)

Worth Knowing

The Line: Saints by 3 at FanDuel with 53.5 on the over/under.

Referee: Brad Rogers.

Series: Packers lead 16-9.

Streaks: Saints have won past two.

Last game: Saints 26, Packers 17 (Oct. 22, 2017; Brett Hundley was Green Bay’s quarterback.)

Last game at site: Saints 44, Packers 23 (Oct. 22, 2014).

Inactives

Two of the NFL’s best receivers, Green Bay’s Davante Adams and New Orleans’ Michael Thomas, are inactive.

Potential X-Factor

Led by its defensive line, New Orleans hasn’t allowed a 100-yard rusher in 44 consecutive games. No other team has a streak of longer than 12 games.

The Saints are allowing 3.31 yards per carry, the fourth-best mark in the league, and swallowed up Raiders star Josh Jacobs last week. That group will challenge the Packers, who might try to reintegrate Billy Turner into the lineup at either right guard or right tackle. Behind Jones, who is No. 1 in the NFL with 234 rushing yards and No. 1 among running backs with 6.9 yards per carry, the Packers are No. 1 in the NFL in rushing yards and yards per carry.

The Quarterbacks

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is the NFL’s all-time leader in passer rating, though by a slim margin over Seattle’s Russell Wilson (102.6 to 102.0). He’s also No. 1 – by a much wider margin – in touchdown-to-interception ratio. Rodgers has thrown 370 touchdowns vs. 84 interceptions, a mark of 4.40 touchdowns per interception. Wilson is second with 236 touchdowns vs. 69 interceptions, a mark of 3.42.

Saints quarterback Drew Brees is the NFL’s career leader in completion percentage, passing yards and passing touchdowns, among other stats. He led the NFL in passing yards in 2014 through 2016 and in completion percentage from 2017 through 2019. In 2017, he set an NFL record by completing 72.0 percent of his passes. In 2018, he beat that mark with a 74.4 percent completion rate. Last year, he fell just short at 74.3 percent. He’s at only 64.7 percent to start this season.

Did You Know?

– The Packers, who have totaled 85 points and 1,010 yards of offense in their 2-0 start, are the fourth team to score at least 80 points and register at least 1,000 yards of offense through the first two weeks of a season in NFL history, joining last year’s Baltimore Ravens, the San Francisco 49ers (1998) and Buffalo Bills (1991).

– Green Bay is No. 1 in the NFL by a wide margin in time of possession with an average of 38 minutes, 1 second in its two games. New Orleans is 26th with an average of 27:33. The Saints possessed the ball for only 23:42 in their loss at Las Vegas on Monday. Lamenting that disparity, Brees said, “Listen, we know what wins football games and we know what makes it very difficult to win football games and obviously we made way too many mistakes out there in order to win that game.”

– Since Rodgers took over as Green Bay’s starter in 2008, he is third with 115 wins. Brees is second during that span with 117.

Prediction

Green Bay's offense is rolling, but is that real or the byproduct of two bad secondaries? I say it's real, though we'll find out against a much stronger defense and secondary. Rodgers is playing as well as he has in a few years, and a quiet Superdome can't be understated. Nor can the Saints coming off a Monday night game and being at a 31-hour rest differential. Yes, not having Davante Adams will hurt but the Saints won't have Michael Thomas, and Jaire Alexander has shown he can smother Emmanuel Sanders. Packers 31, Saints 27. (Record: 2-0.)

Countdown to Kickoff

Five Days: Five Keys to the Game

Four Days: Four Items Inside Saints

Three Days: Three Reasons to Worry

Two Days: Two X-Factors

One Day: One Giant Game Preview

Also: The Truth on Open Receivers

Also: No Puppies Allowed

THANKS FOR READING PACKER CENTRAL
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