Saints vs. Packers Series History

Bob Rose

Two of the NFL's top teams meet in front of a prime-time audience when the New Orleans Saints host the Green Bay Packers on Sunday Night Football. New Orleans holds a 1-1 record after being upset by the Las Vegas Raiders on the road last week. The Packers enter at 2-0 after a 42-21 defeat of the Detroit Lions on Sunday. Both teams won their respective divisions with 13-3 records in 2019 and came into this season with Super Bowl aspirations.

Sunday night will be the 26th meeting between New Orleans and Green Bay, with the Packers holding a 16-9 all-time advantage in the series. The teams have a 6-6 record against each other when the game is played in New Orleans, the site of this duel. The first meeting between the two took place on Sunday, November 17, 1968, in Green Bay, the Saints' second season of existence. 

The two-time defending Super Bowl champion Packers were aging and no longer coached by the great Vince Lombardi, but still had enough talent left to race out to a 17-0 lead and coast to a 29-7 victory. New Orleans would register their first win against the Packers the next time these teams would meet, on November 28, 1971, again in Green Bay. The Saints would force six Packers turnovers and get 113 yards rushing from Bob Gresham on their way to a 29-21 win.

The first game between these two in New Orleans took place the following year, on December 17, 1972, in Tulane Stadium, when the Packers ground game helped them pound out a 30-20 win in the season finale. When New Orleans would next host Green Bay, it would be in a brand new stadium. 

On October 12, 1975, the Saints would host the Packers in just the second regular-season game ever at the Louisiana Superdome. New Orleans would hold the Packers to just 161 total yards, and get a combined 195 yards rushing from Mike Strachan and Alvin Maxson offensively, to pull out a 20-19 victory. It was the first-ever win by the Saints in the Superdome.

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CREDIT: USA TODAY SPORTS

That would be the last win New Orleans would have over Green Bay for the next decade, losing seven straight to them from 1976 to 1986 by an average of 13 points per loss. They finally snapped that streak with a 24-10 victory over the Packers on September 14, 1986, in New Orleans. The Saints defense intercepted 7 passes that afternoon to register their first win under new head coach Jim Mora. 

The following year New Orleans would wrap up the franchise's first-ever winning season and playoff berth under Mora with a 33-24 win over the Packers in the season finale, on December 27, 1987, in the Louisiana Superdome. It was also the first time that the Saints would have consecutive victories over Green Bay in their series. New Orleans would lose their next three games to the Packers after that season, and drop 4 of the next 5 against them, between 1989 and 2005, culminating with an embarrassing 52-3 loss in Green Bay on October 9, 2005.

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CREDIT: New Orleans Saints

The Saints have a 4-2 record against the Packers since coach Sean Payton and QB Drew Brees joined the team in 2006, including 2-0 against them at home. They would play a heavily favored Green Bay team in just their second game with the franchise, on September 17, 2006, in Green Bay. After falling behind 13-0, New Orleans clawed their way back to a 34-27 upset behind 353 yards passing and two touchdowns from Brees. 

The first time that the Payton/Brees Saints would meet the Packers at home would be on November 24, 2008, in front of the prime-time audience of Monday Night Football. Brees was magnificent, throwing for 323 yards and 4 touchdowns, 115 of those yards and two scores to WR Lance Moore, leading the way to a 51-29 rout.

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Oct 22, 2017; Green Bay, WI, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram (22) during the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY SPORTS

After back-to-back shootout losses at Green Bay in 2011 and 2012, the Saints would again face the Packers at home on October 26, 2014, the last time these teams played each other in the Superdome. This time in front of a national audience on Sunday Night Football, New Orleans again gave fans an offensive explosion. 

They rolled to a 44-23 defeat of the visiting Packers thanks to 311 passing yards and three scores from Brees and a 172-Yd rushing performance from RB Mark Ingram. These teams last met on October 22, 2017, in Green Bay. Brees, with 331 yards passing and two scores, and Ingram (105 yards rushing) again led the way to a 26-17 New Orleans win.

This game features a marquee matchup between two of the NFL's best quarterbacks. Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers is 3-2 against New Orleans, but Brees has averaged 364 yards in his six outings against the Packers while throwing 16 touchdown passes and just 3 interceptions. He has completed an incredible 81% of his throws in two games against Green Bay at the Superdome, with 7 touchdowns and no interceptions.

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CREDIT: USA TODAY SPORTS

The Saints passing game has sputtered through the start of the year. All-Pro receiver Michael Thomas will miss his second straight game with an ankle injury, leaving the team hoping that Tre'Quan Smith and Emmanuel Sanders can make plays at wideout. New Orleans must protect Brees better inside, where opponents have successfully been able to pressure him. 

The Packers' defense has had trouble against tight ends, so expect Jared Cook to be heavily involved in the passing attack. Also, look for the Saints to focus on establishing their running game with Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray against a Green Bay rush defense that has been vulnerable over the last two years.

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Oct 22, 2017; Green Bay, WI, USA; New Orleans Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore (23) breaks up the pass intended for Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams (17) during the first quarter at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY SPORTS

Defensively, the Saints will look to establish control upfront with their powerful defensive tackles and DE Cam Jordan to slow the Green Bay running game and pressure Aaron Rodgers. The Packers could be without their own Pro Bowl receiver, Davante Adams. New Orleans CBs Marshon Lattimore and Janoris Jenkins will clamp down on shorter routes as their secondary, like most of their team, looks to rebound from a poor outing on Monday night.

PREDICTION:

SAINTS - 31, PACKERS - 27

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