A beautifully ugly win over the Saints

The Green Bay Packers scored 18 fourth-quarter points to erase a 17-0 deficit and beat the New Orleans Saints 18-17 Sunday in Lambeau Field. How they did it is still beyond me. The Packers were without four of their best players due to injury and still found a way to beat the 2-0 Saints. Quarterback Jordan Love took over the game in the fourth quarter and willed the Packers to victory in his first start in the historic venue. I have a hunch this is just the first of many great memories to come from Love.

How ugly was it? The Packers four pass catchers to start the game were two rookie wide receivers, a rookie tight end, and a second-year receiver. They didn’t have Aaron Jones so they didn’t have a running game. They committed 12 penalties. They completely botched a flea-flicker on a fourth down. They went for it and failed on fourth down in the red zone instead of taking a field goal to get within two scores. And the dumbest one of all was to go for two when an extra point gets you within seven.

Risky call wins the game

OK, scratch that last one. I criticized head coach Matt LaFleur all game for the dumb decisions he was making, but getting that two point conversion won the game for the Packers. It was a tremendous play by Love who found Samori Toure at the last second as the play was breaking down. The Packers suck in overtime so this prevented that from happening. They could have gone for two again had they kicked the extra point and scored another TD, but doing it early gives them the element of surprise, or something. Whatever the reason, it worked and the Packers are 2-1 and playing for sole possession of first place in the NFC North Thursday night against the Lions.

I would be remiss if I didn’t give credit to the Packers defense for the job they did in the win. They held the Saints to 10 points on offense and shut them out in the second half. They harassed David Carr until knocking him out in the third quarter. Rashon Gary is an absolute beast, garnering three sacks and wrecking havoc on every pass play it seemed. It was a good bounce-back for the unit after the breakdown in Atlanta. The Lions, however, have a high-powered offense that will be a whole different beast to defend.

But that’s Thursday, let’s enjoy this one tonight. Go Pack!

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