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What to watch: Saints-Packers

Jermichael Finley AP

While we’re killing time and watching the debut of NBC Sportstalk on Versus, here are a few things we’ll be looking for in tonight’s game.

1. Aaron Rodgers is one of the best quarterbacks against the blitz. New Orleans plans to stay aggressive blitzing on Thursday night, which puts an awful lot of pressure on the Saints secondary.

Green Bay’s offensive line struggled to protect in the preseason. They will be tested.

2. We’re looking forward to seeing Packers tight end Jermichael Finley back on the  field.  The Seahawks ate up the Saints linebackers in the playoffs last year. The Saints don’t have a great outside linebacker group.

3. Saints rooking running back Mark Ingram’s debut will be interesting to watch.  Look for Sean Payton to run the ball plenty with Ingram, Pierre Thomas, and Darren Sproles. The Packers defense is more susceptible to the run than the pass.

4. Drew Brees needs to make better decisions in big games. He didn’t catch much criticism last year despite 22 interceptions and fumbling nine times. It was a down year for Brees compared to 2007-2009.

5. Saints free agent pickups defensive tackles Shaun Rogers and Aubrayo Franklin could be the keys to their defense. They need Franklin to stuff the run and Rogers to push the pocket.

6. Packers outside linebacker Clay Matthews and defensive tackle B.J. Raji could overwhelm new Saints right tackle Zach Strief and new center Olin Kreutz.

7. Player-only workouts got too much attention during the lockout.  But the Packers and Saints present an interesting contrast.

No team worked together more than New Orleans. No team practiced together less than the Packers. We doubt it really mattered, but Thursday night provides an interesting litmus test.

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11 Responses to “What to watch: Saints-Packers”
  1. captainwisdom8888 says: Sep 8, 2011 6:43 PM

    I’ll be watching the game..

  2. joshborden says: Sep 8, 2011 6:51 PM

    LMAO!! So I’m guessing thats what Jermichael Finley (in the photo) is going to look like after the Saints defense knocks the piss out of him…

  3. raiderfan40 says: Sep 8, 2011 6:52 PM

    Yes, football is back!!!

  4. thehatefulnerd says: Sep 8, 2011 6:53 PM

    Only way the Pack loses is if the Oline doesn’t hold up. ‘Aints have no answer to Finley.

  5. kingmj4891 says: Sep 8, 2011 7:08 PM

    What not to watch: Obama lying to the country saying he has new ideas that will work.

    What to watch anything NFL Football.

  6. maniac4thepack says: Sep 8, 2011 7:15 PM

    Donald Driver also only needs 42 yards to become the Packers all time leader in receiving yards…I’m willing to bet he gets it. GO PACK,GO!!!!!!!!!!

  7. nomad57 says: Sep 8, 2011 7:20 PM

    Hasn’t Olin Kreutz faced B.J. Raji as a member of the Bears multiple times? Why would he overwhelm him now?

  8. nps6724 says: Sep 8, 2011 8:05 PM

    Only way the Pack loses is if the Oline doesn’t hold up. ‘Aints have no answer to Finley.

    ————————–

    Yeah, remember when Dallas Clark ate them up in the Super Bowl? Oh wait…

  9. deconjonesbitchslap says: Sep 8, 2011 8:08 PM

    what 2 watch? MAROON 5!!!!!

    whooooo wweeee. good call nfl!

    /vomits.

  10. dirtdawg55 says: Sep 8, 2011 8:31 PM

    Are you ready for some foooooootbaalllllllllllll !

    No matter how much we disagree from time to time on these forums we can all agree it is great to have football back.

    Congrats Packers on last year’s Super Bowl win (it still stings). It was well deserved. But it is a new year, every team is 0 and 0 and everyone has a chance. Well, the Bengals and 49ers have no chance, but almost everyone else does.

    Let’s get it on!

  11. purpleisreallypinkyouknow says: Sep 8, 2011 11:49 PM

    joshborden

    LMAO!! So I’m guessing thats what Jermichael Finley (in the photo) is going to look like after the Saints defense knocks the piss out of him…
    ———————————————————————————–
    Say again….? Thought so.

    There isn’t a team in the league that will do that….silly lose-e-ana turd.

    Who Dat…? Green Bay dat.

    btw…good to see Kreutz getting his arse handed to him by the Pack some more…..enjoy that washed up turnstile.

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