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Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers, Randall Cobb hold off Drew Brees and New Orleans Saints, 42-34

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Posted 09-09-2011 at 02:00 AM by Halo

If this was a Super Bowl hangover, there will be a lot of people trying to find out what the Packers have been drinking.

If anything, Aaron Rodgers and the Pack looked even more imposing at Lambeau Field Thursday night as the Super Bowl XLV MVP outdueled Drew Brees, the Super Bowl XLIV MVP, in a 42-34 Green Bay victory that got the NFL season off and running in a hail of offense that was finally stopped with the Saints on the Packers' 1 on the final play of the game.

The lockout that threatened the 2011 season seemed inconsequential indeed as the teams combined for 876 yards of offense plus a 72-yard punt return and a 108-yard kick return, both for TDs.

But all Rodgers seemed to be interested in was the pregame talk that the Saints had an edge because they stayed together during the lockout. He referenced it about five times.

"It was a pretty good start," said Rodgers, who completed 27 of 34 passes for 312 yards and three touchdowns to his deep receiving corps on his first three series. "But I have to ask myself, 'What would we have done if we had offseason workouts?' "

Maybe he should ask Brees, who would have won this game on most nights. Brees was 32-for-49 for 419 yards and three touchdowns. But he and the Saints were just short when it counted most.

In the end, the difference came down to turnovers - the Saints lost one fumble, the Packers were clean - and the red zone, where the Packers scored four TDs on their four trips. The Saints' five trips, by contrast, produced one TD with two field goals, one failed fourth-down play and that final play of the game after Brees had moved the Saints 79 yards in the final 1:08. On the final drive, a pass-interference call in the end zone gave the Saints one last chance. Having failed on a fourth down, play-action pass in the third quarter, they force-fed rookie RB Mark Ingram into the middle of the line, where he was stopped (for the second critical time of the game) by Clay Matthews and Morgan Burnett.

Even Rodgers thought the Saints were going to throw it there. Maybe he would have on the two-point conversion.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/fo...#ixzz1XR6dEovS
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