Saints power over Packers 44-23

NEW ORLEANS -- Drew Brees threw three second-half touchdown passes, and Mark Ingram rushed for a career-high 172 yards, including a 21-yard touchdown sweep, to power the New Orleans Saints to a 44-23 victory over the Green Bay Packers on Sunday n...

Packers vs. Saints
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers throws past New Orleans Saints defensive end Akiem Hicks during the second quarter Sunday in New Orleans. (Derick E. Hingle / USA TODAY Sports)

NEW ORLEANS - Drew Brees threw three second-half touchdown passes, and Mark Ingram rushed for a career-high 172 yards, including a 21-yard touchdown sweep, to power the New Orleans Saints to a 44-23 victory over the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
The victory snapped the Packers’ four-game winning streak and put a dent in a remarkable early season run by Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who was picked off twice in the second half after having thrown 213 passes without an interception.
Rodgers threw for 418 yards, but both of his interceptions led to touchdowns as the Saints broke open a 16-16 halftime tie with 21 consecutive points. Rodgers completed 28 of 39 passes and threw for one touchdown.
Brees finished 27 of 32 passes for 311 yards.
When the Packers (5-3) stuffed Ingram on fourth-and-2 from the Green Bay 43 on the first series of the second half - and then followed up with another trip into the Saints’ red zone - it looked as though they had control.
Just as suddenly, though, Rodgers threw his first interception since the season opener. His slant pass for tight end Andrew Quarless was broken up by cornerback Corey White, and linebacker David Hawthorne plucked the ball out of the air and returned it to the Saints’ 12.
It took Brees just four plays to drive the Saints 88 yards for a 23-16 lead. Brees got the payoff on a deep post to wide receiver Brandin Cooks, who split
cornerback Tramon Williams and free safety Micah Hyde to give the Saints their first lead, 23-16.
On their next possession, the Packers gambled on fourth-and-1 from their own 40, but Hawthorne hit Eddie Lacy at the line of scrimmage and wrestled him down for no gain.
Four plays later, Brees found tight end Jimmy Graham one on one against Williams, and Graham used his body and 8-inch height advantage to leap high for a 22-yard scoring catch and a 30-16 lead with 2:06 left in the third quarter.
When Rodgers was picked off by White on the Packers’ next possession, Brees moved the Saints 71 yards in seven plays, getting the payoff on a 2-yard toss to tight end Josh Hill that put the Saints up 37-16. The big play on the drive was 34-yard pass interference call on cornerback Davon House for cutting off Cooks’ path to the ball.
The Saints (3-4) tied the Carolina Panthers (3-3-1) in the win column. The teams will meet in Charlotte, N.C., on Thursday night for the NFC South lead.
The 16-16 first half could not have been played more evenly. Each team scored on all four of its possessions, and they did so in mirror-like fashion. The Packers rolled up 292 yards in total offense in the first half - with Rodgers completing passes of 70 yards to wide receiver Randall Cobb and 67 yards to running back Eddie Lacy - while the Saints had 238.
Cobb ended the night with five catches for 126 yards. Lacy made eight receptions for 123 yards.
The Packers scored first on a 70-yard, third-and-10 hook-up from Rodgers to Cobb, and they added first-half field goals of 31, 49 and 27 yards by kicker Mason Crosby.
The Saints matched each score to tie the game. Rookie wide receiver Brandin Cooks made it 7-7 by scoring untouched on a 4-yard reverse, and kicker Shayne Graham added field goals of 31, 29 and 37 yards.
Rodgers and Brees were nearly perfect in the first half. Behind superb protection, Rodgers completed 13 of 18 passes for 278 yards, while Brees was 16 of 21 for 187 yards. The only negative for the Packers was their failure to get a touchdown on two trips inside the red zone. Each time, Green Bay penalties blunted those drives.
NOTES: The Packers may have outsmarted themselves on their second possession, splitting out DE Julius Peppers as a wide receiver on second-and-goal from the Saints’ 3. Peppers ran a slant and dropped a perfectly thrown pass from Rodgers in the end zone. The Packers had to settle for a 31-yard field goal by PK Mason Crosby. ... Neither team punted in the first half. ... RB Pierre Thomas (shoulder/rib), RB Khiry Robinson (forearm), C Jonathan Goodwin (knee/ankle) and LB Kyle Knox (ankle) were among the Saints’ inactive players. ... SS Morgan Burnett (calf) and DE Datone Jones (ankle) were on the Packers’ inactive list.


New Orleans 44 Green Bay 23
Green Bay    10    6    0    7-    23
New Orleans    10    6    14    14-    44
First Quarter
GB-Cobb 70 yard pass from A.Rodgers (Crosby kick), 12:57.
NO-Cooks 4 yard rush (S.Graham kick), 9:20.
GB-Crosby 31 yard field goal, 6:08.
NO-S.Graham 31 yard field goal, 1:42.
Second Quarter
GB-Crosby 49 yard field goal, 13:08.
NO-S.Graham 29 yard field goal, 5:52.
GB-Crosby 27 yard field goal, 1:51.
NO-S.Graham 37 yard field goal, 0:00.
Third Quarter
NO-Cooks 50 yard pass from Brees (S.Graham kick), 5:35.
NO-J.Graham 22 yard pass from Brees (S.Graham kick), 2:06.
Fourth Quarter
NO-Js.Hill 2 yard pass from Brees (S.Graham kick), 9:51.
GB-A.Rodgers 14 yard rush (Crosby kick), 5:07.
NO-Ma.Ingram 21 yard rush (S.Graham kick), 3:16.
    GB    NO
First Downs    23    28
Total Net Yards    491    495
Rushes-Yds    19-89    31-193
Passing    402    302
Sacked-Yds Lost    4-24    2-9
Comp-Att-Int    29-40-2    27-32-0
Punts    0-0.0    0-0.0
Punt Returns    0-0    0-0
Kickoff Returns    0-0    0-0
Interceptions Ret.    0-0    2-10
Penalties-Yards    8-84    4-35
Fumbles-Lost    1-1    1-1
Time of Possession    28:21    31:39
RUSHING- GB, Lacy 13-59, A.Rodgers 2-21, J.Starks 2-5, Du.Harris 2-4. NO, Ma.Ingram 24-172, Cadet 1-7, Brees 1-6, Cooks 1-4, Lorig 2-3, Au.Johnson 2-1.
PASSING- GB, A.Rodgers 28-39-2-418, Flynn 1-1-0-8. NO, Brees 27-32-0-311.
RECEIVING- GB, Lacy 8-123, D.Adams 7-75, Cobb 5-126, R.Rodgers 4-58, J.Nelson 3-25, Quarless 2-19. NO, Cooks 6-94, J.Graham 5-59, Stills 4-57, Colston 4-49, Cadet 4-40, Lorig 1-5, Ma.Ingram 1-3, Js.Hill 1-2, Au.Johnson 1-2.

Related Topics: FOOTBALL
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