It was the Green Bay Packers who eventually came out on top by a score of 28-27, but not until some thrilling back-and-forth action took place.
Aaron Rodgers got things started at Lambeau, leading a two-minute opening drive that culminated in a 12-yard touchdown pass to James Jones.
After Marques Colston pulled in a 20-yard score from Drew Brees to cap a methodical 80-yard drive, Rodgers fired back with two straight touchdown passes.
First, he found Greg Jennings from nine yards out. Then he once again found Jones to finish an easy 92-yard drive in just over six minutes. Former coach Tony Dungy approved:
What a throw by Aaron Rodgers to Jennings for a TD!14-7 GB— Tony Dungy (@TonyDungy) September 30, 2012
The Packers took a 21-7 lead at that point, and the defenses had yet to actually step foot on the field. Or at least it seemed that way.
But we were far from finished.
Brees tossed two more touchdown passes (one to Darren Sproles, and one 80-yarder to Joe Morgan), Garrett Hartley kicked two field goals and Aaron Rodgers suffered one eye poke. Suddenly, the Saints were up 27-21.
New Orleans was staring their first win of the season right in the face.
However, Rodgers returned—without rec specs, unfortunately—after a short Graham Harrell appearance to lead yet another long drive that ended with a touchdown throw.
We still weren't done.
As the Saints drove back down the field, Darren Sproles appeared to fumble the game away, but once again, the curse of the referees struck the Pack.
This time around it was the real zebras who incorrectly marked Sproles down by contact and continued New Orleans' late fourth-quarter drive. ESPN's J.A. Adande summed up most feelings regarding the sore subject:
Fake refs, real refs, the Packers keep getting hosed— J.A. Adande (@jadande) September 30, 2012
As did Yahoo! Sports' Doug Farrar:
We'll just add that preposterous down by contact call to Jeff Triplette's Greatest Hits.— SC_DougFarrar (@SC_DougFarrar) September 30, 2012
Fortunately for the Packers, the football gods finally started feeling bad for Green Bay—Garrett Hartley missed a 48-yard field goal to seal the home win for the fans at Lambeau.
After 55 total points and almost 900 yards of combined total offense—including 446 yards and three touchdowns from Drew Brees, and 319 yards and four scores from Aaron Rodgers—the Green Bay Packers moved to 2-2 while the Sean Peyton-less Saints fell to 0-4.
And the defenses still haven't taken the field.