In their first home game in 42 days, the Saints exploded on the Packers to the tune of 416 total yards of offense and seven touchdowns, tying a team record for the most points scored with 51.
As advertised, both teams put on an offensive show; gunning for one another from the start in what was a close game through the first half. New Orleans clung to a 24-21 lead going into half time, and the game was shaping up to be a last-man standing shootout.
New Orleans came out in the third quarter and erupted on Green Bay, scoring 21 unanswered points, blowing the game wide open.
Pro Bowl quarterback Drew Brees shredded the Packers' defense, completing 20 of 26 passes for 323 yards, four touchdowns, and no interceptions. Brees dominated what was among the leagues leading passing defenses connecting with seven different receivers.
Brees' favorite target again was wide receiver Lance Moore. Moore hauled in five passes for 115 yards and two touchdowns. His longest coming on a 70-yard scamper when he beat Green Bay safety Atari Bigby for the long touchdown.
Both Marques Colston and Jeremy Shockey turned in excellent performances. Colston was relatively quiet in the game until Brees hit him on a beautifully thrown pass in stride for a 70-yard touchdown. His only catch of the game.
Controversial tight end Jeremy Shockey played what may have been his best game as a Saint, catching five passes for 57 yards. Shockey was able to convert a few 3rd-and-long plays, helping to keep the Saints' drives alive.
On the ground, Pierre Thomas again shined for the Saints, carrying 15 times for 87 yards and posting a career high two touchdowns. Thomas ran with authority, pounding the Packers defensive line time and time again. Thomas is the team's leading rusher totaling 325 yards and six touchdowns for the season.
Thomas should see and increased role in the Saints running game moving forward. He seems to be just what New Orleans needs to spark an anemic ground attack.
Deuce McAllister again was used sparingly in what could be his last game at the Superdome and as a Saint. McAllister still faces a four-game suspension for testing positive for a banned diuretic, that if upheld will keep him suspended through the end of the season.
McAllister's future with the Saints is uncertain as the team may be parting ways with the veteran running back due to a high salary-cap hit and a rash of injuries.
In what was a bitter sweet moment for McAllister, he scored on a four-yard touchdown run to move ahead of Dalton Hilliard on the franchises all-time touchdown list with 54. McAllister was visibly emotional after the score walking to the sideline with teary eyes. Head coach Sean Payton reached out and hugged McAllister in a rare showing of emotion.
Deuce totaled five yards to go along with the touchdown on the night.
Defensively, the Saints looked energized and played like a team possessed. Stud linebacker Jonathan Vilma was again the teams leading tackler with eight. Vilma swarmed the ball helping to minimize Green Bay running back Ryan Grant, who was held to 67 yards on the night
The most surprising player of the game was corner back Jason David. David was brought to New Orleans as free agent in 2006, and ever since has been criticized and blamed for the Saints poor play in the secondary.
David intercepted Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers two times, his longest going for 42 yards to the Green Bay four-yard line.
The Saints were able to pressure Aaron Rodgers the whole game, keeping the young quarterback out of sorts. New Orleans totaled two sacks in the game, one from corner Randall Gay and one from big defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis.
Special teams play continued to impress as rookie kicker Garrett Hartley remained perfect, connecting on all six of his extra point attempts and nailing a 30-yard field goal.
Cortney Roby is emerging as a legitimate threat in the kick-return game. Roby averaged 34 yards on three returns with is longest going 62 yards, nearly running it back for the score. Roby finished the day with 103 total yards on his three returns.
It appears that the Saint's defense is finally gelling, and its offense is beginning to hit on all cylinders. Roby was the spark needed on special teams, and if they continue to play the way they have against the Packers, I fully expect them to make a playoff run.
Look for the Saints to continue their winning ways when they march in to take on the division leading Tampa Bay Bucs next Sunday on the road. In their last meeting, New Orleans was able to pull out the win at home 24-20. Expect another electrifying game in this NFC south showdown as the Saints contend for their playoff lives.
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