It's midweek again, and that means it must be time for our next series history post. Today, we will be covering Green Bay's history against our next opponent: the New Orleans Saints. Currently, the Packers lead the series 16-7. This series is unique among NFC teams, as the Saints are the only current NFC team that the Packers have never faced in the playoffs.
The Saints entered the NFL in 1967 as part of the NFL's expansion in the southeastern United States in the late 1960s (the Atlanta Falcons entered under similar circumstances a year earlier). The two teams met in the 1968 season in Milwaukee, with the Packers coming away 29-7 winners. The Saints, however, would answer back, upsetting the Packers in the 1971 contest in Milwaukee.
The Packers took the 1972 contest on their way to the NFC Central title, and then won the 1973 matchup as well. The 1972 game was the Packers' first game in New Orleans. In 1975, the Saints defeated the Packers, 20-19, in New Orleans. The Packers would, however, atone for this loss in a big way.
Starting in 1976, the Packers won seven consecutive games over the Saints, a streak which lasted until the 38-14 Packers victory in Milwaukee over the Saints in 1985. Part of this was the Saints being a bad team (their 1980 team finished 1-15 and is widely considered one of the worst NFL teams ever), but the Packers also had a brief run of middle-of-the-road finishes in the early 1980s.
In the 1986 season, however, it was the Saints who finally defeated the Packers, and they would repeat this feat in 1987 as well. In 1989, the two teams met for the first time ever in Green Bay. The Saints came out on fire, taking an early lead of 21-0 and holding a 24-7 advantage at the half. In the second half, the Packers fought back, and came away with a last-second 35-34 victory over New Orleans.
The Packers under Brett Favre would win their first two games in New Orleans, in 1993 and 1995. The 1995 game featured an inspiring return by Reggie White, who had missed just one game after tearing his hamstring against the Cincinnati Bengals. This victory clinched a playoff berth for the Packers, who would soon join the ranks of the NFL's elite.
In 2002, the Saints would finally win a home game over the Packers, by the score of 35-20. In 2005 at Lambeau Field, the Packers put up their largest point total since 1984 in a 52-3 rout of the Saints. This bad season for the Saints, however, would lead to the hiring of Sean Payton for the 2006 season. Payton, ironically enough, had interviewed for and really was hoping to get the vacant position of Green Bay Packers head coach. The Packers went with Mike McCarthy, and Payton went to New Orleans.
The first matchup between the new coaches was early in 2006. The Packers raced out to an early 13-0 lead, but the Saints fought back, taking a 34-20 lead before the Packers attempted to rally. The rally fell short, however, and New Orleans escaped with a 34-27 victory. The Saints would also demolish the Packers late in the 2008 season, winning 51-29 in New Orleans, the most recent time the Packers have played in the Superdome.
For the next few seasons, the Packers and Saints had tremendous offenses, but never faced each other. That ended during the opening game of the 2011 season, just months after the NFL lockout had ended. On Thursday night, The two teams moved up and down the field at will, with the defending Super Bowl Champion Packers stuffing Mark Ingram on an untimed down after time expired to hold on for a 42-34 victory over the Saints.
In 2012, the Packers and Saints again met at Lambeau Field. Just like the previous year's game, the teams once again moved up and down the field with ease. The Packers held on when Garrett Hartley missed a potential game-winning field goal with a few minutes left. Green Bay escaped with a hard-fought 28-27 victory.
What are your memories of the Packers facing the Saints?
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