After a week of heartbreak (repeated ad nauseum by the major sports networks as the single most critical argument to end the NFL Officiating lockout) and lampooned even by Jon Gruden), the Packers returned to Lambeau to face the New Orleans Saints. They had to battle the Saints, Jeff Triplette's trolling, and themselves, in order to come away with a much-needed win and improve to 2-2.
Again, as against SF and Seattle, there are a lot of things to learn from this game. Hopefully those "things" can put the defense in better position to break up some of the passes that Drew Brees was throwing on 3rd down...
The first impact play of the game? Jordy Nelson's "game-winning" TD with 7:00 remaining in the 4th Quarter.
This play was set up to be a thing of beauty almost from the getgo. Aaron Rodgers drops back, James Jones draws away the safety, and Jordy Nelson is open on the slant/post route for the score. Of course, that's not the end of the play: Nelson gets tackled at the 2 yard line but drags both tacklers into the endzone for the score. It's not quite Donald Driver vs. San Francisco from 2010, but it's still an impressive effort that gave Green Bay the lead.
The second impact play of the game is C.J. Wilson's sack of Drew Brees in the 4th Quarter.
On this play, C.J. Wilson makes an absolutely amazing effort and brings Brees down for the second time in the game (Clay Matthews bagged the first sack of the day). A straight push puts Ben Grubbs on his heels, Brees steps up and Wilson makes the play, putting the New Orleans Saints in a long-yardage situation.
The key play that cannot go without being mentioned is James Jones's amazing reception on 3rd and 3 on the final drive of the 4th quarter. Hartley's miss was big, yes, but without Jones's catch, New Orleans likely gets another shot at the defense (and given the way they played, there's every chance Hartley gets another chance for the win).
As you can see, there's no small amount of hand-fighting going on between the two. Jones didn't push off (unlike Marques Colston), and actually made the reception (INCONCEIVABLE!) for the game-sealing play. With New Orleans out of timeouts, the Packers proceeded to kneel out the clock and sealed New Orleans's fall to 0-4 on the year.