Two elite NFL quarterbacks battled at Lambeau Field on Thursday night in the kickoff to the 2011 season, as Aaron Rodgers led Green Bay over New Orleans, 42-34.
Drew Brees completed 32 passes on 49 attempts for 419 yards, and Rodgers completed 27 passes on 32 attempts for 312 yards. Both Brees and Rodgers threw three touchdowns in a quarterback duel that lived up to the pregame hype.
The Saints amassed 477 total yards compared to the Packers' 399. Green Bay, however, were able to score all four times they were in the red zone.
After a game of so much offense, the Packers defense was the difference in the end when they made a goal-line stand on the final play of the game to earn Green Bay the victory.
One of the biggest plays of the game was in the first quarter, when on the second offensive play of the Saints' season wide receiver Marques Colston fumbled and the ball was recovered by Packers' free safety Nick Collins.
The Packers would score a touchdown on the ensuing drive to give Green Bay an early 14-0 lead. Colston's fumble turned out to be the only turnover of the game, and the Saints would never come back from the quick deficit.
The Saints certainly had their bright spots in the game. Darren Sproles got his Saints debut off on the right foot with 250 total yards, including a 72-yard punt return for a touchdown.
However, the night belonged to Rodgers, last year's Super Bowl MVP. Playing in front of his home crowd, Rodgers performed to expectations for a team that expects to make a serious run at another title run.
It's a good night for us, Rodgers said. I felt good about the way that I was throwing the ball. Missed a couple I probably could have hit.