Aaron Rodgers, Packers Defeat Drew Brees, Saints Despite Alvin Kamara’s 2 TDs

Aaron Rodgers, Packers Defeat Drew Brees, Saints Despite Alvin Kamara’s 2 TDs

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) passes under pressure from New Orleans Saints defensive end Carl Granderson (96) in the first half of an NFL football game in New Orleans, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

Butch Dill/Associated Press

The Green Bay Packers continue to roll.

Green Bay moved to 3-0 on the season with a 37-30 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Aaron Rodgers and Allen Lazard spearheaded the latest effort, helping their team keep pace with the undefeated Chicago Bears in the NFC North.

As for the Saints, they are among the most disappointing teams in the early going at 1-2 despite a strong showing from Alvin Kamara while Michael Thomas was sidelined with injury.

B/R Gridiron @brgridiron

Respect between Rodgers and Brees 🤝

(via @NFL)
https://t.co/3H5so7WChJ

Notable Player Stats

  • Aaron Rodgers, QB, GB: 21-of-32 passing for 283 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs
  • Aaron Jones, RB, GB: 16 carries for 69 yards, 1 TD
  • Allen Lazard, WR, GB: 6 catches for 146 yards, 1 TD
  • Drew Brees, QB, NO: 29-of-36 for 288 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT
  • Alvin Kamara, RB, NO: 6 carries for 58 yards; 13 catches for 139 yards, 2 TDs

Aaron Rodgers Wins QB Battle and Game

The clear headline going into Sunday’s contest was the quarterback battle.

After all, Rodgers and Brees are both headed to the Hall of Fame with a Lombardi Trophy and astounding passing numbers on their resumes. They have faced each other in the playoffs—and may do so again this season—and had an opportunity to pick up a key win in the early NFC race.

Both were without their star wide receivers Sunday with Thomas and Davante Adams sidelined, which put more pressure on the signal-callers’ shoulders.

B/R Gridiron @brgridiron

Rodgers back to Lazard for the easy 6

(via @NFL)
https://t.co/rcTSkurtAL

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Rodgers no-look pass 😯

(via @thecheckdown)
https://t.co/T6QdOWVwdy

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

RODGERS BOMB TO LAZARD 😱

(via @NFL)
https://t.co/gZtPNzLxfG

Rodgers answered that pressure with an immediate connection with Lazard, who he found for the visitors’ first touchdown in the second quarter. Rodgers also hit Lazard for a 72-yard deep ball in the third quarter, which set up an Aaron Jones touchdown on 4th-and-goal.

Brees worked underneath and kept pace with touchdown passes to Kamara and Emmanuel Sanders, but Rodgers lofted a perfectly placed pass to Marcedes Lewis late in the third quarter for another score. Lewis appeared to get away with a push-off, but that didn’t take away from the touch No. 12 showed by fitting it in over the nearest defender.

B/R Gridiron @brgridiron

Marcedes Lewis found a way for this grab 💪

(via @thecheckdown)
https://t.co/2kuPuzHVmn

Michael Thomas @Cantguardmike

Push off lol

Rodgers worked his magic one more time in the fourth quarter on a key 3rd-and-3 by drawing New Orleans offside with his patented hard count and throwing it to the end zone, where there was pass interference.

He found Robert Tonyan for a touchdown from there, all but clinching the win for Green Bay.

Saints Waste Brilliant Performance from Alvin Kamara

No Thomas. Brees past his prime and struggling to throw downfield. Needing to keep up with Rodgers on the other end.

There was plenty stacked against the Saints offense in Sunday’s contest, but it had one thing going for it: Kamara. The electrifying running back put New Orleans on his back from the early going, flashing into space on underneath routes for Brees, picking up yardage between the tackles and leaving Green Bay grasping at his feet.

Gregg Rosenthal @greggrosenthal

The Saints entire offense is built around Kamara breaking tackles

B/R Gridiron @brgridiron

Kamara just having fun with it 💨

(via @NFL)
https://t.co/XP7pl8p42U

B/R Gridiron @brgridiron

Alvin Kamara TOO STRONG 💪

(via @NFL)
https://t.co/43wr2su22v

B/R Gridiron @brgridiron

Packers defense trying to tackle Kamara https://t.co/quUUrQTIei

Never was he more impressive than in the third quarter when he took a Brees pass behind the line of scrimmage, froze a potential tackler, bounced off another and worked his way downfield by changing speeds and lowering his shoulder.

The end result was a 52-yard score, which was his second of the game and will stand as one of the best touchdowns of the entire season.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

KAMARA IS A PROBLEM 🔥

(via @Saints)
https://t.co/np6wSln05Z

Next Gen Stats @NextGenStats

Alvin Kamara gained 57 yards after catch on this 52-yard touchdown, +40 over expected according to our Expected YAC model.

Kamara never reached a speed faster than 15.28 MPH on the play, while Erik McCoy (#78) reached 16.22 MPH as a lead blocker.

#GBvsNO | #Saints https://t.co/wxKFfzUhNK

That touchdown, along with a key 4th-down stop by Malcolm Jenkins, gave the Saints all the momentum until head coach Sean Payton decided to put Taysom Hill at quarterback and run an option play instead of just running with Kamara. The result was a fumble, which Green Bay parlayed into a field goal and a fourth-quarter lead.

It is not difficult to envision the Saints electing to give the ball to Kamara again instead of disrupting their momentum with Hill and scoring to take the lead for good in that situation.

Instead, his incredible performance went to waste.

What’s Next?

Both teams remain in the NFC in Week 4 when the Packers host the Atlanta Falcons and the Saints are at the Detroit Lions.

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