Green Bay moved to 3-0 for the second straight season, beating New Orleans 37-30 on Sunday night in the Superdome.
Offense: WR Allen Lazard
His effort was good enough to earn the game ball from coach Matt LaFleur, so who are we to argue? Playing without Davante Adams, the Packers got a huge game from Lazard. He grabbed six passes for 146 yards and a touchdown. The Iowa State product had a career-long catch of 48 yards to setup up his score in the second quarter and then topped that with a 72-yard catch and run early in the third quarter that led to another touchdown.
The numbers weren’t huge — he had just two tackles — but the outside linebacker made the play of the game on defense for the Packers. The game was tied at 27 and the offense had just failed to convert on fourth-and-1 at midfield. New Orleans had all the momentum and seemed poised to take the lead. But on second-and-3, Smith came free off the edge on a quarterback run, jarred the ball loose from Taysom Hill and recovered the fumble. Green Bay took that and grabbed the lead with a field goal. It was the first of huge back-to-back stops by a Packers defense that had struggled and Smith got it started.
The veteran kicker has been automatic this year and was again on Sunday night. He hit all three of his field goals, including a 52-yarder in the first half. His 49-yard kick in the fourth quarter gave the Packers a lead they wouldn’t give up. He’s now 7-for-7 on the season.
Allen Lazard, who was not a first-round pick, catches touchdown
— Wide receiver Davante Adams (hamstring) and nose tackle Kenny Clark (groin) did not play. It was the second straight games Clark didn’t suit up.
— Inside Linebacker Christian Kirksey suffered a shoulder injury in the second quarter and did not return. He was replaced by Ty Summers, who finished with a team-high nine tackles.
— Outside linebacker Rashan Gary left the game with an ankle injury in the second half and didn’t return.
— After having no fans at their first two games, the Packers did have to face some on Sunday night. The Saints experimented, allowing 750 family members of players and staff to attend. Still, it was nowhere close to the environment the Packers have faced the last two times they went to New Orleans in 2008 and 2014 — both losses.
— Aaron Rodgers is playing so well he’s now throwing no-look passes.
— A couple of firsts for two members of the 2019 draft class. Defensive end Kingsley Keke recorded the first two sacks of his career, while tight end Jace Sternberger caught the first three regular season passes of his NFL tenure. All three came in the fourth quarter and two went for first downs.
Inside the Numbers
1997 — That’s the last time the Packers won in New Orleans before Sunday night. That game happened to be in January of 1997 and it was Super Bowl 31. Before that, they hadn’t beaten the Saints in the Superdome since 1995.
122 — That’s how many points the Packers have scored in the first three weeks. It’s the most in the first three games of a season in team history and it has them leading the NFL at 40.7 per game.
121.1 — That’s Aaron Rodgers’ passer rating through three games. He’s thrown for 887 yards, nine touchdowns and no interceptions