Monday, November 24, 2008
Halftime: New Orleans 24, Green Bay 21
Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert
NEW ORLEANS -- Whew. Let me catch my breath and then I'll give you a few first-half observations.
OK. I'm fine now.
- Green Bay defensive end Aaron Kampman made a little noise at the end of the second quarter, twice getting into the backfield to force two incompletions from Saints quarterback Drew Brees. The pressure forced New Orleans to settle for a 30-yard field goal at the end of the half.
- Before that, however, Brees completed 13 consecutive passes. He finished the half 13 of 16 for 194 yards and two touchdowns. And he gets the ball to start the third quarter.
- The Packers, who entered the weekend with an NFL-high 16 interceptions, didn't get a hand on a pass until Nick Collins made a play on Brees' final pass of the half. Brees really hasn't given them any other opportunities.
- The Packers offense has been strong but is having to work much harder for its scores. Tailback Ryan Grant has 83 all-purpose yards, and quarterback Aaron Rodgers made a nice move to squeeze into the end zone on a 10-yard touchdown run. (Note that Rodgers landed squarely on his previously-sprained right shoulder. If he was in pain, he didn't show it.)
- There was one point, earlier in the game, when I wondered if Rodgers' shoulder was bothering him. In the first quarter, he threw low to a wide-open Greg Jennings about 20 yards downfield. But, sometimes a low throw is just a low throw.
- The Packers are rotating safeties Atari Bigby and Aaron Rouse, as they have done for several games. But before Kampman started getting into the backfield, nothing was working for their pass defense.
- Tony Moll finished out the first half at right tackle. Given how long starter Mark Tauscher stood on the sidelines, it would be a surprise to see him come back.
- Someone just walked past me and suggested the team with the ball last will win. Sounds about right to me.