It was a beautiful night at Lambeau Field to open the NFL regular season, and the defending champions found themselves in a barn burner right off the bat. Read below to view the highlights of a classic duel between champions.
Green Bay Packers def. New OrlÃ©ans Saints: Goal line stand ends shootout thriller
In a game that lived up to the hype in every way, the Green Bay Packers and New OrlÃ©ans Saints staged an offensive shootout to remember. Everything happened from a punt return touchdown by Darren Sproles to a kick return touchdown by Randall Cobb. Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers threw for a joint seven scores without a single interception. Down by eight in the final seconds, Brees led his team on a furious drive with under a minute and a half to play. They reached the Packers 1-yard line but couldn't punch it in, allowing the defending champs to hold on.
Red Zone failures by Drew Brees keep Packers ahead
Though the Packers opened their NFL regular season with six touchdowns, they very easily could've lost the game had the Saints not failed on two critical drives in the red zone. Had New OrlÃ©ans even kicked two field goals in those situations, some could argue they would've won the game on late field goal instead of having to go for touchdown.
Saints miss Will Smith in lack of pass rush on Aaron Rodgers
After an early surge by the Saints defense to pressure and sack Aaron Rodgers, they could do little the rest of the game while the reigning Super Bowl MVP picked them apart. The key loss of defensive end Will Smith to a two-game suspension showed for a rebuilt defensive line.
Green Bay gets only turnover but also lose Tramon Williams in only injury
In a game full of big plays, perhaps the biggest was the only turnover of the evening when receiver Marcus Colston fumbled the ball on the Saints opening drive. Green Bay promptly turned it into a touchdown and put New OrlÃ©ans in a hole they tried to dig out of all night. However, while Packer fans can celebrate a victory on opening day, they stand to lose cornerback Tramon Williams to an undisclosed arm injury. On the play, William was trying to make a tackle when teammate Nick Collins came in for a hit. Williams's arm caught most of the force and bent awkwardly. The key Packers defender left the field having to hold his arm up.
Final score: 42Â–34
The two previous Super Bowl champions opened the gate to the new NFL regular season. Fans around the league await the main festivities on Sunday. Stayed tuned for further game results.