Green Bay Packers at Saints: Primetime Predictions

NEW ORLEANS, LA - OCTOBER 26: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers looks to pass against the New Orleans Saints during a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on October 26, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Saints won the game 44-23. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - OCTOBER 26: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers looks to pass against the New Orleans Saints during a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on October 26, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Saints won the game 44-23. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

This week the Green Bay Packers take on the New Orleans Saints in a crucial primetime matchup. Here is who the Dairyland Express staff is predicting will win.

It’s Week 3, and the red-hot Green Bay Packers’ offense travels to New Orleans for a primetime matchup with the Saints.

Through two games, the Green Bay Packers’ offense has been the most productive in the NFL, having scored 85 points and totaling over 1,000 yards. However, this week, they will face what is easily their toughest test.

While Aaron Rodgers and Company went up against the inexperienced secondaries of Minnesota and Detroit, this week, they will be without Davante Adams and against a unit led by Marshon Lattimore and Malcolm Jenkins. On top of that, this is a stout New Orleans pass-rush that the Green Bay offensive line will have to contend with.

Defensively, the Green Bay Packers will not have to face Michael Thomas, but they’ll have to find ways to contain Jared Cook and Alvin Kamara, who could each have big days. Not to mention that Drew Brees isn’t someone to be slept on, regardless of how his most recent performance went.

Although it is only Week 3, this is a game that could have playoff implications as the winner is going to have the upper hand when it comes to NFC playoff seeding. As always, our crew here at Dairyland Express have made our gameday predictions, and in parenthesis, you’ll see our individual records up to this point in the season, so we can crown our own champion at the end of the year.

Kenny Jilek (2-0)

This week may be the toughest to predict yet, because of the tough opponent, but also because of all the injuries to both teams. There are important players for both teams that are out, doubtful, or questionable.

Offensively, the biggest concern is Davante Adams, who is doubtful for the Sunday night matchup, but Josiah Deguara and Elgton Jenkins also did not practice on Friday and are listed as doubtful and questionable, respectively.

Adams means so much to this Packer offense, and without him, they really only have three wide receivers. Jenkins has been an impenetrable wall for pass rushers, and his potential absence could give the offensive line a week spot for this strong Saints pass rush. Without Adams and another weapon in Deguara, while facing a better pass rush, the offense will slow, hopefully not enough that they lose, but I can’t always predict them to win, and something in my gut doesn’t feel good about only three receivers and a very unproven one in Malik Taylor.

Defensively, 24 points is about par for the course this season, and even with the Saints likely missing their biggest weapon in Michael Thomas, they can put up points. Much has been made about Drew Brees’ struggles to start the season, but even with him only throwing for 472 yards and three touchdowns through two weeks, they still scored 34 and 24 points in those weeks. Alvin Kamara had a field day against the Raiders in the running and receiving games, and he’ll probably do something similar again.

Prediction: Packers 20 – Saints 24

Brian Sampson (1-1)

The Green Bay Packers’ dynamic Sunday Night matchup against the New Orleans Saints figures to be missing two of the top wideouts in the entire NFL in Davante Adams and Michael Thomas. However, that doesn’t dull their showdown one bit, as both offenses have Hall of Fame quarterbacks and studs at the running back position.

It will be interesting to see what Green Bay does at wide receiver, considering they only have three healthy players at the position. Is that enough for Matt LaFleur, or will they call someone up from the practice squad for the game? Green Bay will also try their hardest to stop Alvin Kamara, something that will be easier said than done. Still, I think Green Bay continues the momentum they’ve built early in the season, and they upset the Saints.

Prediction: Packers 31 – Saints 28

Paul Bretl (2-0)

I have to say I am incredibly torn on this pick. There will only be friends and family in the stands, which certainly helps the Packers, especially Aaron Rodgers, as New Orleans is one of the more difficult road environments in the NFL.

On offense, no one is going to replace Davante Adams, but between Allen Lazard, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, the Packer running backs, and tight ends, Rodgers still has plenty of weapons in the passing game. Not to mention that Matt LaFleur has been on fire with his play calling. However, the Saints run defense has been very good this season, and Aaron Jones likely won’t find the same success that he has had on the ground up to this point.

Defensively, my biggest concerns are with the Packer run defense – duh – along with who is going to cover Alvin Kamara and Jared Cook. To me, this is the perfect job for Darnell Savage, but we will see if Mike Pettine gives him more opportunities closer to the line of scrimmage. And as always, pressuring the quarterback will be key.

This is going to be a close and fairly high-scoring affair; however, I don’t believe that Drew Brees has the same magic that he once had. The goal for this Packer defense should be to take away the short passes and force Brees to beat them downfield.

Next. 3 X-Factors Against the Saints. dark

It’s not going to look as pretty as it did the first two weeks, but I believe the Packer offense still finds success, and while this run defense can make anyone look good, the Saints haven’t been very good at running the ball this season, ranking 26th with 97.0 rushing yards per game. Ultimately, Green Bay does just enough on both sides of the ball to squeak out the win.

Prediction: Packers 31 – Saints 27