Green Bay Packers predictions: Week 3 vs. Saints
The Green Bay Packers are 2-0 but now face their stiffest test at New Orleans.
The Saints, unlike Green Bay’s first two opponents, do have a win, albeit they lost last Monday at Las Vegas.
Speaking of last week, the vast majority of our prognosticators forecasted a Packers victory (only SI’s Albert Breer and CBS’ Will Brinson thought Detroit would win). This week, we’re back to more of a mix, although there’s a lot of confidence in the Green & Gold.
Can the Packers advance to 3-0? Here’s this week’s Packers predictions from around the web:
Barry Wilner of the Associated Press: Saints 30, Packers 29.
Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times: Packers 28, Saints 27. “Showdown between two legendary quarterbacks could come down to who has better run game. Green Bay’s Aaron Jones and New Orleans’ Alvin Kamara will play big roles in the outcome.”
Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com: Packers 30, Saints 28. “The Saints are coming off a bad loss to the Raiders Monday night and now must ready for Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay’s explosive offense. The New Orleans defense was terrible against the Raiders, but they are usually better at home. The question is whether Drew Brees can still drive the football. If he can’t, it’s going to be a long season. I think he can, but I think he gets outscored by Rodgers here. Packers take it in a tight one.”
NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal: Packers 26, Saints 24. “The Saints’ best hope is a rejuvenated Alvin Kamara against a Mike Pettine defense usually allergic to stopping the run, but this is a New Orleans offense with far less margin for error than usual. The odd sight of Brees missing passes took attention away from a Saints defense that didn’t force the Raiders to punt after the first quarter on Monday night. The Packers can go big and grind defenses to powder just like the Raiders did. Green Bay has more ways to win.”
John Breech of CBSSports.com: Packers 27, Saints 24. “I don’t know if it’s because his team tried to draft his replacement or if it’s because he went on that tequila bender during the offseason, but Rodgers has been unstoppable this year. He’s averaging more than 300 yards passing per game, he’s only taken one sack and he hasn’t thrown a single interception. The man has no weaknesses and I’m not picking against someone who has no weaknesses.
Will Brinson of CBSSports.com: Saints 24, Packers 17. “Slam-dunk pick here for me. The entire world is going to be on the Packers coming off a pair of dominant wins. The Saints just looked awful without Michael Thomas (unlikely to play here) in Las Vegas. Everyone thinks Drew Brees is washed up and can’t throw down the field. There might be some truth to that, but I’m still going to back the Saints in this spot — they’ve played two competent opponents so far this year, while the Packers have gotten to 2-0 on a soft schedule.”
Vinnie Iyer of the Sporting News: Saints 27, Packers 24. “Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees give us another treat after dominating NFC QB for so long. But this game will more about Aaron Jones vs. Alvin Kamara, the backfield superstars. Jones runs into a much tougher run defense. Kamara can scoot past and around the Packers’ front seven a little bit better at home. The Packers and Saints may be hampered a little in the passing game with top wideouts hurting (Davante Adams, Michael Thomas), but the hosts are better positioned to win a grinding ball-control game in prime time at home.”
Tadd Haslop of the Sporting News: Packers 30, Saints 24. “This game understandably will be teased as a matchup of future Hall of Fame quarterbacks in Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees even though the best players on the field might end up being running backs Aaron Jones and Alvin Kamara. The Saints will be missing the edge that would have been a prime-time Superdome crowd, which is a big deal against Rodgers. The Packers QB getting to use his hard count on the road in 2020 isn’t fair.”
The Miami Herald’s Greg Cote: Packers 34, Saints 31.
Jordan Dajani of CBSSports.com: Packers 33, Saints 29. “If I had to predict exactly how this game is going to go on Sunday night, I would say that the Saints jump out to an early lead before Aaron Rodgers leads a big comeback in the second half.”
Philly Voice’s Jimmy Kempski: Packers.
Josh Schrock of NBC Sports Bay Area: Packers 24, Saints 20. “The Saints really missed Michael Thomas in Week 2 and Drew Brees was shaky at best against a porous Raiders’ defense. Alvin Kamara should have a good day against a Packers’ defense which normally refuses to stop the run, Sean Payton will need his aging quarterback to make plays to beat the Packers. Plays he didn’t make in Sin City. Aaron Rodgers and Co. can beat you in a number of ways and look like the best team in the NFC at the moment.”
Pro Football Talk’s Michael David Smith and Mike Florio: MDS – Saints 17, Packers 16. Florio – Packers 31, Saints 23.
Berry Tramel of The Oklahoman: Saints 31, Packers 29.
The six analysts at SI.com are split down the middle with three each taking the Packers and Saints.
Five of seven USA Today writers pick the Packers to win.
Only one of the three writers at Athlon Sports picks the Packers to win.
Five of 10 SB Nation writers predict a Packers victory.
Six of seven PennLive.com writers pick the Packers.