The Packers were up 21-14 at half time, but an abysmal 3rd quarter closed with the Saints on top 24-21.
There were a number of controversial calls in this game, despite the fact that the professional referees had taken the field for the first time following the lockout.
Mike McCarthy, the Packers head coach, challenged a completion to Jimmy Graham over the middle, and it appeared on the replay that it was clearly an incomplete pass. However, after reviewing the play, the referee came out and said that the catch stood.
In the fourth quarter, Dezman Moses forced and recovered an obvious fumble against Darren Sproles on a kickoff return. After pulling players out of the scrum, the referees ruled that there was no fumble on the play. The Packers were out of challenges at that point, and could do nothing but fume at the ineptitude of the call.
Despite the officials best impression of the replacement officials that were responsible for the debacle on Monday Night Football last week, the Packers offense showed up in a big way. Rodgers completed touchdowns to James Jones (2), Greg Jennings, and Jordy Nelson, and finished the day 31 of 41 for 319 yards, four touchdowns, and a 75% completion rate.
The defense was up and down throughout, getting burned regularly down the seam by Marques Colston and Jimmy Graham for big gains. On a tipped ball, two Packers players went for the interception, and ended up knocking the ball out of each other’s hands.
Despite squandering a number of missed opportunities, Garrett Hartley’s missed field goal sealed the game, and the Packers ran out the clock to seal the victory.