And we’re off: Packers edge Saints 42-34

Sep 9, 2011, 8:15 AM | Updated: 10:56 am

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) talks to New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees after an NFL football game Thursday, Sept. 8, 2011, in Green Bay, Wis. The Packers won 42-34. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)


What a start to the 2011 NFL season! Can you ask for anything more? The past two Super Bowl Champions – the Green Bay Packers and the New Orleans Saints – square off on the NFL Holy Ground that is Lambeau Field and the entire game
comes down to a single play with no time remaining?! It doesn’t get much better than that!

The play calling does, though. The running play the Saints selected on their last play left me scratching my head. First of all, why would you take the ball out of the hands of your Super Bowl MVP quarterback Drew Brees and hand it off to a rookie, Mark Ingram?

Secondly, why wouldn’t you get Brees out on the edge with some type of play-action-pass where he can either run it, or loft it up to the 6-foot-6 NBA forward they have playing tight end, Jimmy Graham?!

Third, why would you run a “fold block” that involves your pro bowl offensive guard Carl Nicks taking a sideways shuffle step before leading up field into the hard-charging, 337-pound Packers defensive tackle B.J. Raji?!

I’m not a head coach, but I do play one while watching TV.

The Hawks

Watching the Packers and the Saints play makes me realize that the Seahawks offense has a long way to go. But I don’t quite get why so many have chalked Sunday’s contest vs. the 49ers up as a win for San Francisco.

The Niners have offensive line difficulties, are very unsteady at the quarterback position and have a whole new coaching staff. Sounds familiar. I’ll give San Fran the edge because of the home-field advantage but this is anyone’s ballgame.

I like the move of bringing rookie James Carpenter inside to play guard and putting Breno Giacomini out at tackle. We’re still not 100 percent sure the Hawks will start Sunday’s game that way, but Giacomini has showed some promise at tackle in the preseason and guard is a less difficult position to master for the inexperienced Carpenter. Offensive line coach Alex Gibbs, who is known as one of the best O-line coaches in the business, used to say, “I can get a bum off the highway to play guard!”

Maybe it’s not that easy coach but playing inside “the box” (the interior of the line) is certainly not as challenging as playing out on the edge at tackle.

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And we’re off: Packers edge Saints 42-34