Penalties once again doom Saints in loss to Packers at home

Penalties once again doom Saints in loss to Packers at home
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - SEPTEMBER 27: Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints looks to pass against the Green Bay Packers during the first half at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on September 27, 2020 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) (Source: Sean Gardner)

NEW ORLEANS (WAFB) - The New Orleans Saints hosted the Green Bay Packers in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome for Sunday Night Football and dropped their second game in a row.

The Saints (1-2) fell 37-30 to the Packers (3-0). It was the first time in three seasons that the Saints have lost back-to-back games.

Penalties once again were a major factor in the Saints' downfall. The Saints committed eight penalties for 83 yards.

Drew Brees was 29-of-36 for 288 yards and three touchdowns. He didn’t throw any interceptions. He was sacked twice. Alvin Kamara led the team in rushing and receiving. He had six carries for 58 yards. He caught 13 passes for 139 yards (career high) and two touchdowns. It marked the 16th multi-touchdown game for Kamara, giving him the most in Saints history, passing both Marques Colston and Deuce McAllister, who both had 15. Emmanuel Sanders had four catches for 56 yards and a touchdown.

Aaron Rodgers was 21-of-32 for 283 yards and three touchdowns. The Saints defense sacked him once. His main target was Allen Lazard, who had six catches for 146 yards and a touchdown.

A 52-yard field goal by Mason Crosby gave the Packers the 3-0 lead in the first quarter. On the Saints' next possession, Kamara took a handoff and exploded for a 49-yard gain. It was his longest run in two years. Two plays later, Brees found Kamara on an angle route for an 11-yard touchdown to put the Saints up 7-3 with a little more than 5:00 left in the first quarter.

After another Green Bay field goal, down 7-6 in the second quarter, Rodgers tossed a 48-yard dime to Lazard to put the Packers on the two-yard line. Two plays later, Rodgers found Lazard in the end zone for a five-yard touchdown to make it 13-7 with 10:32 left in the half.

Wil Lutz was later true on a 45-yard field goal put the Saints closer, trailing 13-10 with 4:28 left in the half. The Saints defense clamped down on the next drive and forced Green Bay to punt for the first time and only time in the game.

On the Saints’ next possession, Sanders climbed the ladder to haul in the 10-yard touchdown pass from Brees to cap an 11-play, 61-yard drive right before halftime to put the Saints up 17-14. Andrus Peat was carted off the field with an ankle injury during the drive.

After two incomplete passes to start the second half, Rodgers connected with Lazard for 72-yard gain. On fourth and goal from the one-yard line, running back Aaron Jones popped through the line for the touchdown run to put the Packers back on top, 20-17, with 12:58 left in the third.

The Saints were able to put together a nice drive but it stalled and New Orleans had to settle for a 35-yard field goal from Lutz to tie it, 20-20, with 5:55 left in the third. Green Bay then put together a six-play, 75-yard drive that resulted in an 18-yard touchdown pass from Rodgers to tight end Marcedes Lewis to put the Packers back up 27-20 with 2:17 left in the third. Safety Malcolm Jenkins wanted an offensive pass interference call on the play but didn’t get one.

Later, Brees checked the ball down to Kamara, who broke multiple tackles on his way to a 52-yard touchdown to tie it back up, 27-27, just before the end of the third quarter. The Saints were able to stop the Packers on fourth down and one. Officials initially gave Green Bay the first but Sean Payton won the challenge on where the ball was spotted. However, two plays after the Saints took over, Taysom Hill fumbled and Green Bay recovered.

The Saints defense was able to hold again and forced a 49-yard field goal by Crosby to put the Packers up 30-27 with 8:47 remaining in the game. The Saints went three-and-out on their next drive. On third down and three for the Packers, the Saints were penalized for offsides and pass interference in the end zone on Janoris Jenkins. They accepted the pass interference penalty and got the ball on the one-yard line. Two plays later, Jenkins was called for PI again. Robert Tonyan caught the one-yard touchdown pass from Rodgers to put Green Bay up 37-27 with 2:00 left.

Lutz made a 34-yard field goal on the Saints’ next possession to make it 37-30 with :32 left in the game. The Saints tried an onside kick but it didn’t go 10 yards.

About 750 family members of players, coaches, and staff were allowed to attend the game as a “strict test” on health and safety protocols that the Saints have been working on with facility managers and health officials.

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