With the release of the 2021 NFL schedule already behind us, all eyes are looking towards week one. As every team prepares and hopes for a victory to kick off the season, our own New Orleans Saints have quite the task ahead of them in a formidable opponent: the Green Bay Packers.
For the Saints, there are a lot of storylines heading into this game. There is the obvious need for revenge, as the Saints lost to the Packers 37-30 in their Week 3 matchup last season, a game many feel like we should have won. It is also worth noting that this will be the first game in the post-Drew Brees era. Whether Jameis Winston or Taysom Hill is the starting quarterback by the time Week 1 rolls around remains to be seen...but all eyes will be on this game as this will be a quick preview of things to come.
The most notable storyline heading into this game is the wildcard that is Aaron Rodgers. There’s no way around it - we simply don’t know whether Rodgers will be the starting quarterback in Green Bay moving forward. The relationship between Rodgers and his front office has continued to sour, and the national media hasn’t been afraid to exploit that. With their franchise QB’s future in question, this opens up a realm of possibilities for how this game could go for the Saints. Will a Winston/Hill led offense be going up against the “Bad Man”: Aaron Rodgers? Or will they be preparing for a game against a Blake Bortles-led offense as the Packers recently signed him to the team as insurance behind A-A-Ron. If you’re a fan of the New Orleans Saints, you should hope for the latter.
This game will also be a litmus test for the Saints not only for whoever ends up being the starting quarterback, but on the defensive side of the ball too. With the defense losing a few key playmakers, the threat of Marshon Lattimore still looms in the backfield. With him most likely going one on one up against Green Bay’s Davante Adams, expect Lattimore to be fired up and on his A-game come Week 1, assuming he isn’t suspended for off season shenanigans.
Losing key players like Janoris Jenkins and Trey Hendrickson hurts. Hendrickson’s ability to break through an offensive line with ease and cause constant duress for opposing quarterbacks was a vital piece to the defense in 2020. Janoris Jenkins was often underrated by fans of the Saints defense as well with his many interceptions. Cam Jordan, Demario Davis, and rookie Payton Turner will need to try and create some pressure for what will most likely be a date with Aaron Rodgers.
Only time will tell how this game will turn out and as the summer progresses and more pieces fall into place, eventually we’ll have a better look at what the outcome of this game could possibly be.
Early score prediction: 27-24 Saints