The 2-0 New Orleans Saints will travel to the north to take on the Green Bay Packers this Sunday. Usually, teams see a date with the Packers in their house and tremble with a bit of fear due to the icy conditions of the vaunted ice castle. Luckily for the Saints, this game is taking place in Week 3 as opposed to anything after Week 10 where the cold weather begins to become a factor.
Luck has been on the side of the Saints so far, but will it continue and culminate in a 3-0 start to the season?
If the Saints win:
The Green Bay Packers have transitioned into a new era with Aaron Rodgers no longer under center and Jordan Love taking over. If the last two weeks are anything to go off of, the Packers will be in the playoff race come January. With all of that being said, this is one of those early must win games for the Saints. If the Saints can handle business here early on, they’ll have that advantage over Green Bay if they end up with similar records which could very well be a possibility.
Elsewhere in the NFC South, the surging Buccaneers have a date with the Philadelphia Eagles in which Philly is favored while the Falcons have a date with the Lions in a tossup game. Leaving Green Bay with another W in the win column would push the Saints to 3-0 in a week where the rest of the NFC South could very well come out of the week on the losing end.
If the Saints lose
Dropping this game to the Packers in Week 3 will almost certainly come back to bite the Saints when the post season arrives. The Packers should end up with not just a winning record, but a record that allows them entry into the post season. Games like these will play a factor in playoff seeding and homefield advantage, something that the Saints would like to have in the post season. Losing here could have negative repercussions.
Falling to 2-1 isn’t cause for panic just yet, but it would lower the margin for error in the coming weeks, especially with Tampa Bay coming down to the bayou next week for a divisional matchup.
This game is indeed the first real litmus test for the Saints this season. Can the Saints who enter this game a 3-point underdog overcome all odds and leave Wisconsin with a 3-0 record?