Packers-Saints: First half thoughts
Packers-Saints: plenty of yards, plenty of points. Go figure.
The Packers look a lot more like the 2011 version with Aaron Rodgers running a sharp, snappy offense with better pass protection and the return of the YAC (yards after catch) stat.
Give Jermichael Finley some credit, he had a solid first half with no boneheaded miscues.
The Cedric Benson pickup continues to pay dividends. Benson ran the ball 11 times for 51 yards and notched three receptions. For the rest of the season teams will try to put the heat on Rodgers and the way to cool off that heat is to get Benson involved early and often.
It also helped that the Packers only ran four third down plays in the first half. That means the Packers were picking up decent yardage on 1st and 2nd down, yet another way to prevent teams from jailbreaking Rodgers.
Jimmy Graham came alive in the first half as the Saint attacked the middle of the Packers defense. On New Orleans first scoring drive Drew Brees was 7-7, going to Graham three times.
The Packers didn't record a sack in the 1st half, instead choosing to put extra defensive backs on the field to prevent explosive plays. Perhaps Mike McCarthy will adjust a bit and try to pressure Brees a bit more.