Dope Sheet: Packers-Saints open season in Jacksonville

The Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints will face off in Week 1 in Jacksonville, Fla.

210907-dope-sheet-2560
2021 Packers vs Saints dope sheet

The Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints will face off in Week 1 in Jacksonville, Fla., due to the damage caused to New Orleans by Hurricane Ida.

  • The Packers are 2-0 in Kickoff Weekend games against the Saints. Green Bay won the last season-opening matchup between the two teams, 42-34, on Sept. 8, 2011, when QB Aaron Rodgers threw for 312 yards and three TDs with a 132.1 QB rating to lead the Packers. 
  • This will be the second time Green Bay has opened a season in Jacksonville, having previously beat the Jaguars, 27-23, in 2016. Overall, the Packers are 3-1 in Jacksonville, with both victories coming in the month of September.
  • Between the Packers and Saints, the winning team has scored 34-plus points in eight of the last 10 matchups, including 37 by the Packers in a victory last season at New Orleans in Week 3.
  • Green Bay opens with two of the first three games on the road for the second straight season.
  • This marks the third straight year and the seventh time in the last nine seasons Green Bay has started the season on the road. 
  • Entering 2021, Green Bay has the fourth-highest strength of schedule (.542, 147-124-1) and leads the league with the most games (10) against 2020 playoff teams. The Packers face 10 teams who had a .500-or-better record in 2020, tied for the third most in the league.
  • WR Davante Adams enters Week 1 with a streak of six-plus receptions in each of his last 12 regular-season games. That is the second-longest streak in team history behind only WR Sterling Sharpe (13 in 1993-94). Adams also has posted at least one TD catch in 10 of his last 11 regular-season games.
  • K Mason Crosby enters Week 1 with a streak of 18 consecutive FGs made, the third-longest streak in team history (Crosby, 23, 2010-11 / Crosby, 19, 2013-14).
  • The Packers will return to Green Bay next week to take on the Detroit Lions on Monday Night Football, the first of three home prime-time games this season against division opponents (Week 14 vs. Chicago and Week 17 vs. Minnesota).

WITH THE CALL

FOX Sports, now in its 28th season as an NFL network television partner, will broadcast the game.

Play-by-play man Joe Buck joins analyst Troy Aikman and sideline reporters Erin Andrews and Tom Rinaldi. 

DIRECTV subscribers can watch the game with NFL Sunday Ticket on Channel 716.

Sports USA Radio will be broadcasting to a national audience with Josh Appel (play-by-play) and Doug Plank (analyst) on the call. 

Milwaukee's WTMJ (620 AM), airing Green Bay games since November 1929, heads up the Packers Radio Network that is made up of 49 stations in four states. For a full listing of radio affiliates, go to www.packers.com. Wayne Larrivee (play-by-play) and two-time Packers Pro Bowler Larry McCarren (analyst) call the action. McCarren first joined the team's broadcasts in 1995 and enters his 26th season calling Packers games. After originally being paired together in 1999, McCarren and Larrivee enter their 23rd season of broadcasts together. They surpassed Jim Irwin and Max McGee for the most regular-season and postseason games broadcast for the Packers with 313 at the 2018 season opener against Chicago. Both McCarren and Larrivee are members of the Wisconsin Broadcasters Hall of Fame.

The broadcast is also available on Sirius Satellite Radio (WTMJ feed).

THE DOPE ON THIS WEEK'S OPPONENT

Packers at Saints:

  • All-time regular season: 17-9
  • All-time, at New Orleans: 7-6
  • Streaks: The teams have each registered five wins in their last 10 regular-season matchups
  • Last meeting, regular season: Sept. 27, 2020, Caesars Superdome, Packers won, 37-30
  • Last meeting, regular season, at New Orleans: Sept. 27, 2020, Caesars Superdome, Packers won, 37-30

COACHES CAPSULES

  • Matt LaFleur: 26-6-0, .813; (2-2 postseason); 3rd NFL season
  • Sean Payton: 143-81, .638, (9-8 postseason); 15th NFL season 
  • Head to Head: LaFleur 1-0 vs. Payton
  • vs. Opponent: LaFleur 1-0 vs. Saints; Payton 4-2 vs. Packers

MATT LaFLEUR…In his third season as the Packers' 15th head coach.

  • In his 13th season in the NFL, having previously served as an offensive coordinator for two seasons (Los Angeles Rams, 2017; Tennessee Titans, 2018), a quarterbacks coach for six seasons (Washington Football Team, 2010-13; Atlanta Falcons, 2015-16), and an offensive assistant for two seasons (Houston Texans, 2008-09).
  • In his first two seasons leading the Packers, has authored one of the greatest starts to a head-coaching career in NFL history. For the second consecutive season in 2020, led Green Bay to a 13-3 record and captured the NFC North crown while also earning the No. 1 seed in the NFC for the first time since 2011. It was just the second time in team history that the Packers had won 13-plus games in back-to- back seasons (13-3 in 1996 and 1997). 
  • According to the Elias Sports Bureau, was the sixth head coach since 1970 to lead his team to the conference championship game in both of his first two seasons as a head coach, joining Jim Harbaugh (2011-12), Rex Ryan (2009-10), Barry Switzer (1994-95), George Seifert (1989-90) and Don McCafferty (1970-71). 
  • Became just the second NFL head coach since the league went to a divisional format in 1967 to win 13-plus games and a division title in both of his first two seasons, joining Seifert (1989-90).
  • In his first season leading the Packers in 2019, became the first coach in club history to lead the team to the playoffs in his debut season. Also led the largest one-year win improvement in team history (plus-seven wins).

SEAN PAYTON…Is in his 15th year as the Saints' 14th head coach.

  • Has led New Orleans to nine playoff appearances, six NFC South titles and the franchise's first Super Bowl title following the 2009 season.
  • In 2020, the Saints won the NFC South for the fourth straight season, posting a 12-4 record. They became the only team since the start of the NFC South in 2002 and since that season's divisional realignment, only the third NFC franchise to capture four straight division titles.
  • Is the longest-tenured head coach in the NFC and trails only Bill Belichick of New England for the longest-tenured head coach in the NFL.
  • Has won nine postseason games with the Saints since taking over a franchise that had won just once in the postseason in the nearly 40 years prior to his arrival.
  • Before joining New Orleans, he coached for the Dallas Cowboys from 2003-05, serving as the assistant head coach/quarterbacks the first two years and the assistant head coach/passing game coordinator in his last year.
  • Began his coaching career in the NFL as the quarterbacks coach for the Philadelphia Eagles in 1997-98 and then coached for the New York Giants from 1999-2002, serving as the offensive coordinator his last three seasons.

NOTABLE CONNECTIONS

Packers vice president of football administration/player finance Russ Ball spent six seasons (2002-07) with the Saints, the final two as vice president of football administration and the first four as senior football administrator...Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst assisted the offensive line of the Saints during training camp in the summer of 1995...Saints QB Taysom Hill originally entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with Green Bay in 2017 and was claimed off waivers by New Orleans following training camp…Saints RB Ty Montgomery played four seasons (2015-2018) with Green Bay…New Orleans T Ryan Ramczyk played at Wisconsin and Wisconsin-Stevens Point and is a native of Stevens Point, Wis. …Saints LB Zach Baun played at Wisconsin and is a native of Brown Deer, Wis. …Saints DL Montravius Adams played for Green Bay from 2017-20...Saints DL Christian Ringo spent two seasons with Green Bay (2015-16)...Packers S Henry Black is from Shreveport, La. …Packers defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery spent the 2002 training camp on the Saints' roster…Packers G Elgton Jenkins and Saints DB J.T. Gray played together at Clarksdale (Miss.) High School in 2013 before both attending Mississippi State…Packers outside linebackers coach Mike Smith coached Saints LB Demario Davis when Davis was with the Jets in 2012…Saints linebackers coach Michael Hodges was a defensive graduate assistant at Fresno State while Packers WR Davante Adams played for the Bulldogs…Packers LB Za'Darius Smith (2015-18) played alongside Saints T James Hurst (2014-19) as members of the Baltimore Ravens…The pair also briefly played with Montgomery, who played six games for Baltimore in '18…Packers strength and conditioning assistant Grant Thorne was an assistant performance coach at Stanford in 2014 when Montgomery and Saints OT Andrus Peat were on the roster… Packers DB Chandon Sullivan played alongside Saints S Malcolm Jenkins for the Eagles in 2018…Packers college scout Brandian Ross and Saints CB Patrick Robinson played together during Ross' brief tenure with the Chargers in 2015…Robinson played for the Colts in 2016 when Packers special teams coach Maurice Drayton coached in Indianapolis…Former college teammates include: Packers CB Chandon Sullivan and Saints K Will Lutz (Georgia State); Packers LB Rashan Gary, G Jon Runyan and Saints OL Cesar Ruiz (Michigan); Packers LS Hunter Bradley, G Elgton Jenkins, LB Preston Smith, LB Chauncey Rivers and Saints DB J.T. Gray (Mississippi State); Packers DL Kingsley Keke and Saints C Erik McCoy (Texas A&M); Packers CB Kevin King and Saints RB Dwayne Washington (Washington).

Related Content

Advertising