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Early picks not enough to slow down Saints

GREEN BAY – It no secret what the
defense needs to do to become the unit the Packers feels it capable of being.
The blueprint was laid out since the summer. It going to take big plays,
turnovers, sure tackling and an ability to get off the field consistently on
third downs. While the Packers have had their moments in all four of those areas
this season, they weren able to do enough to keep pace with New Orleans’
high-octane offense down the stretch during Sunday 26-17 loss at Lambeau Field.
The Saints, who entered as the NFL fourth-ranked scoring offense, produced 485
total yards against Green Bay, converting on 8-of-15 third downs and winning the
battle for time of possession . e have to play better,” safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
said. e have to find a way to get off the field on third down
That hurt us a lot today. Wel look at the film and figure out what we can work
on to get better and go from there.” For all the things that didn go Green Bay
way in the second half, the defense couldn have gotten off to a much better
start against the Saints. Cornerbacks Damarious Randall and Davon House each
picked off New Orleans’ 10-time Pro Bowl quarterback Drew Brees to end the
Saints’ opening two series. Heading into Sunday, Brees had only thrown two picks
in his first 183 passes this season. Randall, who has an interception in each of
the Packers’ last three games, halted New Orleans’ opening drive with a pick in
Green Bay end zone for a touchback before House then pulled in a ball down the
sideline intended for Michael Thomas. House has missed three games this year due
to a lingering quad injury, but said he came through fine in his first extended
action since the opener against Seattle. played maybe 80 percent, 85 percent, so
it was good to know how good I did and was able to play at a high level,” House
said. o know I did that at 85 percent, I excited to see what I can bring to the
table when I 100.” Green Bay defense conceded 225 total yards in the first half,
but only gave up seven points on the scoreboard in forcing the Saints to punt
twice in the second quarter. The second half was another story. The Saints
scored on the opening series off a 22-yard pass from Brees to receiver Brandon
Coleman, and then capped their next two series with Wil Lutz field goals to take
a 19-17 lead with 1021 left in the game. The Packers, down to one inside
linebacker , were forced to stay in their sub-packages on a critical series with
825 left, which ended with Brees sneaking in a 1-yard touchdown to pull ahead by
two scores. The one-two backfield punch of Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara produced
217 total yards, with receiver Ted Ginn Jr. leading the Saints with seven
catches for 141 yards. he first half I thought we got after them pretty well,”
said linebacker Clay Matthews, who had three tackles . ut unfortunately in the
second half, it was night and day. We obviously didn't hold up our end of the
bargain and gave up way too many big plays Raysean
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. t was just simple mistakes that they took advantage of when
you have guys like their quarterback and running back. It was just too much, too
much.” Green Bay defense has notched four turnovers in the opening quarter of
the last two games, but it has struggled to consistently find stops and
turnovers in its last two losses. The loss leaves a bitter taste in the Packers’
mouth going into the bye week,
though it will give the defense a chance to get healthier. Along with having
four of their five cornerbacks listed on the injury report, the Packers played
without safety Morgan Burnett and linebackers Joe Thomas and Ahmad Brooks .
feeling the heat from the locker room, I think wee ready to get out there and
play again,” Clinton-Dix said. wish we didn have this bye week right now. But it
a chance for a couple guys who played through some injuries today – I was happy
and excited for a lot of guys to come off the injury report. They fought through
injuries today and came up short.” Tackling machine Inside linebacker Blake
Martinez finished Sunday as the NFC leader in combined tackles after recording a
career-high 15 against the Saints. The Packers needed every one of them with
Thomas unavailable and Ryan leaving in the second half with a migraine Christian
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. Still, the production served as little consolation for the
Packers’ second-year linebacker. verall, it a team game,” Martinez said. couldn
care less about my stats or anything. As long as wee winning, I going to be
happy. If wee not, I need to do more. At this point, it not good enough and I
think I need to step it up as I move forward.” Twin tackles While the Packers
were without starting left guard Lane Taylor Bryan
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, they did have both of their starting tackles, David Bakhtiari
and Bryan Bulaga, protecting Brett Hundley during his first NFL start at
quarterback. Hundley was sacked only once. Bakhtiari missed four games with a
hamstring injury, while Bulaga sat out two contests with a bum ankle before
leaving last Sunday against Minnesota with a concussion. e're going to have to
come together , at the end of the day, it's finding a way to win,” Bakhtiari
said. “Nobody's happy with the loss, but I'm definitely proud of . He's only
going to get better. Game experience isn't easy to come by, and you can't really
put a price tag on it. For him to get those priceless reps and experience moving
forward will really make him better.” First for everything Despite the Saints
scoring on the opening series of the second half, the Packers managed to hold
onto a slim 14-13 lead after defensive tackle Kenny Clark blocked Lutz extra
point. Clark said it the first time in his football career he ever blocked a
field goal.
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