KICKOFF: Sunday, Noon CT
WHERE: Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI
TV: FOX, Kenny Albert, Brian Baldinger
SERIES: 19th meeting. The Packers lead the series, 13-5, winning three of the past four matchups. The Saints, however, took the last meeting, 35-20, in the Superdome on Sept. 15, 2002 as Aaron Brooks, who was drafted by the Packers in 1999, out-dueled Brett Favre.
2005 RANKINGS: Saints: offense 15th (13th rush, 13th pass); defense 17th
(30th rush, 6th pass).
Packers: offense 21st (28th rush, 10th pass); defense 16th (16th rush, 15th pass)
PREDICTION: Packers 27-24
KEYS TO THE GAME: The Packers have held a lead for a total of six minutes through four games, and avoiding an early deficit is priority No. 1. Green Bay's run defense must continue to be solid against a Saints team coming off its best rushing output (167 yards) in almost two years. If New Orleans gets a lead and controls the clock, Green Bay is in serious trouble. The Packers will be without C Mike Flanagan. RB Ahman Green, LT Chad Clifton and TE Bubba Franks are questionable, which will make coming from behind very difficult. Look for New Orleans to be aggressive in the passing game, especially to whomever penalty-prone Packers CB Ahmad Carroll is covering.
Ten of the Saints' 12 turnovers have come in their two losses, so protecting the ball is critical.
FAST FACTS: Saints: Are 41-15 (.732) under coach Jim Haslett when scoring at
least 20 points. ... QB Aaron Brooks makes his first start against Green
Bay, which drafted him in the fourth round in 1999.
Packers: Are 15-5 in past 20 October games. ... Are 39-4 (.907) under coach Mike Sherman when leading at halftime. ... QB Brett Favre has a touchdown pass in 23 consecutive home games.