Packers-Saints game notes

PackerReport.com's Tom Andrews, who was in the press box and Packers locker room after the game, provides some news and notes from Green Bay's 34-27 loss to the New Orleans Saints Sunday at Lambeau Field.

Sunday's loss to the Saints had to be particularly discouraging to Donald Driver who had an exceptional day, snaring 8 passes for 153 yards and running for another 16 yards on a reverse, faking out former Packer Mike McKenzie in the process.

"He's a tough player now," said quarterback Brett Favre. "He's a great character guy who works tremendously hard, keeps bouncing up, makes plays in situations where other guys could make plays but don't. Is he the tallest, is he the fastest, does he have the best hands, is he the quickest? No. But when you need someone to make a play, you go to Donald Driver."

Drops, Drops Drops
A bad case of butterfingers cost the Packers dearly in this game and there was plenty of blame to go around. Bubba Franks, David Martin, Ahman Green, and Robert Ferguson all let key passes slip through their hands. Ferguson dropped one in the end zone and another inside the 20 that could have also been a score. On defense, Brady Poppinga dropped a sure interception.

For his part, Favre didn't want to point fingers at his receivers and backs.

"It's frustrating but I'm sure it's (also) frustrating when I miss open guys and make the wrong reads," said Favre. "So I don't think I'm ever critical to those guys and I've always said that when a guy drops a ball I don't think he does it on purpose. I know Bubba had a couple of drops and he spoke with the team afterwards. Bubba works hard. I get upset when I think a guy's not mentally prepared and that play may affect us in a game. But when a guy works hard and then makes a mistake like that, it happens. It's part of the game."

McKenzie's Return
Greg Jennings scored the first touchdown of his NFL career in the first quarter on a beautiful hook and go pattern. Jennings beat former Packer Mike McKenzie on the 22-yard play.

Late in the third quarter, Favre and Driver burned McKenzie again with a deep sidelines pass of 42 yards to the Saints' 5-yard line. Driver made a beautiful, juggling catch before being forced out of bounds. The play set up Favre's 4-yard TD strike to Ferguson.

Kampman's Big Day
Aaron Kampman's three sacks tie a Packers team record and is his career-high.

"I thought Aaron definitely set the tone and he was in their backfield a lot," said Coach Mike McCarthy. "I just wish we would have taken advantage of it a little more. We had a big emphasis this week of starting fast. We accomplished that but there were some severe momentum swings in the football game and we were on the short end of it in the second quarter. We overcame some adversity in the second half but they made more plays than we did."

Injury Update
McCarthy said there were no significant injuries in the game. However, three players suffered from cramps due to the hot weather, including Al Harris, David Martin and Ahmad Carroll.

Extra Points
• Favre threw 3 touchdown passes and needs just one more to become the second in NFL history with 400, joining Miami Dolphin great Dan Marino (420).

• What a difference a year makes. Less than a year after Green Bay's 52-3 trouncing of the New Orleans at Lambeau Field, both teams have undergone major makeovers in their rosters and first-year coaching staffs. Saints head coach Sean Payton was a serious candidate for the Packer job before Mike McCarthy, the most successful offensive coordinator in New Orleans history, got the nod in Green Bay.

• Former Packer center Frank Winters served as honorary captain for Sunday's game. It was part of the Packers' season-long celebration to honor the Super Bowl XXXI championship team.

• Attendance: 70,602


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