Aaron Rodgers strode onto the field Thursday night and took up right where he left off after hoisting the Lombardi trophy, slinging touchdown passes. The reigning Super Bowl MVP led his championship team to an exciting 42-34 win over the New Orleans Saints that finished with a riveting goal-line stand by the cheese-heads defense to secure the win.
The most exciting play of the game came from a player who was playing his first game in the NFL. Randall Cobb, a second round pick by the Packers, took a kickoff eight yards deep in the end-zone and, against coaches wishes for sure, ran it out. 108 yards later and he tied the NFL record for the longest kickoff return in the history of the game. Oh, he also caught a touchdown as well.
Not a bad way to start your career.
"It was amazing," Cobb said. "The feeling of being in Lambeau Field and just having all of the guys around me coming off of the Super Bowl and just trying to do anything I can to contribute, and I certainly tried to make the most of my opportunities tonight."
Despite getting the win and watching Rodgers light up the Saints secondary for over 300 yards and 3 early touchdowns, Green Bay very nearly squandered away an early 21-7 lead. Their defense allowed Saints QB Drew Brees to have his way with over 400 yards and 3 scores and was one yard shy of giving up the lead at the end of the game.
So while one half of Green Bay looked Super, the other half did not have a night to remember. But hey, a wins a win.
"It's not what you envision," Clay Matthews said. "Obviously, you'd love to have a blowout, but I think it represents everything that we preach, which is finishing games. And it comes down to the very last play — we win, or they have an opportunity to tie it up. I think it's fantastic to overcome that adversity, get the stop that we needed and get off the field with the victory."
With the opener out of the way, both teams can sit back and enjoy some week 1 action this Sunday and if it's anything like this game was, there should be some fireworks!
Photo Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS