GREEN BAY PACKERS HEAD COACH MIKE McCARTHY
(on Aaron Rodgers’ performance) “I thought Aaron was outstanding. Aaron commands the offense. He did an excellent job keeping us in favorable plays and no turnovers. It was three touchdowns. He had a big night and that’s the way Aaron plays. He has set that standard and he’s off to a great start.”
(on if defense made plays when they had to) “Yeah, definitely. There was one turnover in the game. Our defense made it. We wanted to play an up-tempo game. We were able to take advantage of the environment. We were able to get that done with the opening kickoff, going down to score. Our defense had a turnover. So the game started the way we would like it to start. You’d like to say it’s the way we planned it. But it was the way we would like it to. We had some problems defensively, but that’s a very good offense and he’s a great quarterback. Sean does a great job on offense. This will be a great experience we can learn from.”
(on Randall Cobb) “You’ve got to be excited about Randall. He’s shown that from the first day of training camp, his ability. He missed some time with the knee injury on the kickoff. When other players talk about a player having a chance to be special he is one of those guys. He’s very raw, he’s picking up our system, but he knows what to do when he gets the football in his hands and he knows how to get open. He’s a gifted young man with a lot of good football in front of him.”
(on being aggressive on offense) “Well, when you play Gregg Williams, he’s going to attack you. That was evident throughout the game. You look at what they try to do against us schematically. You’ve got to watch yourself. You try to play smart and try to pick a defense like that apart, and do the right thing, you get too strategic. So I’m always of the opinion that the offense attacks the defense. When you play a defense that likes to attack you, you’re going to have those types of nights one way or the other.”
PACKERS WIDE RECEIVER RANDALL COBB:
(on starting his career with a pair of touchdowns) “It was amazing. The feeling of being at Lambeau Field and coming off a Super Bowl, I was just doing anything I could do to contribute and I was trying to make the most of my opportunities tonight.”
(on his kickoff return for a touchdown) “I was just trusting in God. He told me to bring it out. I’m not supposed to bring that out – I’m not. Some things are logical and some things are just the power of God, and that definitely was the power of God telling me to bring that out. He gave me great teammates to help me block down field and we just made it happen.”
(on his touchdown reception) “The touchdown [Aaron Rodgers] threw to me was a busted route. I ran the wrong route and luckily scored. I’m going to hear about that in meetings tomorrow, probably going to get a negative for it, but we just made a play right there.”
(on the feeling of scoring his first touchdown) “It was one of the greatest feelings I’ve ever had. The opportunity to be out on the field and being with the guys I’m with, it was a great feeling – probably second to being drafted by Green Bay.
PACKERS LINEBACKER A.J. HAWK:
(on his pass-interference call in end zone) “I was just trying to jump over him and I think I kind of did, but obviously I didn’t. It’s just great to get that last stop. The stop on the 1-yard line was huge for us.”
(on how the defense stopped the Saints on the final play) “The goal-line defense, that’s team defense there. I know Clay (Matthews) was probably the first to hit him, but I think our defensive line did an awesome job. You have to move the line of scrimmage and our defensive line pushed them back…(Desmond) Bishop and I were free to go over the top and create piles. That’s what you have to do is create a pile and have guys knocking him back. That’s what happened, and our defensive line did that a bunch tonight.”
(on the game being decided on the final play) “This game was crazy and I’m sure the networks aren’t too upset it came down to that. It was a fun game to be a part of. There were obviously a lot of ups and downs, so I’m just happy for our offense to score all those points for us.”
PACKERS WIDE RECEIVER JORDY NELSON:
(on Randall Cobb) “He’s great to have. We’ve seen it. He got a little banged up in the preseason, so he was on the shelf for a little bit and was our little secret, but he’s out there now. He had a great run (on the return), breaking tackles and making plays offensively and on special teams. It’ll be nice to have him back there.”
(on the offense’s productive start despite a shortened training camp) “We put our work in. A lot of people were worried about the offseason workouts we [didn’t have], but apparently we were all right. We put our time in, and worked hard in training camp. I think a lot of the core coming back after the Super Bowl helps and we came in grinding, and got ready to play this opening week.”
(on Donald Driver tying the Packers’ all-time receiving mark) “We were talking on the sideline. I’m a little disappointed he didn’t get one more to get it here, but obviously he’ll get it done in Carolina. It’s a great honor for him and goes to show the time, the work, the effort, the type of guy, everything. He’s one of the best that’s been here and he’s going to be on top of that list for a while now.”
PACKERS QB AARON RODGERS:
(on his fast start in the first three drives) “It was a good start for us. I’ve just got to ask myself, ‘What would have happened if we had offseason workouts? Could we have started any faster and scored more points tonight?’”
(on Randall Cobb’s debut) “Randall did a great job. It’s exciting watching him with the ball in his hands. The kickoff return was incredible. The catch and run, he actually ran the wrong route but I was able to read him, surprisingly. We didn’t have offseason workouts but surprisingly I was able to read his body language there and he made a nice catch and run for a touchdown.”
(on Donald Driver tying but not breaking the team’s receiving yard record at home) “I was hoping we’d get him another catch. I knew we were close. When I hit him on that pass (when) we were going in I knew that he was in the 30s and we had to get 42 (yards) I think it was to break it. I threw it to him and he looked up at the scoreboard – I think he was seeing how many yards we got – and his expression kind of said that he was a little short. We were trying to get him the ball again, just didn’t have the opportunity.”
(on spreading the ball around) “I think all the guys will be happy. Jermichael (Finley) had a good stretch there where he caught a couple balls down the middle. Jordy’s (Nelson) been so consistent for us the last seven or eight games he’s played for us. (He had a) big catch on the first drive to get things going down the field and he just had another good game for us. And Greg (Jennings) obviously is very consistent for us. It was nice to be able to spread the ball a little bit. Driver had a few catches and we have a lot of weapons.”
PACKERS CORNERBACK CHARLES WOODSON:
(on the defense’s performance) “We made the plays we needed to win. We made a stance late in the game with a chance for them to tie it and getting off the field, but (we gave up) way too many points and way too many missed tackles, and way too many yards. I’m happy with the win, no doubt about it, but that’s not the way we like to perform.”
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS HEAD COACH SEAN PAYTON:
(on the loss) “Obviously it was a hard-fought game. I was proud of the way we hung in there and fought back. There will be a lot of things on tape that we’ve got to clean up with this first game. Credit Green Bay. They did a very good job and did all the things they needed to do to win a home game like that.”
(on Green Bay’s offense) “It was a really good offense we played. Aaron (Rodgers) did a really good job. They’re an up-tempo team. Both teams were converting but we were having trouble getting off the field. There will be a handful of things we’ll look at and have to improve on, but part of that is a credit to Green Bay as well.”
(on the fourth-and-one play in the third quarter) “Hindsight, it’s easy to say kick the field goal. But that being said, we felt like we had a play we wanted to run, but it didn’t work. It’s not an easy call, but it’s one that you look back on and I’ll kick myself a little bit.”
(on running back Darren Sproles) “He’s electric. He changed (the game) for us. He gave us some momentum with the punt return and he’s one of those guys that makes great decisions in space.”
(on Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers) “It’s a little bit of a cat-and-mouse game. We got to him early, but he’s got a quick release and he’s got a handful of targets, obviously, starting with the tight ends and receivers. He’s probably one of the top quarterbacks in our league under pressure.”
SAINTS QUARTERBACK DREW BREES:
(on the team’s red-zone offense) “I think the biggest stat for us that is disappointing is our red-zone efficiency. We were 1-of-5, scoring touchdowns only one out of five times in the red zone. That’s not going to win you a lot of games, especially on the road in this type of environment against this team.”
(on getting down 14-0 early in the game) “Obviously they jumped out early. We knew we might need to weather the storm and I felt like we did a good job of staying composed and finding a way to scratch and claw our way back, and we did that. We had a chance at the end at least to tie it.”
(on whether or not it was the type of game he envisioned coming in) “Here’s the thing, you’ve got two great offenses and you’ve got two great defenses. It can be a 17-10 game; it can be a 42-34 game. You just don’t know what to expect. You just know you’ve got to take care of your business one play at a time.
SAINTS WIDE RECEIVER DEVERY HENDERSON:
(on his touchdown catch) “It was just an opportunity that I took advantage of and Drew (Brees) did a good job of getting the ball to me.”
(on the game) “They did a good job of moving the ball. They did a good job on offense and they didn’t make any mistakes. Sometimes you need that to win a game. I give them credit; they did a great job. We fought, but we just came up short. It was a great game. I enjoyed playing in it. It is the first game, so we can’t hang our head on this one.”
SAINTS RUNNING BACK MARK INGRAM:
(on playing in his first NFL game) “Of course I was excited. It has always been a dream come true to play in the NFL, but at the end of the day I am more about winning. Today we didn’t come out with the win so we need to work hard and fix things that didn’t work out for us.”
(on the loss) “As a team we did a lot of things well, but I think when we look at the film we are going to kick ourselves in the butt a couple times with the turnovers and not converting on short yardage plays. I think that hurt us.”
(on the last play of the game) “You have to get a yard. It is the goal line to win the game. I have to get a yard.”
SAINTS SAFETY MALCOLM JENKINS:
(on Aaron Rodgers) “We knew coming into it that he would make some plays. A lot of those were just some great throws into tight coverage. We just have to live with that. We tried to adjust to those back shoulder throws, but they earned those plays.”
(on if he thought the game would be such a shootout) “No defense wants to go into a game thinking it will be a shootout, but we knew they would have an explosive offense. We also feel comfortable with Drew that he will always keep us in games even when we aren’t at our best. When you have Drew Brees as your quarterback, you always have a chance.”
PACKERS-SAINTS POST-GAME NOTES
- The Packers beat the Saints, 42-34, in tonight’s season opener at Lambeau Field. Green Bay has now won five straight season openers.
- Green Bay’s 42 points were the second most in a season opener in franchise history behind only the 53 points scored in the 1919 season opener (Sept. 14, 53-0, vs. Menominee North End A.C.).
- It marks just the second time in franchise history (1980-84) that the Packers have won five straight season open- ers.
- With the victory tonight, Head Coach Mike McCarthy became the first head coach in franchise history to win five consecutive season openers.
- Green Bay is the lone NFC team to win five straight season openers, with New England and Pittsburgh the only other teams in the league that have a chance to match that streak this weekend.
- With 42 receiving yards tonight, WR Donald Driver tied WR James Lofton for the all-time receiving yardage mark in franchise history. Driver now has 9,656 career receiving yards.
- Driver also hit the 700-reception mark for his career with an 8-yard catch in the first quarter. He became the first Packer to catch 700 passes and the 33rd player in NFL history to do so, and now has 702 career receptions.
- The victory was Green Bay’s sixth straight at Lambeau Field and the 12th victory in its last 13 contests at home (if we win). It gives the Packers a 27-8 (.771) mark in their last 35 regular-season games at Lambeau Field, a record that ranks No. 1 among NFC teams at home over that span.
- The win marked the Packers’ 52nd victory on Kickoff Weekend, more than any other team in NFL history. Chicago (51) has a chance to tie Green Bay for the top spot on Sunday.
- In Week 2, the Packers will travel to face the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, Sept. 18, at noon (CT). It will be Green Bay’s first visit to Carolina since 2005.
OTHER POST-GAME NOTES:
- Tonight’s paid attendance was 70,555. It was the 294th consecutive sellout (278 regular season, 16 playoffs) at Lambeau Field.
- WR Randall Cobb tied an NFL record with his 108-yard kickoff return for a TD in the third quarter, matching the mark set by New England’s Ellis Hobbs vs. the N.Y. Jets on Sept. 9, 2007. The 108-yard return also set a franchise record, topping the previous mark of 106 yards by Al Carmichael vs. the Chicago Bears on Oct. 7, 1956.
- It was the first kickoff return for a TD by a Packer since Allen Rossum’s 92-yarder for a score vs. Indianapolis on Nov. 19, 2000.
- Cobb became the first Packer since WR Javon Walker (Sept. 8, 2002) to catch a TD pass in his first career game.
- QB Aaron Rodgers became just the second quarterback in NFL history to throw three TD passes in the first quarter of a season opener, joining Buffalo’s Jack Kemp (Sept. 13, 1964).
- Rodgers’ three TD passes in the first half matched his career best for a half (three other times).
- Rodgers’ 188 passing yards in the first quarter were the most he has tallied in any quarter in his career, topping the previous mark of 181 yards at Minnesota in the second quarter on Nov. 21, 2010.
- Rodgers recorded his 15th career 300-yard game (312) and 26th with a 100-plus passer rating (132.1).
- By playing in his 160th career game tonight, T Chad Clifton became only the fourth offensive lineman in franchise history to hit that mark (Forrest Gregg, Larry McCarren, Ron Hallstrom).
- RB James Starks scored his first career regular-season touchdown on a 17-yard TD run in the second quarter.
- S Nick Collins’ forced fumble in the first quarter was his first since forcing one at Seattle on Oct. 12, 2008.
- LB Erik Walden’s third-quarter sack was his fourth sack in the last two regular-season games.
- CB/S Jarrett Bush’s half-sack in the fourth quarter was the first of his career.
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