NEW ORLEANS–The Packers trailed the Saints, 30-16, heading into the fourth quarter of Sunday night’s game in the Superdome.
Mark Ingram kick-started the Saints’ first possession of the second half with a 28-yard run to midfield. On third-and-1, the Saints were stuffed, leaving Coach Sean Payton with a major decision. He went for it and Ingram was stopped; the Packers took over on downs at their 42.
Aaron Rodgers found Randall Cobb for 20 yards to the Saints 39. Eddie Lacy then rumbled through Saints defenders for 19 yards to the Saints 20, and followed with seven more hard-earned yards. Rodgers scrambled for a first down at the Saints 6.
On third-and-goal from the 5, Rodgers’ pass for Quarless was deflected into the air and intercepted. The Saints had dodged a major bullet and had the ball at their 12-yard line.
Ingram continued his pursuit of a hundred yards rushing by ripping off an 18-yard run. Drew Brees found Jimmy Graham twice for gains of 11 and 9 yards, and then came one of the big plays of the game, as Brees hit Brandin Cooks for a 50-yard touchdown. Cooks beat Tramon Williams and Micah Hyde. With 5:35 to play in the third quarter, the Saints led, 23-16. The drive went 88 yards in four plays.
Lacy continued his hard running. He ran through defenders for a first down at the Packers 31. The Packers faced a crucial third-and-7 with 4:19 to play and Rodgers threw to Davante Adams. It was originally ruled a first down but the Saints challenged the spot. Replay review moved the ball back, forcing fourth-and-1. Now it was Mike McCarthy that was facing a major decision. He went for it and Lacy was stopped short of a first down. The Saints took over at the Packers 40-yard line.
Ingram pounded out a first down at the Packers 22, and then Brees hit Jimmy Graham for a touchdown. Graham reached over Tramon Williams to make the catch. The Saints led, 30-16, with 2:06 to play in the third quarter.
The Packers were on the move in Saints territory when the third quarter ended.
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