GREEN BAY – A new 2017 season begins for the Packers on Sunday at Lambeau Field.
Here’s a rundown of the top storylines.
1. It’s Brett’s turn: Backup QB Brett Hundley makes his first NFL start in place of Aaron Rodgers, who underwent surgery for a broken right collarbone. Hundley has been the story of the week, and with Rodgers out indefinitely, he’ll be the story for many weeks to come. The former UCLA star has claimed he’s calm, confident and ready. Now he has to prove it.
2. Brees’ brilliance: Future Hall of Fame QB Drew Brees has directed a three-game winning streak after an 0-2 start, and he’s not only leading an extremely explosive offense, he’s also not giving anything away. Brees has thrown just two interceptions and been sacked only four times through five games. Negative plays against the Saints’ offense are very hard to come by.
3. One-two punch?: Hundley’s best friend in his first NFL start could be the Packers’ running game, and Green Bay appears inclined to use both Ty Montgomery and rookie Aaron Jones in the backfield. Jones has been the most productive runner while Montgomery, who played last week with injured ribs, is the top pass protector of the Packers’ backs. The Saints are ranked 11th in the league against the run.
Veteran Packers guard Jahri Evans will be facing his former team for the first time after 11 seasons with New Orleans. The only team the six-time Pro Bowler hasn’t beaten in the NFL is the Saints, and there will be 4. Familiar faces:a little extra pride on the line for Evans after the Saints moved on from a mainstay.
5. Dangerous defense: The Saints are coming off a three-touchdown performance by their defense in a victory over the Lions. They have multiple playmakers, as six players have intercepted a pass this season, and pass rusher Cameron Jordan has five sacks through five games. The Packers should be getting their offensive tackles, David Bakhtiari and Bryan Bulaga, back from injury. If that happens, it should help stabilize things up front for Hundley.