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NFL Expert Pick – Saints, Packers Kick Off Football Season

Posted by Marcello Messina on 9/8/2011 8:55:25 AM

The New Orleans Saints will visit Lambeau Field to kick off the new NFL lines season versus the Green Bay Packers.

New Orleans Saints at Green Bay Packers
Live from Lambeau Field – WI
Kickoff: 8:30 PM EST Thursday, September 8, 2011
Broadcast: NBC

NFL Lines
Green Bay Packers -4
New Orleans Saints +4
Total 47

The past two Super Bowl Champions (New Orleans Saints in 2009 and Green Bay Packers in 2010) will start off the NFL lines regular season with this week’s only Thursday Night matchup.

The obvious favorites in this NFL lines matchup are the Green Bay Packers (set at -4), as a result of their Super Bowl run last year and their offseason improvements.

Last year, the Packers were one of the best teams on offense as well as defense, which is the main reason why they succeeded in winning a Championship ring. On offense, the Cheeseheads bolstered an outstanding group of athletes, especially considering they lost four of their top playmakers to injuries midway through the season.

Green Bay ranked 9th in total offense in 2010 and 5th in passing, thanks to 27-year-old quarterback Aaron Rodgers who managed to rack up 5,016 yards through the air (despite losing running back Ryan Grant, tight end Jermichael Finley, and wideout Donald Driver). P.S. Rodgers also missed his Week 16 matchup with the New England because of a concussion.

The Pack also found much success on the defensive side of the ball last NFL lines season. As a result of having superstars like Clay Matthew, Charles Woodson and A.J. Hawk, they ranked 5th overall in passing defense, totaled 24 interceptions (2nd), returned three of them for touchdowns (2nd) and amounted a whopping 47 tackles (2nd).

Due to their immense talent and array of depth at nearly each position, analysts have recently pondered whether Green Bay will become a NFL lines dynasty in the years to come. The Packers boast mega stars – young ones, too – all over their roster that are locked with the team for the next few years. Basically, since they managed to win a Super Bowl with some of their elite players sidelined, critics can only wonder what’s to come.

As for their opponents, the New Orleans Saints should give Green Bay a run for their money on Thursday. The Saints hold infamous All-Pro quarterback Drew Brees – who led them as the 3rd overall passing offense in 2010 with nearly 4,500 yards. Brees should find some holes in the Packers’ secondary, though I think the Packers’ 12th-man at Lambeau Field should hold them off.

Brett’s Prediction: Green Bay Packers: 24, New Orleans Saints: 17

NFL Expert Pick: Green Bay Packers -4

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