New Orleans Saints @ Green Bay Packers Thurs. Sept. 8, 2011 8:30 p.m. EST
The 2011-2012 NFL regular season will officially get underway this Thursday night with the New Orleans Saints traveling up north to Lambeau Field to take on the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers.
As two of the elite teams in the league that didn’t make many changes over the offseason, the Packers and the Saints will be going into the season opener with high hopes of contending for a Super Bowl title with relatively the same rosters intact. The defending champions will definitely be on everyone’s radar as a team that could repeat as Super Bowl champs, but the Saints are just one year removed from being Super Bowl champions themselves which makes this an interesting to start the year off.
The one major change that the New Orleans Saints did make in the offseason was trading running back Reggie Bush to the Miami Dolphins in order to save money moving forward and paves the way for rookie running back and former Heisman trophy winner Mark Ingram to become their number on guy coming out of the backfield. Pierre Thomas will be the starting running back for the Saints in Week 1 and possibly the majority of the season, but it will be interesting to see how head coach Sean Payton uses the rookie in the regular season.
The official spread for this game is -3.5 in favor of the Green Bay Packers. The New Orleans Saints will be very good team this season with Super Bowl aspirations, but I don’t believe they can compete with the defending champions who are stacked on both sides of the football.
My Pick: Take the Packers at -3.5.