Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers talks with coach Mike
McCarthy during the second half of an NFL football game
against the New Orleans Saints in Green Bay, Wis. The Packers
GREEN BAY —
The regular officials' return to the NFL could boost the Green Bay
Packers' offense in a small but important way.
refs are able to spot the ball and keep play moving in a more timely
fashion than the replacements were, allowing the Packers to use a
fast-paced tempo that can get Aaron Rodgers in rhythm and unsettle
Mike McCarthy went into the season wanting to use a lot of
no-huddle. But it simply wasn't as effective when replacement
officials were spending extra time getting things sorted out between
regular refs back, the Packers were able to dictate their preferred
faster pace in Sunday's 28-27 victory over New Orleans.
thought their communication did make a big difference,
clearly," McCarthy said. "The professionalism of the
officials, the communication, the management of the game — it was
definitely a totally different atmosphere.
that was very evident if you paid attention to how fast the offenses
were playing, and the management of the game was able to keep up. It
was great to have that part back for us and great to have them
added: "But let's not be foolish here — there's going to be
calls every week that not everybody agrees with."
regular officials' return didn't spare the Packers from some
controversial calls Sunday — most notably an apparent fumble on a
late kickoff return by the Saints' Darren Sproles, who was ruled
down by contact.
kept the ball and were in position to kick a go-ahead field goal.
But after a pair of penalties, Garrett Hartley missed a 48-yard
attempt and the Packers held on for a win.
start having consecutive losses, you can't help but having that
thinking of, 'Here we go again' at times," Rodgers said.
"Unfortunately, there was a little bit of that tonight with
some of the calls, but we were able to overcome it. I think it says
a lot about the character of this team. This was an important win
complaints aside, the Packers could be much better off on offense in
the long term with the regular officials in place.
had only four offensive touchdowns in their first three games and
hadn't scored in the first quarter all year — some of which was
likely a function of playing three tough defenses: San Francisco,
Chicago and Seattle.
changed against the Saints' struggling defense Sunday.
offense (was) playing more the way we're accustomed to playing here
the last couple years," Rodgers said. "Felt good to get
back on track. Felt good to score in the first half and first
quarter. ... It was important for us to start fast."
scored on their second possession and put up a season-high 28
points. Rodgers had his best game of the season, throwing for 319
yards with four touchdowns and an interception.
back to Week 1, we were in a no-huddle offense the first series —
I think the game was stopped three times. ... I'm not making an
excuse," McCarthy said, "but my point is I wasn't worried
about scoring points in the first quarter."
end Jermichael Finley said he saw the Saints' defense getting tired
when the Packers went no-huddle.
keep that going, we can run the table here," Finley said.
the fast-paced offense so much that he suggested the Packers use it
all the time.
receiving corps we've got, why not do it?" he said. "With
the quarterback we've got, why not do it?"