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Packers-Saints prediction

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Dan Arkush
Executive editor

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Posted Sept. 08, 2011 @ 2:49 p.m. ET
By Dan Arkush

PFW executive editor and resident Packers expert Dan Arkush offers his prediction for the Week One showdown vs. the Saints at Lambeau Field Thursday evening.

It has been three seasons since the Packers last tangled with the Saints, but the memory of New Orleans' 51-29 Monday-night massacre still stings many of the Packers' key players. That's especially the case with the members of the secondary who performed in that game. I suspect CBs Charles Woodson and Tramon Williams and FS Nick Collins will be very motivated to make amends matched up against a Saints receiving corps that will be missing one of its primary targets in Lance Moore (groin).

Another key Saints player whose absence could really benefit the Packers is DE Will Smith, who is sitting out the first two games as punishment for taking banned substances. Had he been able to play, Smith might have caused real problems for aging Packers OLT Chad Clifton.

At the end of the night, I think more different Packers offensive weapons will make their presence collectively felt than the sum of the Saints' parts. Don't be shocked if fan favorite John Kuhn and veteran WR Donald Driver, who is only 42 yards short of setting a team record for receiving yards, end up being heroes. Also, look for a big play or two from new starting ROLB Erik Walden on defense.

Prediction: Packers 30, Saints 20

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