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Packers 28, Saints 27

Packers coach Mike McCarthy argues a fumble call to no avail with umpire Jeff Rice, left, and head linesman Phil McKinnely.

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Packers coach Mike McCarthy argues a fumble call to no avail with umpire Jeff Rice, left, and head linesman Phil McKinnely.

GREEN BAY, Wis. — As if bearing the brunt of the call that helped end the NFL's lockout of officials wasn't enough, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers nearly had a big comeback win undone by a blunder from regular refs.

Rodgers threw a go-ahead touchdown to Jordy Nelson in the fourth quarter, and the Packers shook off a week's worth of controversy with a rally to beat the Saints 28-27 on Sunday.

As Lambeau Field fans howled about what appeared to be another bad call — this time by regular officials, not replacements — Garrett Hartley missed a 48-yard field goal with less than three minutes remaining to cost the Saints a shot at the lead.

"We've probably had to deal with more adversity than most of the teams I've played with, especially early on we've had some interesting games already," Rodgers said. "We're four games in. So, I think the character of this team is very strong."

Monday night, replacement officials blew a call and gave Seattle a last-second winning touchdown. Sunday, Packers fans welcomed regular officials back with a pregame roar.

That turned when, after Rodgers' touchdown to Nelson, Darren Sproles appeared to fumble the ensuing kickoff. Officials ruled he was down by contact. Replays showed the ball clearly coming out but the Packers were out of replay challenges.

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Packers 28, Saints 27 09/30/12 [Last modified: Sunday, September 30, 2012 10:46pm]
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