GREEN BAY, Wis. — Aaron Rodgers won the opening-night duel with Drew Brees, and the Packers made a goal-line stand on the final play to beat the Saints 42-34 Thursday night.
Packers rookie Randall Cobb caught a touchdown pass and ran a kickoff back 108 yards for a score in the third quarter, tying an NFL record for the longest kickoff return in history.
Rodgers threw for 312 yards and three touchdowns. Brees threw for 419 and three TDs, including a score to Jimmy Graham that cut the lead to eight with 2:15 left.
After a punt, Brees took the Saints to the Packers 9 and spiked the ball with 3 seconds left. A.J. Hawk was then called for pass interference, and the ball was placed at the 1. But the Packers' defense surge, led by end Ryan Pickett of Zephyrhills, swarmed rookie tailback Mark Ingram short of the goal line.
Cobb's return tied the record set by Ellis Hobbs in 2007. They are the second-longest plays in NFL history, behind ex-Seminole Antonio Cromartie's 109-yard missed field goal return in 2007.