Thursday Night Thriller: Packers Hang On To Beat Saints, 42-34, In Season Opener

The NFL returned with a wild finish on Thursday as the Green Bay Packers hung on to down the New Orleans Saints, 42-34.

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Saints Vs. Packers Highlights: Big Plays Aplenty In Green Bay Win

The Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints turned in a potential Game of the Year candidate on Thursday night as the host team held on for a 42-34 victory at Lambeau Field in the NFL's season-opening contest. In case anyone was unable to catch the entire game, the NFL was able to squeeze a majority of the big plays into the highlight video embedded below.

The most impressive play, perhaps, happened when Packers rookie Randall Cobb tied an NFL record with his 108-yard kickoff return that eventually resulted in a touchdown. It was Cobb's second touchdown of the night -- a night that put the receiver/returner out of Kentucky on the map, according to SB Nation's Brian Floyd -- and set up a memorable back-and-forth to end the game.

The Saints had one final chance to tie the game following an impressive two-minute drill from Drew Brees and Co., but the Packers were able to make a stand at the goal line to escape with a 'W' in their first game since winning the Super Bowl.

Watching the highlights over again, the morning after, that game is going to be tough to match -- at least in terms of big plays -- this season. I'll gladly tune in on Sunday to see if any other game is able to come close, however.

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Saints Vs. Packers: Green Bay Survives Wild Ending To Down New Orleans, 42-34

All that stood between New Orleans and a chance at overtime was a single yard, but that was more than Green Bay was willing to give. The Green Bay Packers' defense stuffed Saints' rookie running back Mark Ingram at the one-yard line as time expired to hold on to a thrilling 42-34 win in the opening game of the NFL season.

On a night in which the Packers relived their championship season in front of 70,000 racous fans at Lambeau Field, Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers was spectacular once again. The 27-year-old superstar threw for 312 yards on 27-of-35 attempts, while tossing three first-quarter touchdowns.

Rookie wide receiver Randall Cobb added to the madness with a pair of touchdowns, including a game-breaking, Madden-esque 108-yard kickoff return that put the Packers back up on top midway through the third quarter.

Nonetheless, New Orleans' own Super Bowl MVP, Drew Brees, would not to be overshadowed. The 32-year-old three-time All Pro stormed back with two late touchdown passes of his own, capping things off with a 5-yard toss to Jimmy Graham to narrow the deficit to a one-score game before falling just short. Brees finished with 32-of-49 for 419 yards and three touchdowns in the losing effort.

For reaction on tonight's game, visit SB Nation's Saints blog Canal Street Chronicles and Packers blog Acme Packing Company.

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