Rodgers throws 3 TDs, Packers outlast Saints 42-34

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers reacts after James Starks ran for a touchdown during the first half Thursday night.

    Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers reacts after James Starks ran for a touchdown during the first half Thursday night. Associated Press

  • Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb celebrates in front of New Orleans Saints' Roman Harper after catching a touchdown pass during the first half Thursday night.

    Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb celebrates in front of New Orleans Saints' Roman Harper after catching a touchdown pass during the first half Thursday night. Associated Press

  • Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson celebrates with fans after catching a touchdown pass during the first half Thursday night.

    Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson celebrates with fans after catching a touchdown pass during the first half Thursday night. Associated Press

  • New Orleans Saints running back Darren Sproles runs back a punt in front of Green Bay Packers punter Tim Masthay for a touchdown during the first half Thursday night.

    New Orleans Saints running back Darren Sproles runs back a punt in front of Green Bay Packers punter Tim Masthay for a touchdown during the first half Thursday night. Associated Press

 
Associated Press
Updated 9/8/2011 11:03 PM

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Aaron Rodgers came out on top in a memorable opening-night duel with Drew Brees and the Green Bay Packers came up with a goal-line stand on the final play of the game to beat the New Orleans Saints 42-34 on Thursday night.

Packers rookie Randall Cobb caught a touchdown from Rodgers 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 yards and three touchdowns, including a late touchdown to Jimmy Graham that cut the lead to 8 with 2:15 left.

After a Green Bay punt, Brees marched the Saints to the Packers 9-yard line and spiked the ball with 3 seconds left. Green Bay's A.J. Hawk was called for pass interference and the ball was placed at the 1.

The Packers swarmed rookie Mark Ingram, and the game was over.