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Pack Easily Handle The Saints


The Green Bay Packers' second string had little trouble beating the New Orleans Saints' second string.

The thing that has to worry the Packers is the trouble their first team had against the Saints starters.

Green Bay (3-0) won 38-17 Saturday with its reserves coming up with big scores, including three touchdowns in the second half after the defense let New Orleans dominate the first half.

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  • "Overall, our start from a defensive standpoint was real shaky," coach Ray Rhodes said.

    The Saints (1-2) may have lost more than an exhibition game. Starting quarterback Billy Joe Hobert, who sat all of last season with a ruptured Achilles' tendon, suffered a fractured rib in the first quarter.

    That sidelined him just before halftime and probably means that's all the preseason work he'll get this year.

    "He fractured the eight rib on his right side," a Saints spokesman said. "The plan is to hold him out of the Tennessee game and he should be ready for the opener."

    "I heard that dude's helmet hitting me at about 150 miles an hour," Hobert said. "It hurts but I can raise my arm. I could have played with the pain if it had been the regular season but it would have hurt."

    Hobert missed the first two exhibition games this year because of a groin pull before the first and the death of his sister before the second.

    Hobert was injured in the first quarter, left for one play and returned to play most of the first half despite the injury. He was 10-of-15 for 179 yards and two touchdowns, a 12-yarder and a 58-yarder.

    Hobert was sacked three times.

    After missing so much time, Hobert did not want to leave the game but coach Mike Ditka insisted.

    "He pulled me out of the game and I didn't ask to be pulled out, which is no big deal because they are trying to be cautionary," Hobert said.

    In the first half, the Saints had the ball for 21 1/2 minuts to the Packers' 9 1/2 and outgained the Packers 248 yards to 170. Green Bay was shut out in the first quarter when they ran just four plays for 10 yards.

    The scored was 17-17 at the half.

    The Packers scored on a 5-yard pass from Brett Favre to Antonio Freeman after LeRoy Butler's 68-yard fumble return set it up. Favre also hit Bill Schroeder for a 1-yard touchdown in the second quarter.

    "We feel like we're starting over with a lot of young players," Favre said. "We have to have them step up and prove themselves. If they do that, I feel comfortable."

    Favre, who left the Green Bay-Denver game Monday because of a bruised thumb, warmed up in the second quarter and overall was 11-of-19 for 162 yards and two touchdowns.

    "The thumb is a little tender, nothing bad," Favre said.

    In the second half, Matt Hasselbeck again looked impressive, throwing a 47-yard touchdown to Jahine Arnold and a 2-yard score to Corey Bradford.

    Basil Mitchell ran for a 9-yard score to close out the Packers' scoring.

    "There were a lot of positives tonight," Rhodes said. "Especially our young players. I'm glad to see that."

    The Saints second-teamers, however, heard chilling words from Ditka.

    "We don't have any backup people to be honest with you," Ditka said. "Those people gave us a great training camp and they'll be gone in a week and a half."

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