Against the Packers Thursday, DT Sedrick Ellis will be the only returning front-four starter. DE Will Smith is suspended and DE Alex Brown was cut. So first-round pick Cameron Jordan and FA acquisition Turk McBride will likely start as ends. Either veteran Shaun Rogers or Aubrayo Franklin, both FA signings, will start next to Ellis.

Against the Packers Thursday, DT Sedrick Ellis will be the only returning front-four starter. DE Will Smith is suspended and DE Alex Brown was cut. So first-round pick Cameron Jordan and FA acquisition Turk McBride will likely start as ends. Either veteran Shaun Rogers or Aubrayo Franklin, both FA signings, will start next to Ellis

K Garrett Hartley (hip) is out so veteran K John Kasay will be making his regular-season debut Thursday against the Packers. Kasay, 41, had a brutal preseason debut last week, missing a 39-yard FG and a PAT before making a 38-yarder. He’s streaky and may not be in rhythm yet.

K Garrett Hartley (hip) is out so veteran K John Kasay will be making his regular-season debut Thursday against the Packers. Kasay, 41, had a brutal preseason debut last week, missing a 39-yard FG and a PAT before making a 38-yarder. He’s streaky and may not be in rhythm yet

WR Lance Moore (groin) is out and will be missed in the passing game. He’s the Saints’ most reliable set of hands and led them last season with eight receiving TDs. Moore’s absence will limit passing options. Look for Drew Brees to target WR Marques Colston and TE Jimmy Graham because Brees trusts them most.

WR Lance Moore (groin) is out and will be missed in the passing game. He’s the Saints’ most reliable set of hands and led them last season with eight receiving TDs. Moore’s absence will limit passing options. Look for Drew Brees to target WR Marques Colston and TE Jimmy Graham because Brees trusts them most

The Saints struggled mightily in the running game last season, going from top five in the league in 2009 to bottom five in 2010. Like the Packers, their opponent Thursday, injuries decimated the ground attack. But the Saints are fresh and healthy with Mark Ingram, Pierre Thomas, Darren Sproles and Joique Bell ready to go.

The Saints struggled mightily in the running game last season, going from top five in the league in 2009 to bottom five in 2010. Like the Packers, their opponent Thursday, injuries decimated the ground attack. But the Saints are fresh and healthy with Mark Ingram, Pierre Thomas, Darren Sproles and Joique Bell ready to go

5 Bold Predictions for NFL Week 1

As we inch closer to the start of the 2011 NFL season, the anticipation is growing in the minds of all football fans. The season kicks off tonight in a Thursday night game between the Green Bay Packers and the New Orleans Saints, so get ready because here are five bold predictions on what is ..

Packers five keys to victory – No. 3: No-huddle offense. QB Aaron Rodgers ran the no-huddle to near-perfection in preseason, effortlessly moving the ball and scoring TDs on three of seven drives in the swift offense. If the Packers can get points early and put the Saints in a hole, they might force Drew Brees into the mistakes that resulted in 22 interceptions last year.

Packers five keys to victory – No. 3: No-huddle offense. QB Aaron Rodgers ran the no-huddle to near-perfection in preseason, effortlessly moving the ball and scoring TDs on three of seven drives in the swift offense. If the Packers can get points early and put the Saints in a hole, they might force Drew Brees ..