After Rodgers' touchdown to Nelson, Darren Sproles appeared to fumble the ensuing kickoff but officials ruled that he was down by contact. Replays showed that the ball clearly came out but the Packers were out of replay challenges, leaving Packers fans screaming at the officials for the second week in a row.
McCarthy said he was frustrated because video replays "clearly illustrated" that it was a fumble.
It was a sigh of relief for the Packers, who spent most of the week in the middle of a nationwide firestorm after a last-second decision by replacement officials cost them a game at Seattle on Monday night. The play was a burden for the Packers to bear, but likely played a significant role in the NFL agreeing to a deal with its regular officials during the week.
The honeymoon didn't last long, though. Fans howled for an offensive pass interference call after Brees threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Marques Colston late in the first quarter, but no flag was forthcoming. The boos intensified as a replay was shown on the stadium video boards.
Rodgers marched the Packers down the field again but needed attention from the team's training staff after a face mask by New Orleans' Malcolm Jenkins. Rodgers came out of the game for one play and backup quarterback Graham Harrell came in - then tripped and fumbled as he tried to hand it off, allowing the Saints to get the ball back in the middle of a scrum.
Things then got even worse for the Packers, as Rodgers then threw an interception to Patrick Robinson on a deep throw intended for Jordy Nelson. Brees then completed a pair of third-and-long situations, and the Saints drove for a 27-yard field goal by Hartley to take a 27-21 lead with 13:04 remaining.
With the Packers trailing by 6, Rodgers threw an 11-yard strike to Nelson as the Saints' Corey White tried to wrap his arms around the ball at the same time as Nelson - briefly re-creating a scene eerily similar to the controversial game-ender in Seattle on Monday. This time, though, Nelson clearly came away with the ball and spiked it emphatically.
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press