If you want an apt summary of Aaron Rodgers’ struggles in the Packers’ opener against the Saints: Rodgers finished with a lower passer rating (36.8) than New Orleans had points in the game (38).
The three-time MVP had perhaps the worst game of his career on Sunday, completing 15 of 28 passes for 133 yards and two interceptions with no touchdowns. The Packers scored a single field goal, and by the fourth quarter Rodgers was replaced by Jordan Love.
After the game, Rodgers admitted his role in the loss, while avoiding the doomsday talk.
“It’s just one game,” Rodgers told reporters after the game. “We played bad. I played bad. Offensively we didn’t execute very well. One game. We’ve got 16 to go.”
Packers head coach Matt LaFleur, however, was more blunt.
“They came ready to play. They absolutely embarrassed us today,” the third-year coach said.
The “humbling” loss, as LaFleur called it, raises a lot of questions about the Packers. Rodgers skipped the entire offseason program in a standoff with the front office, originally threatening not to report to the team at all. In the process, he created the NFL’s biggest story in the offseason, even when he finally reported to training camp.
His return left a lot to be desired. He threw two picks after only throwing five in 16 games last year. The team didn’t convert a single third down with Rodgers under center, only doing so for the first time when Love replaced him. Rodgers was thoroughly out-dueled by Jameis Winston.
The Packers were helped out by their NFC North division-mates, who all lost their openers as well. But if the team is going to play like this, was all the offseason drama worth it?
The Packers play the Lions next week on Monday Night Football, so the whole nation will get to see how they respond.