JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — This is not a stat line you see from Aaron Rodgers daily: 15-of-28 passing for 133 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions.
This is not an announcement you hear daily, both: “I performed unhealthy.”
And nobody on the Green Bay Packers noticed it coming.
Coming off their second straight 13-win season, a second straight NFC Championship Recreation look and with Rodgers again after his offseason of discontentment — and seemingly on type throughout a pointy coaching camp — the reigning NFL MVP and his workforce bowed out of the regular-season opener in opposition to the host New Orleans Saints with out a lot of a battle in a 38-3 loss on Sunday.
The 35-point loss suffered by the Packers is the worst in a season opener by a workforce that performed in both the AFC or NFC Championship Recreation the earlier season.
“They got here able to play; completely embarrassed us immediately,” mentioned Packers coach Matt LaFleur, who additionally referred to as the loss humbling.
Rodgers had a barely totally different take.
“I am going to let him use these phrases and I am going to use, it is only one sport,” Rodgers mentioned. “We performed unhealthy. I performed unhealthy. Offensively we did not execute very effectively. One sport. We have got 16 to go.”
Rodgers used the “We-played-bad-I-played-bad” line twice throughout his postgame feedback.
Along with his whole assortment of skill-position gamers — plus a reunion that he initiated with receiver Randall Cobb — Rodgers did not even see the end line. He exited with 10:46 remaining within the sport and a 36.8 passer ranking, giving strategy to Jordan Love‘s first NFL regular-season motion.
And it wasn’t like Rodgers’ did not have time to throw behind an offensive line that featured two rookie starters (middle Josh Myers and proper guard Royce Newman) plus their left guard (Elgton Jenkins) filling in for All-Professional left sort out David Bakhtiari (who will miss no less than the primary six video games whereas recovering ACL surgical procedure).
Rodgers accomplished simply 4-of-15 passes when he had greater than 2.5 seconds to throw. Each of his interceptions got here with no less than that a lot time — the one within the crimson zone when a landing would have made it a 17-10 sport — and it was his worst completion proportion on these throws since no less than 2016, when NFL Subsequent Gen stats first started monitoring.
Rodgers discounted the absence of any preseason enjoying time as a cause for the efficiency, and nobody even broached with him the truth that he skipped your complete offseason program. However he would not low cost the truth that the Packers got here into this impartial website sport — that featured no less than half Packers followers among the many 35,242 at TIAA Financial institution Discipline — overconfident and underprepared.
“I feel there’s most likely a few of that,” Rodgers mentioned. “We most likely felt like we had been gonna go up and down the sector on whoever they’d on the market and that clearly wasn’t the case immediately. I give [Saints defensive coordinator] Dennis Allen quite a lot of credit score. I feel I’ve at all times thought he is a very good defensive thoughts. They’d a great plan. It was to play quite a lot of two-shell and gradual us down with the entrance. They did a great job of that.”
Each Rodgers and LaFleur mentioned the counter to that defensive look is the run sport, but their operating backs carried simply 14 instances (together with solely 5 for 14 yards by Aaron Jones).
“We did not run the ball; we did not even try to run the ball sufficient,” LaFleur mentioned. “In order that’s my fault.”
Ultimately, it went down because the worst lack of Rodgers’ profession as a starter, common season or playoffs, and simply the third time the Packers have scored three or fewer factors in one in every of his begins. It was additionally simply his third profession sport with no landing passes and a number of interceptions.
All of that in opposition to a workforce they beat final season 37-30 with out their No. 1 receiver Davante Adams, who on Sunday had a team-high 5 catches for 56 yards.
That it occurred within the season opener may need been a shock, however to Rodgers that was simpler to take than if it occurred down the street.
“I feel simpler,” he mentioned. “We’re coming off a pair NFC Championship Video games and clearly feeling good concerning the unit that we’ve got on offense. … So this can be a good kick within the you-know-where. Hopefully get us getting into the appropriate route going again residence and enjoying a division opponent [Detroit] subsequent week.”
https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/32200534/matt-lafleur-says-saints-absolutely-embarrassed-packers-aaron-rodgers-cautions-just-one-game | Matt LaFleur says Saints ‘completely embarrassed’ Packers as Aaron Rodgers cautions, ‘it is only one sport’