NFL fans had a plethora of questions about Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers this offseason. “Is Rodgers going to retire?” “Are the Packers going to trade him?” No one knew what the future held until the reigning NFL MVP showed up to training camp.
However, once Green Bay took the field for Week 1, the team’s play somehow brought up even more questions, as the New Orleans Saints essentially dominated in every area of the game.
But, as he heads into Week 2, Rodgers doesn’t seem worried. In fact, the legendary QB seems almost as cool as he did when he calmed Packers fans’ nerves by telling them to “R-E-L-A-X” in 2014.
The Saints dominated Aaron Rodgers and the Packers in Week 1
The Week 1 contest between the Packers and New Orleans Saints wasn’t even competitive. New Orleans led 17-3 at halftime before outscoring Green Bay 21-0 in the second half to win 38-3.
Rodgers had one of the worst games we have ever seen from him, throwing for 133 yards, no touchdowns, and two interceptions. The Packers’ running game wasn’t much better either, as no one wearing green and yellow on Sunday could even record 20 yards on the ground in the game.
“It was one of those days; you play long enough you’re gonna have one of those,” Rodgers said on the Sept. 14 episode of The Pat McAfee Show. “We had one of those last year, too. … It was a rough one for us. Offensively, we were bad. Defensively, we couldn’t get off the field.”
Despite the rough day, though, Rodgers doesn’t seem too worried.
The reigning NFL MVP doesn’t seem too worried
While talking to McAfee during his weekly appearance on the former NFL punter’s show, Rodgers seemed a little upset with how he performed against the Saints, but, overall, he was pretty relaxed.
He also made it clear that he’s still confident in his — as well as his team’s — abilities.
“Yeah, I do (have confidence in his team); that’s why I’m back,” he said to McAfee. “… A game like that allows all this speculation to come into play. ‘Should we have played in the preseason? Should we have done this? Should we have done that?’ And we gotta deal with it because we just got our asses whooped, and that’s fine. What’s gonna happen down the line is gonna happen, and we know how this thing goes; it’s a cycle. Right now, we’re taking it on the chin, which we should. Pretty soon, it will be flipped.”
Rodgers added that football is about responding to challenges, which the Packers have been pretty good at throughout the past couple of seasons.
“Me personally, I’m doing great,” he said. “I’m confident and happy, and excited, and love these guys. Competitor, frustrated about my performance and our performance. But this game is about how you respond to negativity, usually more than how you’re hailed for your successes.”
Aaron Rodgers and the Packers have a chance to bounce back against the Lions
Although their play was atrocious, the Packers still have a lot of talent on a team that just went 13-3 and made it to the NFC Championship Game in two consecutive seasons. They should be OK.
They also get a chance to bounce back against one of the worst teams in football in Week 2: the Detroit Lions.
Detroit’s offense played well in Week 1, posting 33 points against the San Francisco 49ers, but the team’s defense also let the Niners drop 41. The Lions also lost cornerback Jeffrey Okudah for the season, which means Rodgers will have a chance to carve up their secondary like he has done plenty of times in the past. For his career, Rodgers has thrown for 5,662 yards, 46 touchdowns, and eight interceptions in 22 games against Detroit, which equals 257.4 yards and 2.09 touchdowns per game.
The Packers’ defense will have to prove that its performance against the Saints was a fluke, but Rodgers, Davante Adams, and Aaron Jones lead an offense that has plenty of firepower to have a massive day against Detroit.
All in all, as Rodgers alluded to, the Packers’ loss to the Saints was just one game; they have 16 more. Until they start looking that bad on a consistent basis, we should all just “R-E-L-A-X.”
Stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference