We wouldn’t fault Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers if they entered the 2021 NFL season hoping that Week 1 would help officially begin the process of putting this offseason’s issues behind them.
Now that we know that didn’t happen, you’ll forgive us if we want to stand and point and laugh.
Rodgers and the Packers opened this season with a humiliating blowout loss to Jameis Winston and the New Orleans Saints. Things are so bad that the three-time NFL MVP is on the verge of entering territory he’s never even come close to approaching.
Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers are at risk of starting 0-2 for the first time since 2006
When Rodgers became the Packers’ starting quarterback in 2008, the Rams still played in St. Louis and Brett Favre was entering his only season with the New York Jets. It’s certainly been a while.
In all of those years, the Packers have never started 0-2. They’ve either started 2-0, 1-1, or in the case of 2018, 1-0-1, en route to 10 playoff appearances in the Rodgers era. Green Bay has been so good in Week 1 that this year marked the team’s first 0-1 start since 2014.
In fact, the Green and Yellow haven’t started a season with two consecutive losses since 2006, Favre’s penultimate season in Green Bay. Rodgers served as the backup that year and only attempted 15 passes in two games.
Those 2006 Packers needed a strong finish to even end the year at 8-8
If you don’t want to tell yourself that 2006 was a long time ago, consider the fact that Randy Moss played for the Oakland Raiders and Tom Brady only had three Super Bowl rings.
Despite their 8-8 record, the Packers were mostly a non-factor that year. The team lost its first two games against the Chicago Bears and New Orleans Saints, both of which came at Lambeau Field, and started the year with four losses in five games.
After rallying to 3-4 with two straight wins, the Packers then lost four of the next five and sat at 4-8 entering the final stretch. Four consecutive victories, three against NFC North opponents, allowed the Packers to avoid a losing season.
Favre, then firmly in the “will he or won’t he retire” segment of his career, opted to return for the 2007 season. New York Giants fans certainly know how things went from there.
Rodgers and teammates need to come out swinging early against the Lions in Week 2
At this point, it doesn’t feel like hyperbole to say Rodgers is entering one of the most important stretches of his career. By the end of September, we might very well know if the Packers are back on the right track or if Rodgers is phoning in what will probably be his final season in Green Bay.
Well, this is the time to show up and show out. Rodgers is 17-5 against the Lions, and he’s completed 64.7% of his passes for 5,662 yards, 46 touchdowns, and only eight interceptions in those matchups. This is to him what the Minnesota Twins are to the New York Yankees. Although there are no guaranteed wins in the NFL, this is an excellent opportunity for whatever resembles something along those lines.
Still, don’t rule out the Lions, who rallied late at home and nearly pulled off an incredible comeback in a 41-33 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Head coach Dan Campbell’s team will be ready to pull off the upset and give Rodgers and his teammates fits. The Packers’ Week 1 offensive ineptitude should still have fans concerned ahead of a game the team should win.
If there are any lingering issues between Rodgers and the Packers, now is the time to put them on hold for now. If Detroit pulls off the upset on Monday Night Football, it may be genuinely time to sound the alarm in Green Bay and start considering when or if Jordan Love will see the field.
Rodgers has spent nearly 15 years following in Favre’s footsteps. Something tells us that now is the time for the three-time MVP to start going in another direction.