The Packers were, in their coach’s words, embarrassed by the Saints on Sunday. They lost 38-3 and the loss was completely one-sided.
How could that happen to a Super Bowl contender with a Hall of Fame quarterback who just finished an MVP season? Well, this quarterback offered a surprisingly blunt explanation in his post-game comments: overconfidence.
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“We probably felt like we were going to go up and down the pitch that they had there with and that obviously wasn’t the case today,” Aaron Rodgers said, according to ESPN.com.
Instead, Green Bay gained 229 yards of total attacking and just 43 rushing yards. Rodgers threw two interceptions before being replaced by Jordan Love in the fourth quarter. The Packers also lost a fumble. Their only points came from a placement by Mason Crosby at the end of the first half.
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“I give (New Orleans defensive coordinator) Dennis Allen a lot of credit,” Rodgers added. “I think I always thought he was a very good defensive spirit. They had a good plan. It was to play a lot of two rounds and slow us down with the front. They did a good job. “
This Saints front was working against a Packers offensive line lacking left tackle David Bakhtiari (knee) and included two rookies, but it only sacked Rodgers once. Rodgers, however, averaged just 4.75 yards per attempt while throwing to a full complement of receivers.
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“We’ve just finished a few NFC championship games and obviously we feel good about the unity we have on offense,” Rodgers said. “So that’s a good kick in the you-know-where.”
LaFleur kicked himself after the game. He took the blame for his team for not establishing the run, although it should be noted that New Orleans was fourth in the NFL against the run last season.
Green Bay’s next opponent, the Lions, was not so strong. Detroit was 28th against the run and 30th against the pass in 2020. The unit showed no improvement in week 1; he allowed 41 points and 442 yards to the 49ers in a loss to the Lions.
If there had ever been a week for Rodgers and Co. to feel arrogant, it would have been the one to come. That state of mind should be out of the question following Green Bay’s offensive performance on Sunday.