Packers' Aaron Rodgers reacts to being thumped by Saints in

graceacupuncture - 04/01/2023 - NEWS - 106 Views

"R-E-L-A-X"? Not quite yet, if you're a fan of the Green Bay Packers. It was an offseason dominated by a controversial rift between reigning NFL MVP Aaron Rogers and general manager Brian Gutekunst, one that began as a reported refusal from Rodgers to ever take another snap in Lambeau and ended with a reworked contract that could ultimately make the 2021 season his swan song in Green Bay. The only thing that would've gotten the rabid Packers fanbase to relax would've been to see them skewer the New Orleans Saints in the regular-season opener, but no such luck there.

In the first game of the post-Drew Brees era, the Saints took Rodgers and the Packers out back and beat them within an inch of their football life. Jameis Winston racked up five touchdowns in the 38-3 shellacking and Rodgers countered with one of the worst games of his Hall of Fame-caliber career, completing only 15 of 28 passes for 133 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions that came in rapid succession on what looked more like throws of frustration than ones with productive intent.

What's worse is the Saints weren't at home -- displaced by Hurricane Ida -- but instead playing at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville on Sunday. And yet with all of the odds in the Packers favor, they laid an egg, largely because Rodgers did. To his credit, though, Rodgers is standing up and taking it on the chin after having taken it to another area of the anatomy, as he explained it.

"This is a good kick in the you-know-where to hopefully get us going in the right direction," Rodgers said, via the team's website.

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Packers' Aaron Rodgers reacts to being thumped by Saints in

He also admitted the Packers might've entered the game thinking a bit too highly of themselves and taking Winston and the Saints for granted.

"Yeah, I think so," Rodgers said. "I think there's probably some of that. We probably felt like we were going to go up and down the field on whoever they had out there."

Well, he was half right. They went down, and then down again -- so forth and so on -- en route to producing only 229 total yards of offense, converting just one of 10 attempts on third down, coughing up three turnovers and losing the time-of-possession battle by nearly 10 whole minutes. It was a surgical dismantling of Rodgers by head coach Sean Payton, and they'll now have to take their lumps into practice this week and humble themselves for what's to come in Week 2, when they face NFC North rivals in the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field.

It's yet another week where it would be easy for the Packers to assume domination, but after going down by 28 points against the San Francisco 49ers in the opener, head coach Dan Campbell guided the Lions back to a near last-minute upset that saw them score 33 points over the final three quarters. That's the momentum the Lions are bringing on Sunday, and likely emboldened by seeing what the Saints did.

So for the Packers, it's all about avoiding an 0-2 start to what might be Rodgers' last tour in their uniform.

"One game. We've got 16 to go," he said.And that's several more chances for Packers fans to try and relax.

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