U.S. News

The Packers got a glimpse of life after Aaron Rodgers. And it wasn’t pretty | Green Bay Packers

Kansas City’s 13-7 win over the Green Bay Packers on Sunday was stuffed with hole victories.

The Chiefs’ offense continues to cough and wheeze. The Chiefs’ protection, so dismal all yr, was lastly in a position to put collectively a full efficiency, albeit towards a quarterback who seemed in over his head in his first NFL begin. The Packers, with a proficient protection and a warlock-level coach succesful of scotch-taping over even the worst holes, have been aggressive, even in defeat.

But it was the person who wasn’t within the constructing who was the most important winner.

The Packers got a glimpse of the post-Aaron Rodgers world on Sunday. The thought: intriguing. The actuality: painful.

This week will resonate lengthy after Rodgers exits the sport. He has revealed himself to be the sort of pseudo-intellectual who takes his medical recommendation from a podcast host who has spent the majority of his life getting kicked within the head. Rodgers has altered his notion among the many normal public: from free-thinker to imbecile; or petulant brat to freedom fighter, relying on the reader’s perspective.


Yet on Sunday, because the Chiefs despatched blitz after blitz in the direction of his overwhelmed understudy, it was Rodgers’ ability as a quarterback that was again in focus; and there everybody can agree on his brilliance.

The Packers drafted Love within the first spherical of the 2020 draft. The group additionally knew that by choosing a quarterback, and never notifying their future Hall of Famer, that it was extra possible than not that Rodgers was on his method out and Love can be beginning by 2022 on the newest.

As Sunday confirmed, Love is nowhere close to prepared. The Chiefs introduced all types of stress, sending five- and six-man blitzes from each conceivable angle. No group would take such a gamble towards Rodgers, one of the best blitz-beaters within the sport. Against Love, the Chiefs despatched blitzes on 19 of his 34 dropbacks.

Love’s incapacity to punish the Chiefs’ blitz-heavy protection nearly pressured Troy Aikman, Hall of Fame quarterback and Fox’s Football Analyst in Chief, into a midgame breakdown. “If there’s no one in the middle of the field, throw it in the middle of the field,” an exasperated Aikman stated late within the fourth quarter.


All younger quarterbacks take time to rise up to hurry, however it’s Love’s second yr within the league. Isn’t the entire level of sitting and studying that it provides a participant a higher probability to carry out as soon as they arrive into the sport?

Love’s debut is in step with the current historical past of quarterbacks who sit throughout their rookie season. The checklist of quarterbacks who have been chosen early after which sat for a full season since Rodgers infamously did (for 3 seasons) consists of:

– Patrick Mahomes

– Jimmy Garoppolo


– Brodie Croyle

– Brock Osweiler

– Garrett Grayson

– Chad Henne

– Jake Locker

– Kevin Kolb

– Kellen Clemens

Mahomes apart, historical past tells us that a quarterback sits for the whole lot of his first yr for one of two causes: 1) He’s backing up Tom Brady or 2) He stinks.

Mahomes is the anomaly, not proof that giving younger, erratic quarterbacks extra observe time will resolve both their defects. During the summer season stand-off with Rodgers, the Packers satisfied themselves that Love was sitting as a result of he was behind a grasp. Love can be good. Good sufficient to make it value rupturing a relationship with Rodgers in his late prime, even. Love, the Packers believed, can be definitely worth the wait and no matter awkwardness would come up with Rodgers.

Perhaps not. Love seemed chaotic within the pocket on Sunday, his toes and eyes shifting at two totally different speeds. He accomplished simply 19 of 34 makes an attempt – 55% – tossing one landing and a rough-looking redzone interception. The Packers went scoreless within the first half, the primary time the group has failed to attain in a half in nearly two years.

That gulp you hear is the sound of each Packers govt rethinking their selections.

In 2019, the Packers made a dramatic shift on offense, shifting from the Rodgers system of previous to the Matt LaFleur system, which promoted the operating backs and put the group’s receivers in higher spots. It was a system that not wanted Aaron Rodgers to be Aaron Rodgers. For some purpose, this gave the Packers the notion that they might not want Rodgers in any respect.

Oops. Drafting Love quite than an affect receiver or defensive participant who may have helped Rodgers win a Super Bowl whereas he was nonetheless close to his peak seemed bonkers on the time. The additional we acquire distance from it, the extra damaging and indefensible it turns into.

Love could show to be an upper-tier NFL starter at some point. He has all of the bodily instruments to be the sort of off-script creator that a quarterback must be within the trendy sport. Maybe he’ll put it all collectively sooner or later; possibly he gained’t. What’s clear is that he isn’t near being a difference-maker at this level in his profession.

Life with Rodgers could also be irritating and, at instances, exhausting. But the Packers have been provided a glimpse of the post-Rodgers panorama on Sunday. It wasn’t encouraging.

MVP of the week

Nick Chubb and the Cleveland Browns were clicking on Sunday
Nick Chubb and the Cleveland Browns have been clicking on Sunday. Photograph: Joseph Maiorana/USA Today Sports

Nick Chubb, operating again, Cleveland Browns. All eyes have been on Baker Mayfield and the Browns offense after the team waived Odell Beckham last week. The response: dominance. Chubb lit up the Cincy entrance to the tune of 137 yards and two touchdowns, averaging over 9 yards a carry; Mayfield hit Donovan Peoples-Jones for a 60-yard landing off play-action. The last rating was 41-16. It may have simply been extra.

This is what Stefanski needs the Browns offense to appear to be. Pound the protection with the run sport, then take play-action pictures downfield – all of it flowing by way of Chubb and the group’s offensive line.

Whatever went flawed with Beckham in Cleveland, it’s clear that a divorce was in one of the best pursuits of each events. The causes stay murky, however there’s good proof that the Cleveland machine sings when Beckham is out of the lineup. Beckham will possible have his choose of the contenders as soon as he clears waivers, permitting him to hitch a group that may higher use his skill-set.

Stat of the week

Jacksonville’s Josh Allen grew to become the primary recorded participant in NFL historical past to sack a quarterback with the identical identify … dropping Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen.

If the Sackigami wasn’t sufficient, Allen additionally grew to become the primary participant to intercept a quarterback of the identical identify, in addition to including a fumble restoration to the proceedings. The Jaguars pulled off one of the upsets of the season, beating a sputtering Bills group 9-6. Josh Allen – of the quarterback selection – had a poor day, whereas his namesake was the decisive reason within the Jags selecting up the win. The solely believable conclusion: The ManningCast curse is actual.

Video of the week

We have a new nominee for the Worst Rule In The League.

The Broncos beat the Cowboys in Dallas, however they did so with assist from one of the league’s iffier guidelines. With 12 minutes left within the third quarter, trailing 16-0, the Cowboys blocked a punt on the Broncos’ 17-yard line. A game-changer, proper?

Not so quick. The Cowboys touched the ball once more after it went previous the road of scrimmage earlier than the Broncos recovered the block. That resulted in a first down for the Broncos quite than a turnover on downs. How or why a group receives a new set of downs for not advancing the ball past the first-down marker is anybody’s guess.

Quote of the week

“We gave the game ball to faith … That’s the star of the game” — John Harbaugh, Baltimore Ravens head coach.

Harbaugh would most likely be higher off giving the ball to Lamar Jackson – once more. Sunday served as one other reminder that no lead is protected whereas Jackson remains to be within the sport. Twice trailing by 14 factors, the Ravens offense continued to churn out yards and scores. Jackson led the Ravens’ offense to 23 unanswered factors, pushing the sport into extra time earlier than Baltimore have been in a position to kick a discipline aim to win. After a sloppy begin, Jackson accounted for 3 touchdowns and 386 yards of the Ravens’ complete offense – a gaudy 77% of the group’s manufacturing. No group is ever all about one participant however given the Ravens’ issues on defense, that is a group being carried by its offense. And that offense runs nearly solely by way of its distinctive quarterback.

Elsewhere across the league

The Patriots. They couldn’t do it again, could they?
The Patriots. They couldn’t do it once more, may they? Photograph: Jae C Hong/AP

— Don’t look now, however the Patriots are beginning to determine issues out. Rookie quarterback Mac Jones has not performed effectively over the previous two weeks, however it hasn’t mattered as a result of different areas of the group have picked up the slack. The offensive line is wholesome. The run sport is overwhelming. The protection is certifiably feisty. Some groups work all season to find that much-vaunted ‘identity’. The Patriots have theirs: they run the ball and play good protection. Over the previous 5 weeks, they’ve averaged 33 rush makes an attempt per sport for a median of 138 yards. The Bills stay probably the most proficient group within the AFC East, however they’re now tied with the Patriots with 5 wins on the season.

— Matt Stafford’s MVP candidacy hit a bump as he threw two interceptions within the Rams’ Sunday night time loss to the Titans, who have been with out their star operating again Derrick Henry. It was one other spectacular win for Tennessee, who’ve made a speciality of beating good groups. They’ve now seen off the Bills and Rams this season and have the simplest remaining schedule within the league.

— The 2021 Panthers illustrate how an in any other case good rebuild will be derailed for those who make the most important mistake of all of them: selecting the flawed quarterback. There’s expertise everywhere in the Panthers roster in addition to inventive, revolutionary teaching minds. They ought to be higher, and but they’re hamstrung by the Darnold Experiment. All of the sharp roster constructing has been undercut by the quarterback’s play, and his wage will proceed to be a drag on the group’s wage cap subsequent yr.

— If you wish to know the way hopeless issues really feel in Houston proper now: the Texans have been down 17-6 to the Dolphins, and kicked a discipline aim from the two-yard line. To make issues worse: the groups mixed for 9 turnovers. Miami had 5, Houston 4. Somehow, the Dolphins gained anyway. It was Miami’s first win whereas committing a minimum of 5 turnovers since 1990.

— There aren’t many tales higher this season than that of Cordarrelle Patterson. The former do-everything kick returner turned operating again turned gimmick has blossomed into a respectable No 1 receiver in Atlanta. After the Saints scored 23 unanswered factors to place the Saints forward of the Falcons with below two minutes to play, Matt Ryan discovered Patterson for a 64-yard pick-up to place Atlanta in discipline aim vary. Younghoe Koo hit the game-winning kick to provide the Falcons the 27-25 win over their division rivals.


Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button