Recap: Green Bay Packers Opener Against New Orleans Saints

So I decided to torture myself and watch the New Orleans Saints beat down of the Green Bay Packers in Jacksonville yesterday.

It was a complete no-show from the Packers, I don’t even know where to begin. But I’ve got to start somewhere.

I’ll start with the offense. I think it was a poor game plan, brutal quarterback play, it seemed like they were unprepared to play and they didn’t react well to adversity in any way, shape or form.

You could tell right away that once the Packers went down 3-0 that they felt they had to score as many points as possible and the evidence of that is going for it on 4th-and-1 from your own 30-yard line. Side note: I was perfectly fine with them going for it on that fourth down.

But the thing that is disappointing to me is that once Green Bay went down 10-0, AJ Dillion had two nice runs and then they abandoned the run game.

Aaron Jones and AJ Dillion had nine COMBINED rushes in this game. The game obviously got out of hand which somewhat skewed the numbers. But halfway through the third quarter trailing 17-3, the two running backs had six combined carries. That is way too early to abandon the run game!

Matt LaFluer is 28-9 (including playoffs) as head coach of the Green Bay Packers. In those nine career losses, giving up on the run seems to be one of the common themes in those games. Is this because of LaFluer’s play-calling? Or is Aaron Rodgers getting a little too pass happy? Whether it’s play-calling or on the field decision making, both had some questionable moments yesterday.

The offensive line featured two rookies making their NFL debuts. Overall, I wouldn’t say it was a bad performance by the offensive line unit. Having said that, it wasn’t what we saw from the unit in 2020, which should have been expected to some degree given the changes, although I thought Josh Myers and Elgton Jenkins appeared to have held up pretty well.

The only thing I’d say is I wouldn’t necessarily be opposed to seeing Jon Runyan over Lucas Patrick on the O-line.

The Saints did have two sacks and 10 quarterback pressures, according to PFF. However, in the o-line’s defense, Aaron Rodgers did hold the ball a bit at times which didn’t help things.

Now I’ll talk about the defense:

Matt LaFluer spent all last season about how he wanted his secondary to challenge opposing Wide Receivers, but the first game of his hand picked Defensive Coordinator saw a parade of Charmin ultra soft pre-snap looks.

Meanwhile, Dennis Allen had one legit guy and a handful of beer vendors at cornerback, yet constantly challenged Packers Wide Receivers at the line of scrimmage.

One of these things is not like the other:

The Packers felt they could fix their defensive issues with a new chef in the kitchen, rather than adding new ingredients. Outside of De’Vondre Campbell instead of Christian Kirksey, this is the exact same starting defense as 2020. So far, same results.

I would like to see the following:

  • Eric Stokes over Kevin King
  • Oren Burkes’ speed at Linebacker in certain scenarios

There aren’t any positives to take away from yesterday’s game — watch the film, learn from it, be critical and then light it on fire.

But, if you’re looking for a silver lining/positive, punter Corey Bojorquez played well. He punted four times for a total of 176 yards, including a big 59-yarder. He also had a nice directional punt that went out of bounds, which pinned New Orleans inside the 20.

If the Packers look and play like they did on yesterday next Monday, then it’s definitely time to be concerned.

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