During the opening minutes of Sunday afternoon's clash with the Minnesota Vikings, you could tell it was going to be a long day for the Green Bay Packers. The Vikings received the opening kickoff and proceeded to go the length of the field easily for a Touchdown which was quickly followed by an inexcusable drop by Christian Watson, on what would've been a 75-yard touchdown, on the opening play for Green Bay.
From that moment forward you could feel the Packers constantly struggling to gain their footing. Despite averaging more than five yards per carry in the rushing game the Green Bay offense was never able to get into a rhythm. The young receiving corp looked out of sorts between drops and route miscommunications and Aaron Rodgers himself was uncharacteristically sloppy, throwing one interception to go along with a fumble. 2021 second-round pick Amari Rodgers continues to struggle to make an impact for the Green Bay offense. Rodgers didn't log a single offensive snap on Sunday which is quite telling considering how desperate this offense is for playmakers at the receiver position.
Unfortunately, as much as the Packers' offense struggled, the defense, which was expected to be one of the best in the league, was just as bad if not worse. Dalvin Cook had 90 yards on 20 carries as the front seven consistently struggled to make tackles. Justin Jefferson ran free for the majority of the first half and ended up with nine receptions for 184 yards and 2 TD's. Jaire Alexander was clearly unhappy with his role in the defensive game plan and felt like he should've been given an opportunity to show his skills as a "lockdown" corner by shadowing Jefferson.
" The gameplan was to not allow 18 [Jefferson] to beat us... why I wasn't on him? That's not my call. Anybody watch me play, you know that's what I want." Alexander told reporters after the game. This comes just a day after Alexander voiced his unhappiness with not being voted as a captain by his teammates.
It's not really just about losing the game though. It's the way the Packer lost. They looked lethargic, disoriented, and unmotivated. Quite frankly they looked like a team that wasn't at all prepared for a football game on Sunday, with even Head Coach Matt LaFleur questioning their passion during a halftime interview. You don't often hear a coach publicly question his team's passion or will to win, let alone in Week 1.
Andy Herman, of Packer Report, pointed out that these blowout losses have become a bit of an alarming trend for the Packers during the LaFleur era with 6 of his 14 losses as Packers' coach coming in embarrassing fashion.
I'm not ready to make any bold proclamations about the season based on one game, especially considering the way the Pack managed to bounce back from a disappointing Week 1 performance last year. With that being said there is a lot of work to be done between now and February if this team expects to compete for a Superbowl.