It’s hard to find an adjective that aptly describes the Green Bay Packers’ loss to the New Orleans Saints on opening weekend of the 2021 NFL season.
Losing to another playoff team by a close margin is understandable.
But to go down in this manner when you have the reigning Most Valuable Player as your quarterback?
The Packers hope that the game is unreal and happened in a parallel universe.
In some ways, it is in another dimension because the Saints can’t play home games at the Caesars Superdome yet because of the catastrophe brought by Hurricane Ida.
Therefore, New Orleans had to play this “home” game at the Jacksonville Jaguars’ field.
But even on a neutral field, the Packers didn’t know what hit them.
Aaron Rodgers today pic.twitter.com/DsE7kmVNXc
— sam esfandiari (@samesfandiari) September 12, 2021
The offense was out of sync, even if they did have Aaron Rodgers leading the way.
In particular, the offensive line had difficulties slowing down the Saints pass rush.
With left tackle David Bakhtiari out for at least six weeks, the line will have its struggles.
Unfortunately, their woes looked terrible against the Saints.
Even Rodgers was so out of sync that he couldn’t time his receivers, especially Davante Adams.
Rodgers also threw two interceptions which is only three short of the five picks he threw in 2020.
Worst, they converted only one attempt on third down out of 10 tries.
Aaron Rodgers by Week 6 pic.twitter.com/BSJVffosAN
— #RingerNFL (@ringernfl) September 12, 2021
Could it be that the Packers were confident with how their offense unfolded during the preseason?
Sadly, those are meaningless games played against reserves.
If their offense was pathetic, the Packers defense was non-existent.
Jameis Winston threw for five touchdown passes and 148 yards during the 38-3 rout.
He would have finished with less than 100 yards if the Packers accounted for Deonte Harris on that 55-yard touchdown pass.
Regardless of the total yards that Winston got, it’s evident that the Packers couldn’t stop the Saints when it mattered.
What Caused The Collapse?
There have been weird conspiracy theories regarding the loss.
Some claim that Rodgers is sabotaging the Packers’ season with this poor performance.
Those who believe that explanation argue that Rodgers agreed to play another season to stick it to the Packers front office.
But that’s a dumb explanation because Rodgers can throw balls into the stands if he was still protesting how the organization treated veterans in the past.
Aaron Rodgers returning to Green Bay just to sabotage their season is a tremendous conspiracy theory that I am willing to spread
— Benjamin Solak (@BenjaminSolak) September 12, 2021
He still tried to play his heart out, but the sync wasn’t there.
However, trying to find an explanation implies that something went wrong before the game, and they can’t find its solution.
The Saints gave them a beating without mincing words.
Lucky for the Packers, they have 16 games left to regroup and prove that this disaster was an aberration.
They have a chance to redeem themselves against the Detroit Lions next week.
If it's any consolation for the Packers, the last team the Saints beat 38-3 went on to win the Super Bowl pic.twitter.com/I05KckSwn7
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) September 12, 2021
However, that contest will not be easy because of how the Lions fought against the San Francisco 49ers.
Dan Campbell’s crew did not win the game, but they scraped to trim a 41-17 deficit to 41-33 in a few minutes.
Therefore, the Packers will be in for a fight to defend home field in Week 2.
The Green Bay faithful is hoping that the playoff team from last season will show up, not the group that calls themselves football players that New Orleans beat to a pulp.