… Aaron Rodgers threw a back-breaking interception on the first drive of the second half. After going down 17-0 in the first half, the Packers had a chance to cut the lead to just seven points with a touchdown, but Rodgers was pressured into an interception in the red zone. The Packers never seriously threatened again.
…the Packers turned the ball over on downs at their own 22-yard line, giving the Saints the ball in the scoring area up 24-3. A few plays later, an interception by Darnell Savage in the end zone was negated by a highly questionable penalty on Za’Darius Smith. The Saints scored two plays later to go up 31-3 to open the fourth quarter.
Aaron Rodgers: His 28 attempts resulted in just 133 passing yards, zero touchdowns and two huge turnovers. His first interception was a pressure-forced throw in the red zone. The second was an arm punt. Both were uncharacteristic plays by the reigning NFL MVP. The Packers scored once – on a late drive for a field goal to end the first half – over seven possessions with Rodgers in the game. His passer rating was 36.8.
Jordan Love: He made his NFL regular-season debut early in the fourth quarter and played the final two possessions against prevent defenses. The second-year quarterback completed five passes for 68 yards but lost a fumble in the red zone. His second drive traveled 54 yards, sparked by a 32-yard completion to Randall Cobb.
– The 35-point defeat was the biggest loss in a game started by Aaron Rodgers.
– It’s a long season, and a Week 1 blowout loss won’t doom the Packers, but Matt LaFleur’s team will have to lick its wound and recover from this beatdown.
– The Saints controlled the contest from start to finish. They were dominant along the line of scrimmage on both sides of the football and far better than the Packers on third down and in the red zone.
– An ugly start to what could be Rodgers’ final season in Green Bay. He threw two terrible interceptions and was pulled from the game early in the fourth quarter down 28 points.
– Jameis Winston had only 20 attempts and finished with 148 passing yards, but he also threw five touchdown passes and finished with a passer rating of 130.8. The Saints ran for over 170 yards. This was a disastrous start to Joe Barry’s run as the defensive coordinator.
– The Packers offensive line looks to be a work in progress. They got little push in the run game and protection was shaky, at best. Not having David Bakhtiari is going to be a big deal during the first six weeks.
– The Packers had three turnovers. The Saints had none, although one – the Darnell Savage interception in the end zone – should have counted.
Good question. All games are important in the NFL, but a season is never over after one week. The Packers have suffered through one-sided games like this during the Matt LaFleur era. Was this a one-off type game, or the start of something wrong? The Packers will have an extra day this week to think about this defeat before playing the Lions in the home opener. A veteran team with championship aspirations would file this loss away, re-focus in a major way and play really well against the Lions. The response next week will be telling.
The Packers will welcome the Detroit Lions (0-1) to Lambeau Field for the home opener on “Monday Night Football.” The Lions lost to the San Francisco 49ers at home in Week 1.