Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers had no intention of making excuses for him or his teammates following their embarrassing blowout loss to the New Orleans Saints in Week 1, but he does want to make one painful clarification about one of his mistakes from the game.
Rodgers struggled tremendously in his first game since winning his third NFL MVP in 2020, completing just 15 of his 28 passes for 133 yards against the Saints and getting picked off twice in the same game for only the second time since the 2016 season. One of those interceptions Rodgers took squarely on the chin in the postgame and admitted he did not see the safety when throwing to wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling.
The other … well, let’s just say it was a bit more of a sensitive issue for Rodgers. Here’s what the Packers quarterback said about his first interception against the Saints during his weekly guest appearance on The Pat McAfee Show this week:
I do want to talk about the first one, though, I hate that there have to be multiple ones, but for those of you that went back or will go back and watch it, I don’t like to make a lot of excuses for interceptions. There are some s*** ones, there’s some ones you wish you had back, there’s some ones that really aren’t your fault. That one was entirely due to the double nut shot I took. I stepped up in the pocket, I was going to throw across my body to Davante who was running a shallow cross. It’s a ball I’ve thrown in practices before, I didn’t feel bad about that throw, and right before I’m throwing it, I took a left clothesline … and somebody on the right with a right cross (gave me a) double nut shot. I guess I’ve got to overcome that and throw a better ball. That was a painful one, they got their money’s worth on that one.
Ouch. You can watch the play and judge for yourself below:
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Rodgers Not Losing Optimism About Packers
Not much went well for the Packers in Week 1 against the Saints. Rodgers and the offense floundered trying to move the ball, especially in the ground game where the Packers averaged just 2.9 yards per carry despite a talent-loaded backfield. The Packers had run a total 12 of offensive plays before getting the ball back with 67 seconds left in the first half, and while they did score their first points on that third drive on a Mason Crosby field goal, it did little to erase the Saints’ early 17-0 deficit.
The Packers defense also had trouble getting off the field due to a lack of pressure and containment on quarterback Jameis Winston, who threw five touchdown passes and scrambled three times for first downs — including a 10-yard run on third down that kept alive the Saints’ first touchdown drive. They registered just three quarterback hits on Winston through the entire game, none of which resulted in a sack.
An ugly start, though, has done nothing to diminish Rodgers’ confidence in this Packers team.
“I love this team,” Rodgers told McAfee. “I feel good about everything we’ve done in the offseason. Training camp I felt like was solid, we had good practices. A game like that allows all these speculations to come into play: Should we have played in the preseason? Should we have done this or should we have done that? And we have to deal with it because we just got our asses whooped. That’s fine, but what’s going to happen down the line is going to happen and you know how this thing goes. It’s a cycle. Right now, we’re taking it on the chin, which we should, and pretty soon it will be flipped.
“As a competitor, I’m frustrated about my performance and our performance, but this game is about how you respond to negativity usually more than how you are hailed for your successes.”