Rodgers and the Packers struggled in a 23-7 loss to the Vikings at US Bank Stadium. It was a rough day for the entire team as a whole, and quite frankly there isn’t a lot of positives to come away with. The Packers were dominated on both offense and defense. The special teams play you could say was a stalemate, which is admittedly a large improvement for the green and gold.
Offense: The Bad
Starting with the signal caller, Rodgers struggled to get rid of the ball at times. The Vikings were able to tally four sacks including a sack resulting in a fumble. Rodgers also threw an interception on a head scratching throw to Randall Cobb at the end of the second quarter. This was his first interception thrown to a division rival since 2019. He finished without throwing a touchdown.
In all fairness to Rodgers, he was often under duress due to subpar offensive line play. It was to be expected with starting tackles David Bahktiari and Elgton Jenkins out. Za’Darius Smith, former Packer turned Viking this offseason, was a problem to say the least. He managed to record a sack as well as a pressure resulting in the Rodgers interception.
Rodgers and the Packers’ offensive struggles arguably mainly came from the receiving core. This should not come as a surprise to anyone, as the group had questions to answer coming in. Rookie Christian Watson dropped a would-be touchdown on the first drive and then struggled to make an impact after. His rookie counterpart, Romeo Doubs, faired a bit better but was too often not on the same page as Rodgers. The rookies looked like rookies showing flashes of potential while having too many miscommunications. When the power back AJ Dillon is leading the team in receptions, you know something has gone terribly wrong.
Offense: The Good
Speaking of Dillon, the running game did look strong most of the game, and it’s a bit of a wonder why it wasn’t utilized more. Aaron Jones managed to scurry for 49 yds on just five carries including a game high 29 yd run. AJ Dillon received the bulk of the carries with ten for 45 yards. At times, they even looked like the only two showing any heart on the offense.
Defense: Average at Best
The defensive side of the ball arguably faired a bit better, as letting up 23 points isn’t the end of the world. However, this unit had a lot of hype coming into the season. You would think they would’ve had a better plan to handle arguably the best receiver in the league. Instead, Jefferson eviscerated nearly anyone put in front of him to the tune of 184 yds and two touchdowns.
Jaire Alexander, the Packers star cornerback, barely saw any reps against the receiver leaving many fans confused. Defensive Coordinator Joe Barry went with a zone defense with little blitzing for most of the contest. This, combined with the Vikings gameplan to continuously move Jefferson around the formations, led to many favorable Minnesota matchups. It did not help the Packers front four only recorded one sack. It seems even Jaire himself was a little confused as to why he wasn’t asked to take the reins.
At least rookie inside linebacker Quay Walker looked good.
Rodgers and the Packers will look to right the ship next week in another divisional matchup against the Bears.
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