That’s the Aaron Rodgers I know. The national media made a lot of fuss over Green Bay’s shocking Week 1 blowout loss to the New Orleans Saints, and fairly so seeing as it was arguably the worst performance of Rodgers’ career. But the Packers returned with a vengeance on Monday Night Football to tell everybody to “RRRR-EEEE-LLLL-AAAA-XXXXX.”
As we all expected them to, the Packers handled the Detroit Lions with ease on primetime, besting one of their oldest rivals by a score of 35-17. Rodgers was electric in the game, completing 22-of-27 passes for 255 yards and four touchdown passes.
Rodgers found his two most reliable targets with excellent consistency on Monday. Detroit’s secondary had no answer for Davante Adams, who ran wild while totaling 121 receiving yards on eight receptions. Aaron Jones was not to be outdone, as the former fifth-round pick reached the end zone a ridiculous four times on 23 touches.
The Packers are a contender in the NFC despite what the Week 1 result may have indicated. Rodgers is still playing the game at the highest level imaginable, but a concerning long-term outlook may be lurking in the shadows.
Will anybody solidify themselves as the clear-cut third option behind Adams and Jones? The answer to that query has yet to truly reveal itself. Tight end Robert Tonyan turned in a solid performance on Monday night by catching three balls for 52 yards and a touchdown. Tonyan continues to serve as an asset within the opponent's 20-yard line, but has yet to provide consistency in all other areas of the field.
Elsewhere, the Packers continue to bet on the development of Marquez Valdes-Scantling to no avail. The former South Florida standout was held catchless on four targets against the Lions. Allen Lazard also continues to make little impact, having totaled just 16 yards through two games. Lazard wasn't the recipient of a single target on Monday night, despite playing 42 snaps.
Adding another talented pass-catcher wasn't of the highest priority in Green Bay this offseason and we’re not sure why it wasn’t approached with a clearer plan of action. General manager Brian Gutekunst selected Amari Rodgers in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft, but relying on a third-round rookie to contribute immediately rarely proves to be a fruitful exercise. The Clemson alum was not on the field for a single offensive snap on Monday night after recording just one catch in his NFL debut against the Saints. It's safe to assume the rookie receiver will continue to be an afterthought in the immediate future.
Rodgers’ frustrations with Gutekunst were extremely publicized this offseason, and we can’t help but wonder if he has every reason to be upset. The Packers will go as far as their heavyweight trio can carry them, but the lack of another proven option could be their Achilles heel. If so, it’ll be a disappointing theme that’s been all too familiar throughout Rodgers’ tenure in Green Bay.
- May 16, 2022
- May 16, 2022