What Went Wrong For The Packers In Week One

The Green Bay Packers did not get off to the start they were hoping for. In week one of the NFL season, the Packers traveled to Minnesota to take on the Vikings. The Packers were never able to settle into the game and the Vikings won 23 to 7. Nothing went right for the Packers the entire game and Minnesota was able to capitalize.

Receivers
The receivers really struggled in this game. On the first play of the game, Aaron Rodgers threw a beautiful pass deep down field to Christian Watson who was wide open. Watson ran an amazing route and created a ton of separation, but then dropped the pass. It really seemed like after that play, the Packers offense couldn’t do much. Watson was only targeted two more times after that. It really seemed like Rodgers didn’t have much faith in him after the first play. Romeo Doubs had a solid game being targeted five times and coming down with four catches for 37 yards. The one time he was targeted and didn’t catch it, he was not even close to being on the same page as Rodgers. Rodgers seemed frustrated with both the young receivers throughout the game. Although Rodgers wasn’t too pleased with them, he did seem to have some optimism following Wednesday’s practice. “These are good kids. They really are. They want to please, they want to do the right thing, they care about it. I’m going to figure out a way to continue to get on the same frequency with them.” Even though Rodgers may show his frustration with his young receivers, he still believes they will figure it out going forward.

Besides the running backs catching passes out of the backfield, there really wasn’t any production in the pass game. Randall Cobb, Sammy Watkins, and Robert Tonyan were the main receivers for Rodgers besides the young guys and they didn’t have much success. Going forward, these receivers are going to have to help out Rodgers while he figures it out with his young receivers. One plus going forward for this group will be getting back Allen Lazard. It showed in this game Rodgers needed a receiver he could trust to go make a play and there just wasn’t anyone. Lazard has Rodgers’ trust and this game showed how much they need him back.

Didn’t Run Enough
The Packer’s biggest problem on offense was not running the ball enough. Two of their top three players on offense are running backs and those two running backs combined had 15 carries. That is just not good enough and head coach Matt Lafleur admitted that. With 15 carries, they combined for 94 yards. They were having a lot of success on the ground, but for some reason didn’t stick to it. With the Packers receiving core really struggling, they should have just kept running it over and over again until the Vikings defense stopped it. This is one of the best running back duos in the league and going forward, they need to be more run heavy until Rodgers and the receivers can find a rhythm.

Justin Jefferson
One of my keys to the Packers winning was defending Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen. They did a decent job on Thielen, but let Jefferson have a career day. Jefferson seemed to be wide open on every play and the Packers just had no answers. Many Packers fans were wondering why Jaire Alexander wasn’t following Jefferson during this game. After the game, Alexander spoke to Matt Schneidman and Rob Demovsky and said, “All week, I was asking for that matchup. But it ain’t about me. If it was my way, you know what I would be doing.” He obviously wanted to follow Jefferson the entire game, but the coaches had other ideas. Going forward, the Packers need to put Alexander on the best receivers. Alexander did well against Jefferson when he was defending him, but everyone else was getting toasted. At one point, outside linebacker Preston Smith was covering him. That just can’t happen. It doesn’t make sense to put a good pass rusher out in coverage against one of the best receivers in the league. The Packers defense will need to clean things up in coverage so this doesn’t happen again.

It already seems like everyone is writing off the Packers this season after one game. This was one game. The Packers were like this in week one last year against the Saints when they lost 38 to 3. There is no reason to press the panic button and give up on this season already. If the Packers can get healthy and address some issues, they will be just fine.
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