Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is used to winning. In fact, since he was given the starting job for the Packers in 2008, he’s only had two losing seasons.
So, with his team now at 3-5 on the year after their fourth straight loss, this time to the Buffalo Bills, there’s a lot of question answering to do in Green Bay.
Rodgers has been blunt through all of it, though. He’s called out his teammates for comments about losing and lack of accountability. He’s even gaone as far as to say that guys need to grab some bench if they’re not going to perform.
It’s a young group that’s trying to find chemistry together, especially on the offensive side of the ball. But, after dropping this one 27-17 where the Bills went into the half up big at 24-7, what needs to change for Rodgers’ crew?
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“I mean, we’re hurting ourselves. We had a touchdown to Bobby called back on a penalty. We had other opportunities to get points,” he said.
Head coach Matt LaFleur said the same, adding that the “discipline aspect” isn’t there right now.
“We’re getting killed with penalties,” he noted. “It’s taken points off the board, it’s extended drives.”
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One of those instances was Quay Walker shoving a Bills coach, which got him ejected from the game.
“I have zero tolerance for it,” LaFleur said.
But Rodgers didn’t have support from his receivers today, and it came on two solid touchdown plays with Romeo Doubs and Samori Toure.
Doubs had a less than 28% chance of securing the contested deep ball from Rodgers, according to ESPN, but he hauled it in to make it a 14-7 game in the first half. He finished the game as the top performer with 62 yards on four catches (seven targets).
Then, Toure had his second career catch and first career touchdown, making a double move that impressed Rodgers, who hit him with a dart late in the fourth quarter to cut the Bills lead to 10.
“I was proud of Samori with his second adjustment on his touchdown,” Rodgers said. “That’s a big moment for the kid. First touchdown in the NFL.
Rodgers added that Amari Rodgers made a good play on his 22-yard reception, while showing praise to Aaron Jones (143 yards rushing on 20 carries) and A.J. Dillon (54 yards on 10 touches) in the run game.
In the end, though, Rodgers pointed to injuries, especially that of rookie Christian Watson who left the game with a concussion right as it started, as a tough one to bear.
“We had a lot of plays in for Christian this week,” Rodgers said. “…That’s kinda what’s been going on with us. Nobody feels sorry for us. We got to find a way to get one win. I feel like if we get one, all the momentum changes.”
Leading up to the game, Rodgers said it “felt like the Packers again” with the confidence and execution that was happening during practice. Even the vibe in the locker room felt different.
Execution only matters on Sundays, though, and Rodgers is well aware of that. But a knee-jerk reaction after a loss, even if it is four in a row, is never the right way to look back at things.
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“I think that the most important thing is to take a beat after frustration like this,” he said. “The last thing you want is to respond in emotion. So take a beat. Let it sit.”
The opportunity Rodgers and the Packers may be looking for is next Sunday when they face the 1-6 Detroit Lions, who have been reeling of late, especially on the defensive side of the ball.
Rodgers said he doesn’t feel any added pressure to get things working on offense, but he wants that chance to show that he’s still got it, and he can help Green Bay right the ship.
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“I don’t feel any added pressure. I’d like more on me,” he said. “I like the pressure. I enjoy the opportunity to throw the ball down the field. Hopefully we’ll have the opportunity next week. Gotta get guys healthy.”
Rodgers threw for 203 yards on 19-for-30 with two touchdowns and one interception.