What happened to Aaron Rodgers?

The Packers 38-3 loss to the Saints was Aaron Rodgers’ worst NFL performance of his career. So what happened to the quarterback to make him play so poorly?

The Packers started off the NFL season with back-to-back 13-3 seasons, but ended their season opener against the Saints with a 38-3 obliteration which saw star quarterback Aaron Rodgers play worse than he ever has in his career.

In his post-game conference, Rodgers brushed it off saying, “it’s just one game…we have 16 more.” Though he is right, it is still concerning to see him play that bad. Aaron Rodgers is the Super Bowl XLV champion and three-time MVP. He famously does not throw interceptions and he does not act so apathetic about a beating that bad. He looked more like a rookie quarterback than the rookie quarterbacks who started week one this season.

Rodgers and Packers drama over the summer

Rodgers had made it clear that he did not wish to stay with the Packers for the 2021/22 season. The Packers refused to give him a deal, and he was forced to stay with the team. This loss was the worst margin of defeat in Rodgers’ entire NFL career. He threw just 133 yards and zero touchdowns, but two interceptions. He was even taken out with ten minutes left and replaced with Jordan Love. The Packers defense did little to help the team, and Saints quarterback Jameis Winston threw five touchdowns, a stark contrast to Rodgers’ sad performance. Did Rodgers truly not care and was playing poorly due to the drama or was this just a bad day for Rodgers, made worse by poor offensive protection?

The Packers are up against the Detroit Lions this week as their home opener. The Lions are in a period of rebuilding and are not off to a good start. They’re the popular pick to finish last in the NFC North. They traded Matt Stafford and will start Jared Goff instead, plus lost their top receivers, so they’re not in great shape. I would expect a better game and overall performance from the Packers and Rodgers this week. It will be interesting to see if Rodgers steps it up or keeps up this lackadaisical attitude.