I’m not one to overreact, but games like the Green Bay Packers put on Sunday, makes one want to hop across that line.
A season opening 23-7 beat down at the hands of the Minnesota Vikings, has the hot takes flowing. (Of course, it’s week one overreaction time.) I don’t believe I’m overreacting when I say the first offensive play for the Packers, sealed their fate.
Rookie wide receiver Christian Watson, in his first game action of any sort, executed a beautiful double move on Vikings corner Patrick Peterson. There was no one in front of him. Aaron Rodgers threw a perfect deep ball, but Watson didn’t haul it in. As the ball plummeted to the turf, so did the confidence of the Packers.
This isn’t hyperbole or plucking problems out of thin air. Green Bay has displayed this issue many times over the last few seasons. Sunday afternoon might’ve been the worst. When your head coach questions your effort, in Game 1 of a 17-game season, you have a problem.
Had Watson caught that ball, went the 75-yard distance for the touchdown, it’s a 7-7 game. That puts pressure on Kirk Cousins to match points. When you put pressure on Cousins, he makes mistakes. Mistakes an opportunistic defense could take advantage of. It was not to be.
You have to give credit to the Vikings for play defense above the level of what everyone prognosticated they would. (Packers missing David Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins didn’t help.) Green Bay didn’t do themselves any favors, though. Offensive ineptitude, letting Justin Jefferson roam free and a loss of confidence is killer.
Comparisons to last season’s opening smack down at the hands of the New Orleans Saints, will be made. (I’ve made them myself.) Will this team be able to finish the rest of the season the same way? Not if they figure out this confidence issue.
Good news is, there’s 16 games to get it together. Check the tape, check the effort, check the attitude and get back to work.