After a successful 2020 season for the Green Bay Packers, they came into the 2021 season opener with high hopes. Unfortunately, the New Orleans Saints had other plans coming into Sunday. The Packers fell to the Saints 38-3 – let’s take a look at some of the studs and duds of the week 1 matchup.
Za’Darius Smith did play week 1 but he saw limited snaps due to his injury suffered during the preseason. That led to Rashan Gary getting to see much more playing time and he was one of the few bright spots of the defense for the Green Bay Packers.
Gary did not record a tackle and at face value that doesn’t seem like it should get him a spot on the studs list but Gary was a constant presence in the backfield. Gary led the Green Bay Packers with 4 pressures and 2 quarterback hits on only 16 rushes on Jameis Winston.
With only 43 rushing yards and Aaron Rodgers seeing a lot of pressures and getting sacked once, it might come as a shock to see an offensive lineman on the studs list, that is until you remember it is Elgton Jenkins.
Jenkins was the highest graded player on the entire Green Bay Packers team on Sunday with a PFF grade of 89.6 and this came while playing offensive tackle instead of guard. While the entire line played slightly better than the eye test determined, it was clear Jenkins was the best player on the line on Sunday and will continue to be the best player until David Bakhtiari returns.
1. Elgton Jenkins: 89.6 (Elite)
2. Jordan Love: 76.8 (Above Average)
3. Marcedes Lewis: 75.0 (Above Average)
4. Lucas Patrick: 73.9 (Above Average)
5. Josh Myers: 71.9 (Above Average)
— Jake Morley (@JacobMorley) September 13, 2021
The running game for the Green Bay Packers was absolutely non-existent so seeing AJ Dillon on the studs list might come as a surprise to some. Despite getting no success from it, Dillon was still highly efficient and was the sole bright spot of the running game Sunday.
Dillon only had 4 rushing attempts but he went for 19 yards averaging 4.8 yards per carry and also had a reception that went for 7 yards. It’s safe to say that when it became known that the running game was working through Dillon and rather than Jones, that he should have seen a bigger volume of touches and it might have led to more success for the offense.
In his season debut after his 2020 MVP season, Aaron Rodgers was one of 5 quarterbacks to throw for zero touchdowns and two interceptions. After a long offseason, full of drama that finally came to a halt, the hopes were high that we would see regular star Aaron Rodgers and everything would be at peace once again, but unfortunately we were wrong.
Rodgers went for 15/28 for 133 yards 0 touchdowns and two interceptions and a passer rating of 36.8. Despite the abysmal stats and the multiple bad decisions made, Rodgers did have some good throws and had a few moments that looked like he was starting to get into a rhythm before tragedy eventually stuck again. If the Green Bay Packers can keep the pressure off of Rodgers and he can get into a good rhythm, he should see a massive bounce back game next week.
Aaron Rodgers had a 36.8 passer rating. The Packers were held to 3 points.
— Andrew Siciliano (@AndrewSiciliano) September 13, 2021
Seeing Kevin King’s name shouldn’t shock most Green Bay Packers fans. After high hopes that King would come back to the squad refined and back to his 2019 form after the disappointing end to the 2020 season, King came back and had a rough outing for the Packers.
King gave up 2 huge plays to Deonte Harris one was for a 55-yard touchdown that was the last nail in the coffin to the Green Bay Packers night. King also only recorded 1 tackle on the night and had a PFF grade of 55.7. King definitely doesn’t seem to be the explosive athlete he was coming out of college anymore after the extensive injuries suffered. If this type of play continues, it is only a matter of time before Stokes comes in as the new starter.
Dean Lowry fills in the last spot on the Green Bay Packers “duds” list. Lowry played in 38 of the defensive snaps for the Packers and recorded 3 solo tackle and 4 total tackles. Despite not having a bad game on the box score, Lowry recorded a PFF grade of a 52.6 and seems to end up on the ground away from the ball on half of the plays he was in on from the eye test.
The Packers allowed 171 total rushing yards and 133 yards solely from the running backs. It’s safe to assume that the Green Bay Packers run defense could continue to be one of, if not the, biggest issue on the entire roster once again. One can only hope that the Packers front office sees this issue and makes a big investment to elevate the interior defensive line for the remainder of the season.