Green Bay, Wes. – Aaron Rodgers He didn’t think he’d play another terrible half on Sunday against the New England Patriots, and the Green Bay Packers quarterback was right.
Packers coach Matt Lafleur is hoping he won’t make what he called “the worst decision of the day” again when it comes to an ill-advised rematch challenge.
They narrowly escaped punishment in Sunday’s 27-24 overtime win over the Patriots at Lambeau Field. But if they do not face the rising midfielder from the third series in Billy Zappy For most of the game, they may not have them.
“This winning method, I don’t think, is sustainable because it puts a lot of pressure on our defense,” Rodgers said. “Obviously I have to play better and I will play better.”
While he fully appreciates that he is fortunate for his team to lead 3-1 in next Sunday’s game against the New York Giants in London, Rodgers has not been shy about the reality of what could have been.
“You can’t lose 2-2 to quarterbacks in the third series and not play great in all three stages, so we had to make that stage,” Rodgers said. “That doesn’t take away anything from the fun of winning, but that’s what we should have had.”
The Packers trailed 10-7 in the first half in part because of Rodgers, who:
He has the lowest passing rating (11.2) of any half in any of the 210 matches he has started.
He threw only the fourth pick of six of his career when the rookie was a corner back Jack Jones Hop off the intended path of the quarterback Allen LazardRodgers said he “missed badly.” [Jones] swept it away. That would have been nice. If I had thrown the ball where I was supposed to, he would probably have picked it up.”
He was too far from the goal in a short throw to Romeo Dobbs That wide, ascending receiver couldn’t secure it easily enough before it got stuck. “It wasn’t a good throw,” Rodgers said. “Lovely catch by him. I wish I had nearly dropped it.”
Rodgers didn’t come close to anything in the first half. Complete only one of 5 passes with 10 or more air yards in the first two quarters. It was 24 yards for Lazard (who had six catches for 116 yards for his first 100-yard catch by a Packers player this season). In the second half, Rodgers scored 7-for-9 in such throws for 141 yards and two touchdowns.
“I’ve settled on the field and usually don’t have terrible halves,” Rodgers said. “So I got back into the shape I expect of myself, and we started moving football.”
It helped that Rodgers finally started expanding the field. He averaged 9.0 air yards per attempt Sunday after averaging 5.2 air yards low in the league in the first three weeks, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.
It also helped that the beams rushed for 199 yards (including 110 yards Aaron Jones on 16 loads).
But mistakes still make it necessary to go to work overtime.
One was by LaFleur, who challenged what he thought was a 40-yard capture from the Doubs with 2 minutes, 2 seconds left in regulation. Dobbs apparently didn’t believe in the catch, and LaFleur even said his sky coach, Connor Lewis, told him so. However, LaFleur threw a red flag anyway. His losing the challenge cost him a timeout that could have helped the Packers win in regulation, but instead, they got the ball back just four seconds before.
“I’m not very proud of that moment,” LaFleur said. “That was an emotional decision, and I think it’s a great learning lesson that you can never make those emotional decisions in the heat of battle. You know better. You have to get off the ground. Conor Lewis was in my ear, in the box and he’s in my ear, and he said, ‘No’ I think so.” And he said we shouldn’t challenge that. I made an emotional decision, and it was like saying hello to you, Mary. That could have come back and hit us in the ass.”
Then there is the Packers defense, which was heavily promoted before the season. The defense nearly let the third-series quarterback overpower it, and it’s struggled against range (the Patriots averaged 5.1 yards per attempt) so far.
While the way they won may not be sustainable, that doesn’t mean the Packers can’t keep winning.
“I think the win is definitely sustainable,” Rodgers said. “I think we’ll have to play a little bit better against key players at the start and if our defense doesn’t play as well as they can.”
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