Packers fans need something to cheer about against the Lions

Packers fans are in need of some joy ahead of Green Bay's matchup with the Lions.

It’s been a tough eight months for fans of the Green Bay Packers.

Packer backers have been given very little to shout about since their last win against the Los Angeles Rams in the Divisional Round of the playoffs back in January, and their stinker on opening day versus the Saints did nothing to change that.

Both on and off the field, Packers fans have been put through the wringer for the entire of 2021 so far, and on Monday Night Football against the Detroit Lions, Matt LaFleur’s team need to give their fans something to lift the mood.

Green Bay’s period of tumult began with yet another crushing loss in the NFC Championship game, as they once again came up just short of a Super Bowl appearance. But hope springs eternal in the offseason, right?

Not so much in Titletown, as a quiet free agency period saw no big additions made to the Packers’ roster, with GM Brian Gutekunst instead opting to bring almost everyone back, even the players some fans were hoping to see the back of.

But of course, most logical observers knew Green Bay would not be big players in free agency due to the salary cap challenges they faced. At least Packers fans could look forward to the draft… or so they thought.

Yes, even the purest of days in the offseason schedule, night one of the NFL draft was tainted by the sudden news that reigning MVP QB Aaron Rodgers wanted out of town, leaving fans concerned and confused when they should have been full of positivity.

Then came the months of mostly silence, as everyone waited to see whether Rodgers would return, clinging to and dissecting his every word during offseason media appearances. Packers supporters were unsure whether they would even get to see this uber talented team make one more run at a title.

I understand that these are very much uptown problems, and fans of most other NFL teams would swap places with Packers fans in a heartbeat. Ultimately as the season arrived, those of a green and gold persuasion knew their team was a true Super Bowl contender, but the need for catharsis after an exhausting offseason via a strong performance against New Orleans was very real, and it didn’t come.

Even in defeat, most NFL games provide fans with at least some moments to rejoice and get excited about. There was literally nothing to enjoy from Sunday’s game, not even one measly touchdown.

The Randall Cobb trade made very little sense as anything other than a move to placate Rodgers, but at least it would be special to see Cobb suit up for Green Bay again. He was nowhere to be seen in Jacksonville, finally catching a pass only once 12 had been removed from the game. Considering Rodgers spent most of the game providing flashbacks to the Mike McCarthy offense, it made even less sense that his trusted receiver wasn’t out there to help during the inevitable scramble drill.

Amari Rodgers was also barely on the field, and the dynamic duo of Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon were also criminally underutilized.

The Packers’ only big defensive play, a Darnell Savage interception caused by a Za’Darius Smith pressure, was ruled out by a truly baffling roughing the passer penalty.

It was an embarrassing performance from the Packers. Fans can excuse players who give their all and just come up short, but there is nothing more demoralizing than watching a team who simply doesn’t want it.

Which brings us to Monday night, as Dan Campbell’s kneecap biting Detroit Lions come to Green Bay for the home opener at Lambeau Field. There’s no doubt that the Packers are the more talented team, but the Lions tend to keep these games close and showed no quit against the 49ers last week, almost pulling off a miracle comeback.

More than just the expected victory in this prime-time matchup, the Packers need to give their fans an enjoyable and stress-free night at Lambeau. Lord knows, they’ve earned it.

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Mark Oldacres is a sports writer from Birmingham, England and a Green Bay Packers fan. You can follow him on twitter at @Marko7LW

1 points

Comments (17)

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Lphill's picture

September 16, 2021 at 08:03 am

Watching Jamal Williams run all over the Packers defense is not what anyone wants to see Monday night . I hope the Packers fan can light a fire under the defenses asses .

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albert999's picture

September 16, 2021 at 08:21 am

Do u think the packers looked so sharp in training camp was because they were going up against their own terrible defense/scheme/DC?

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Since'61's picture

September 16, 2021 at 09:23 am

Excellent point albert999! Thanks, Since '61

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Koostyroosty's picture

September 16, 2021 at 08:37 am

The Pack needs to get it together quickly. A record of 1 - 3, before the dust settles, is a real possibility if they don't.

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ricky's picture

September 16, 2021 at 09:14 am

Not very helpful article. More a recap rather than a look forward to the Lions game. What bothered so many fans (I believe) was the total lack of effort, and guys looking gassed so quickly. That, and the noted regression of Rodgers and the terrible game plan. In short, everything the Packers did Sunday was terrible. On the flip side, the Lions were down late, never gave up and (excuse the pun) came "roaring back" and almost tied the game. With a team that is far less talented than the Packers. So, will the Packers bounce back and put together a good game? We'll see. At this point, I'm taking nothing for granted. This team needs to earn a win, and prove they're capable of getting to the SB. Because next week, going to SF (again) against a healthy 49ers team is going to be really tough sledding. And if the team is looking ahead instead of paying attention to winning Monday night, they could well open the season 0-3.

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Archaism's picture

September 16, 2021 at 09:31 am

I think the offensive gameplan was reflecting what they were expecting from the Saints defense based on last year... So they shotgun to get the ball out often and early. When the Saints didnt pressure like last year, they seemed to have no answer. Why the adjustment wasnt made /shrug

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BradHTX's picture

September 16, 2021 at 09:59 am

We will also never know whether the problem was the gameplan/playcalling, or the execution thereof, specifically a certain smarter-than-everyone-in-the-room player changing the call at the line of scrimmage.

LaFleur is far too professional (as any head coach worth his salt would be) to come out and say, “Hey, I tried to run the ball more and utilize a high-percentage short passing game, but Aaron kept heaving the ball downfield.” So of course he does the correct thing and takes the blame on himself.

Not saying this is definitely the case. But I suspect it is.

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Since'61's picture

September 16, 2021 at 10:23 am

It has nothing to do with who calls the plays. It had to do with execution of which there was very little by any player on both sides of the ball. Jaire Alexander was the exception on defense and Jenkins was the exception on offense. Otherwise it was a miserable effort regardless of who called the plays.

Rodgers haters look to blame him when the Packers lose but yet no one blames him when he throws a TD pass and/or the Packers win the game. GPG! Thanks, Since '61

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Coldworld's picture

September 16, 2021 at 11:40 am

Actually I primarily blame LaFleur for the level of fire in bellies and either a rotten game plan or the inability to adjust to an opposing game plan that has constantly thrown him off. That said, Rodgers was perhaps the worst performer on O throughout the game. His comments afterwards suggested he went into the game expecting it to be a cruise. Yes that reflects on the coaches, but in a 38 veteran and team leader, that’s a barely comprehensible admission of hubris which says much about him and recent events. Let’s hope last week brought his head down to earth as convincingly as it did the team on the field.

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BradHTX's picture

September 16, 2021 at 12:24 pm

I always appreciate your thoughts, Since’61. But I think this take is a little simplistic.

If all plays were equal in their likelihood of success, it wouldn’t matter who calls the plays or what play is called. But they aren’t. In investing, high risk = high reward, and it’s the same in football. A running play (assuming your RB and OL are good at their job and you’re not playing the Ravens of the ‘90s) is like a bond: you’re pretty sure to get some yards, but not that many. Ditto for a dump-off on a TE slant (don’t get me started on that damned pass to a WR behind the LOS though). The 20+ yd downfield pass, on the other hand, is a tech startup stock: huge potential reward, but a greater chance of losing everything (incomplete, or worse, an INT). If that’s all that’s in your portfolio, you may become a millionaire — or go broke, which we saw on Sunday.

I’m not a Rodgers “hater” in any way. On the contrary, I believe he’s the most gifted QB to ever play the game, and I’m grateful to have had the chance to watch him lead my team since 2008 and win a Super Bowl. But I’m also not wearing blinders to his flaws, and he has two big ones on the field: locking in on his favorite receiver (currently Adams) to the exclusion of others, and when the game isn’t going his way, forcing the hero play instead of moving the chains.

We’ve all seen both plenty of times in the last 5+ years. It’s not “hating on him” to acknowledge it.

And yes, you’re correct: the execution was awful on both sides of the ball, by nearly everyone. Rodgers included.

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Since'61's picture

September 16, 2021 at 03:54 pm

I think your post is spot on. The basic problem against the Saints was poor execution by everyone including Rodgers regardless of who was calling the plays on offense and defense.

My point is that the Packers need to get past the point where they can't win if Rodgers or the offense have a bad game game because it is going to happen. We need the defense and/or STs to be able to step up and turn a game around with a big return or a pick-6. It can't continue to be Rodgers and the offense will outscore our opponents. That is not how championships are won in the NFL.

I've thrown out the Saints game and I believe that at least our offense is better than they showed against the Saints and that they will play better as the season goes on hopefully beginning with the Lions game. The defense and STs remain question marks.

As for Rodgers, yes he tries to play hero ball because I believe that he is hoping to hit a big play to try to pick the team up and them back in the game to feel like they have a shot to win. He locks into Adams because he knows that Adams is his best player and he is trying to put the ball in his best player's hands. I'm not saying that's the right thing to do but he is going to with who has worked over the years. Better to lose with your best players than losing without utilizing your best players.

If Rodgers is openly and/or deliberately defying MLF on the play calls than MLF needs to pull him from the game. Even in this era an HC cannot allow that no matter how good the player is. If MLF is allowing Rodgers to defy him then he should not be an HC, IMO. The HC must be more than a play caller. He must set the tone for the entire team and must have clear lines concerning what is acceptable and what isn't. That is just management 101 in any profession.

I expect/hope we will see a different team against the Lions and that" this too shall pass." If not we could be in for a long, messy season. Be well. Thanks, Since '61

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jannes bjornson's picture

September 16, 2021 at 11:40 pm

A Hard Rains-a -gonna Fall

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CheesyTex's picture

September 16, 2021 at 01:14 pm

View from a Green Bay Packers fan, witnessed by season tickets since the late 50's and loyalty to the Pack that did not change during the dreadful period from 1970 to 1990,

There is no doubt in my mind that, whatever the Packers record in 2021, I'll continue to be a Green Bay Packers fan.

I'm grateful to #12 for what he's accomplished in a Packers uniform in the past.

There is no doubt in my mind that, whatever the Packers record in 2021, I'm not fan of Rodgers the person. To rant:
Rodgers offseason antics changed my view of him because I believed his earlier words (love G.B. fans, love G.B. players, his desire to be a Packer for life, etc.). Now I believe the offseason turmoil he created has divided the Locker Room -- probably in much the same way as commenters here are divided -- and that he was indeed the primary cause of the Week 1 debacle. Just do not see how anyone, really, could get behind a leader who did what he did in the offseason and let that same attitude show on the field in game 1.

As to #12, the person, he recognized that his command of over 20% the Packers cap space, coupled with the COVID cap reductions, gave him the leverage to demand changes HE wanted but were outside his pay grade. The option was there for him to renegotiate his contract for the benefit of his purportedly beloved fans and teammates, but instead he used that leverage to drop a franchise altering bomb on the Packers. Winning in the NFL is never easy, but when a leader demand trust and precision from teammates, and then abdicates his responsibility to lead in attitude, enthusiasm, and on-field performance like he did in Preseason and Game 1 it has to affect the entire team. In my opinion, the primary reason for the Game 1 debacle End of rant.

But beat the Lions for first place in the Division. Look forward to seeing improvements across the board (especially in enthusiasm) as rookies gain some experience, coaches make adjustments, etc.

Go Pack Go!!

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Ferrari-Driver's picture

September 16, 2021 at 04:42 pm

Well I fully expect the Packers to come out against the Lions and literally tear them apart. I think the Packers had taken all the accolades that the media and everyone else was throwing their way to heart and all they had to do was show up and the Saints would lay down and roll over like a trained dog (and I do love dogs).

This week that team will show us what they can do when they are MAD, when they are HUNGRY, and when they have been EMBARRASSED on national TV the week before and if the Packers are as mad as I was during and after that game against the Saints, the Lions are going to be in for a long, long, day.

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jannes bjornson's picture

September 16, 2021 at 11:59 pm

Two starting All PROs on the O line were NOT on the field last Sunday. One on the PUP and one in SanDiego. Football players from all levels understand that reality. MVS is not a #2 WR, Lowry is a situational pass rush five tech, maybe ? and Lancaster a backup NT. Can Slayton fill that spot? Who in the hell selects these guys in the draft?

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VinceL's picture

September 16, 2021 at 05:07 pm

Did you mean “literally” LITERALLY, as in “well I fully expect the Packers to come out against the Lions and literally tear them apart”? Or was it just a “figurative” tearing apart? They must be LITERALLY MAD!

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Ferrari-Driver's picture

September 17, 2021 at 09:03 am

Just a figure of speech. Sorry if I offended you. I'm a pretty passionate Packers fan.

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