GREEN BAY, Wis. – If Week 1 of the NFL season brings calamity, Week 2 brings calm.
In Week 1, the Buffalo Bills lost at home 23-16 to the Pittsburgh Steelers and the New England Patriots lost at home 17-16 to the Miami Dolphins. In Week 2, the Patriots won 25-6 at the New York Jets and the Bills rebounded and knocked the Dolphins down several pegs with a 35-0 win in Miami.
In the greatest example of the sky isn’t falling, the Tennessee Titans lost 38-13 at home against the Arizona Cardinals last week. On Sunday, the Titans invaded Seattle and beat the Seahawks 33-30 in overtime.
Those results drive home the fact that there are three absolutes in life: death, taxes and Week 1 NFL overreaction.
The Green Bay Packers, of course, were humiliated 38-3 by the New Orleans Saints in their season-opening game.
“Obviously, we’ve got to play better but, if we’re starting to freak out after one week, we’re in big trouble,” quarterback Aaron Rodgers said on Thursday.
No team has ever won a Super Bowl in Week 1. Just ask the Saints. Flying high after embarrassing the Packers, they were drubbed 26-7 by the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. And, aside from a crushing injury to a star quarterback, no team has ever lost a Super Bowl in Week 1. That’s why, when the Packers looked down the tunnel, they saw a light and not an oncoming train.
“I think we take it for what it is sometimes,” receiver Davante Adams said on Thursday. “There’s a lot of games. It’s a lot of football this year, 17 games, so we’ve got a lot of opportunities to come back and respond. We’ve got a lot of confidence. We know what we’re about as a team. We know the type of players that we have in the locker room, so there’s no real reason to freak out, especially when it’s such a weird game like it was. It kind of makes it easier to bounce back. We’ve got it out of the way, first game. All we can do is look on to the next one.”
Opponents See Green Light Against Packers’ Red-Zone Defense
The Green Bay Packers' all-time bad defense in the red zone stands in stark contrast to its performance on the other 80 yards.
Bakhtiari Expected to Make Practice Debut This Week
Speaking a day after his Green Bay Packers posted a fifth consecutive win, coach Matt LaFleur revealed a bunch of injury information on Monday.
Teams that won in Week 1 went just 7-9 in Week 2. Meanwhile, headed into Monday night, teams that lost in Week 1 were 8-6 in Week 2. Ten games featured a Week 1 winner vs. a Week 2 loser. Six times, the outcomes were reversed.
It’s no wonder why coach Matt LaFleur on Friday wondered why reporters kept bringing up the loss to New Orleans and why his players were so loose all week. While fans are reluctant to turn the page, going under the assumption that what happened in Week 1 is a harbinger of things to come, the team is quick to turn the page because that’s life in the NFL.
The Packers have been great the past two seasons. What are the odds that they’ve suddenly become terrible?
“I think we’re a good team,” Rodgers said. “We’ve been a good team for the last few years, so good teams don’t usually have poor performances back to back.”
The Packers are a good team. Anyone who says otherwise has an incredibly short memory. Over the past two regular seasons, Green Bay won 26 games – tied with Kansas City for tops in the NFL. LaFleur’s teams were 6-0 after a loss. In each of the last four games after a loss, Rodgers threw four touchdowns vs. zero interceptions.
“I’m not going to make it bigger than it was. I’ll let you guys on the outside world do all that,” Rodgers said. “Look, we’ve won a lot of games around here. We’ve lost a few. But you move on. It doesn’t matter if you play incredible and put up 50 or you get blown out, you move on to the next opponent. There shouldn’t be some big, drastic change and alteration the way that we do things, the way we practice, the way we prepare. If it’s good enough to get you to this point, then it’s good enough from this point forward.”
The Packers are heavy favorites for Monday night’s game against the Detroit Lions. Rodgers is a big reason why. In the game following LaFleur’s first six losses, he posted a 125.0 passer rating. Rodgers is really good. Davante Adams is really good. Running back Aaron Jones is really good.
With a bunch of really good players, led by a really good coach, Green Bay figures to bounce back.
“You have to have great players in this league,” LaFleur said in explaining his success. “I say that kind of tongue in cheek, but there’s a lot of truth to that. Also, just being consistent, having high standards and people believing in that and upholding those standards. I think there’s nothing more powerful than when the players uphold the standard and kind of set it for you. I think we’ve got a great locker room here that takes that to heart.”