When the news broke that Aaron Rodgers would be reuniting with the Green Bay Packers for at least one more season over the summer, there were sighs of relief heard throughout the state of Wisconsin and groans of dread from the rest of the country and league. History has taught us that when an athlete and generational talent like Rodgers feels disrespected and pissed off heading into a season, they will bend the world to their will. Even if, in this case, Rodgers felt disrespected by his own team instead of the greater media narrative or whatever.
In short, everybody was under the assumption that Rodgers would be going scorched earth for all of 2021 to prove to the Packers that they shouldn't mess with him and remind the world at large what we'd be missing if Rodgers stepped away. Given he is coming off the best season of his career and an MVP, it was a fairly safe bet.
But nothing matters until snaps are played. Rodgers and the Packers marched to Jacksonville to play the New Orleans Saints after Hurricane Ida forced the home team to change venues. And by God, did the Saints absolutely annihilate Rodgers and his teammates. It was a bloodbath. Here is a helpful PFF-certified advanced analytic to show how bad this beatdown was.
Rodgers threw two picks against the New Orleans defense. He didn't throw a pick until Week 5 in 2020. That does not happen often.
The Packers did not score a touchdown through three quarters and failed to convert on a single third down in that same timespan. It was just an embarrassing showing that left Rodgers shaking his head.
It was a no-good, very bad day for Rodgers and the offense at large. He eventually got pulled for Jordan Love after the Saints went up 38-3 in the middle of the fourth.
Week 1 performances are merely fodder for viral overreactions, of course. He's going to be fine and so are the Packers. But man, scoring exactly zero touchdowns in the opening game of the season is not quite the start Rodgers or any of us imagined.