It was a strange environment in NFL discussion circles this time last week, a few days after Aaron Rodgers laid an egg against the New Orleans Saints in the opening game of the Green Bay Packers' 2021 NFL season. Week 1 is a breeding ground for overreaction, but players on Rodgers' level are usually exempt. Average players who start the season off poorly are immediately questioned and many wonder aloud if they are actually any good at all. When Rodgers or Patrick Mahomes or Tom Brady don't get off to a stellar start, people write it off as a bad week and move on.
Normally that is what happens, anyway. It was different with Rodgers this time. In part because the 38-3 beatdown Rodgers and his teammates received is far worse than we're accustomed to seeing from them, but also because of Rodgers' offseason. Numerous pundits took the podium to explain how an offseason spent deflecting questions about his future and playing golf rather than "focusing on football" simply must have played a factor in his terrible opening week performance.
As Monday night's domination of the Detroit Lions proved, it turns out that Rodgers is actually the same guy we've watched for a decade. He threw for 255 yards and four touchdowns in an efficient performance, cranking the dial up in the second half to put away Detroit for good. He had his usual cadre of insane throws that makes you wonder if this guy is really playing the same sport as everybody else.
The Rodgers talk felt silly last week and feels even more so today, where columns just like this will populate the internet. Turns out Aaron Rodgers is good! Who could've guessed!
It should be a lesson about making more of something than it ever needs to be, but we haven't learned that lesson yet and it would be quite a shock if we took it to heart now.