Mondays are already painful. Mondays after a soul crushing Packers playoff loss are even worse. Add in that this is very likely the end of an era for Green Bay and this is worst Monday that ever Monday’d.
The post-mortem on the 13-10 loss to the San Francisco 49ers has been more painful than usual. It very well could be the last time we see Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams (plus a plethora of others) in a Packers uniform. Green Bay’s salary cap is a hot mess and the team will look very different when they reconvene for training camp in six months.
In the immediate future however, all eyes are on Rodgers. Whether he would even play this season was the story that dominated most of the offseason discussion and when he did finally show up to Green Bay in July, he was able to coax the team into trading for Randall Cobb and going “all-in” on the 2021 season, a stark shift from how the Packers normally operate.
Rodgers repaid that by having another MVP performance in the regular season but once the playoffs started, he laid an egg.
Green Bay’s special teams deserve their fair share of blame for a historically bad performance after a historically bad season, but your star players should elevate the team in the postseason and instead Rodgers buried them into the ground. Look no further than that long throw into double coverage that had no business even being thrown.
During past playoff exits, Rodgers had something he could pin the blame on and it was usually the defense. This time he has no such excuse although the special teams definitely give him some cover and something for fans to blame more than their quarterback.
The truth is however that if Rodgers played better, the impact of those special teams miscues would have been minimized. One more field goal or touchdown probably would have done it but he couldn’t even get the offense that far as three and outs fell upon the Packers like snowflakes on the Lambeau Field grass.
Viewing the season as a whole, Rodgers owns this failure. He put the team through hell in the offseason and during the season with his false rants about COVID-19 and the pandemic. He made up for it during the regular season but once the playoffs started, he curled up into a fetal position like a child. This should not have been a surprise, given his toddler-like behavior over the past nine months.
He has no one to blame but himself this time and the excuses are over. Just like his time in Green Bay could and probably should be.
The Packers are staring down a full rebuild and Rodgers made it clear he wants no part of that, so it’s time to get some assets for him and move on.
This is probably the way forward. Build up the defense to the point where Jordan Love will just need to be competent. He has shown nothing that makes us believe he will be a superstar NFL quarterback but if they can beef up the defense, he won’t need to be.
Rodgers let down his defense in the playoffs. That’s not a typo, it’s the truth.
Credit given where credit is due and the 49ers handled the Packers well, even if Green Bay’s offensive game plan was dubious.
The Packers have never really prioritized special teams in recent years but the season-long debacle should be enough to change that, hopefully starting with a new coordinator. Again.
Hopefully this good girl got all the sausage she wanted after such a traumatic experience.