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3 Packers most responsible for Green Bay’s blowout loss to Saints

Packers, Packers Saints, Matt LaFleur, Joe Barry, Aaron Rodgers

The Green Bay Packers were embarrassed by the New Orleans Saints in Week 1 in their 38-3 defeat. New Orleans dominated every phase of the game and it sent a shockwave through Wisconsin.

Matt LaFleur’s squad will need a big bounce back when they host the Detroit Lions on Monday Night Football in Week 2.

As for Week 1, here are the three Packers most responsible for Green Bay’s blowout loss to the Saints.

Matt LaFleur

This one is pretty cut-and-dry. When you’re the head coach and your team has all offseason to get ready for Week 1 and they come out lay an egg like that, some of the blame rightfully goes on the shoulders of the head coach.

LaFleur knows this and owned up to it in his postgame presser following the blowout.

Green Bay came out flat, lacked any sort of energy and the execution for LaFleur’s offense was nonexistent. When a team comes out as lethargic as the Packers did, it’s partially the job of the coach to get them fired up or find a way to wake them up. That didn’t happen for Green Bay against the Saints at any juncture of the contest. The Saints stuck it to the Packers early and never looked back.

The offense had Packers fans cringing as it looked like horror scenes of what was viewed in the last two years of the Mike McCarthy era in Green Bay. Even when Aaron Rodgers did have time, he scanned the field over and over again but nobody was getting open. And of course there were times when the offensive line broke down right from the jump and had some questioning the move to start two rookies up front.

LaFleur’s scheme was bottled up by Dennis Allen and the Packers will try and rebound and take that anger out on the Lions in Week 2.

Aaron Rodgers

All the talk in the offseason swirled around whether or not Aaron Rodgers would return to the Packers and whether or not the retirement whispers held any weight. According to the reigning MVP they did, but the still came back.

Green Bay’s offense was unstoppable for much of last season and a big reason for that was the play of No. 12. In Week 1, he looked like a shell of himself and missed some pretty routine timing routes that he typically could make blindfolded.

The Packers’ offense was completely out of sync and while it’s true that the receivers weren’t getting much separation at all, when they did, Rodgers often times seemed hesitant to pull the trigger.

Hopefully this was just a Week 1 “shake off the rust” scenario for Green Bay and nothing more than that. They’ve been good at laying one baffling performance a year under LaFleur, they just haven’t come in Week 1. Maybe this was that for Green Bay.

Rodgers knows he needs to be far better and that starts in Week 2 against a Lions defense that has a bunch of holes and just lost their top cornerback Jeff Okudah for the year to a ruptured achilles.

Green Bay’s offense needs to find the balance and come out swinging on Monday night.

Joe Barry

Of all the frustrations in Week 1, perhaps none was more enraging than the defense for Green Bay.

It’s one thing to go out and not execute, it’s the NFL and that happens. Some Sunday’s you’re just going to be had and that’s partially what happened with the Packers against the Saints.

To be setup and put in spots to fail before the snap is even taken is on a whole different level.

Joe Barry, Green Bay’s new defensive coordinator, should be embarrassed about the blueprint he laid out in Week 1.

It was much of the same that Packers fans saw out of Dom Capers and Mike Pettine and that included cornerbacks playing 7 or 8 yards off of the wide receivers, very little blitzing, and the most vanilla play calling imaginable.

Jameis Winston was good for the Saints on Sunday but he was not spectacular. That’s because he didn’t have to be.

New Orleans took one real shot down the field all afternoon (55-yard touchdown to Deonte Harris) and Winston only threw for 148 yards on 14 completions. It became apparent early on that Barry wasn’t going to change things up for the Packers’ defense and the Saints kept it simple and it worked.

Barry had two previous stints in past year’s as a defensive coordinator. His first stint was with the Lions in 2007-08 and in both years Detroit ranked dead last in yards allowed and points allowed. His second chance came with Washington in 2015 and 2016. His defenses in those two years ranked 28th in yards allowed both seasons.

This was LaFleur’s hand picked buddy to take over the defense and it’s a group littered with great talent like Za’Darius Smith, Jaire Alexander, Kenny Clark, Adrian Amos and a lot more. Joe Barry better figure it out quickly.