Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers are dangerously close to a famous “run the table” rallying cry that has run its course, with Sunday’s 15-9 defeat setting another low for their sputtering 2022 season.
The Packers have now lost five in a row with Rodgers quarterback since 2008, their reigning back-to-back MVP who threw an equal number of career-high three interceptions to bring his year tally to seven — his most since 2016.
A nine-point, three-pick outing came against the runaway worst defense in the league, who fired defensive back coach Aubrey Pleasant this week after a five-game losing streak, as well as a week that passed the trade deadline without any additions to a broken offense despite reports of a strong run in Las Vegas Raiders tight end Darren Waller and former Pittsburgh Steelers now-Chicago Bears receiver Chase Claypool.
On Sunday night, star Aaron Jones, promising rookie receiver Romeo Doubs and young cornerback Eric Stokes Ford Field walked out on walking boots due to injuries sustained during the game.
The script may have reached the pinnacle of ugliness as social media reflected on a Vontae Davis-type rest after two red zone picks, before a third “Jeopardy!” called. (Rodgers once hosted it) jokes. Rapper Lil Wayne even popped in by suggesting that Green Bay should have parted ways with their iconic passerby ahead of the season.
Rodgers looked dejected as he tried to cope with a setback that left their season on the brink of capitulation with no return.
“I’ve been knocked out many times in my life, just like many of my teammates,” he told reporters. “I hope we just dig deep and find a way.
“We will really be underdogs for a lot of future games, hopefully we can embrace that.
“We have two games at home, we have to win those two games and then this will look a little different.”
Rodgers, who agreed to a $200 million four-year contract extension in March but lost to Davante Adams, was asked if he regretted his decision not to retire during the off-season. A reporter suggested he looked “miserable at times” against the Lions.
“I think that’s an exaggeration,” Rodgers said. “Frustration and misery are two different emotions.
“When I decided to come back it was all in and I don’t make decisions and regret such a decision afterwards.
“I was all in and this is definitely a lot of life lessons this year. But luckily it’s not over yet, there are still a lot of games to go, we will probably be knocked out by man and we’ll see how he reacts.” “
The Packers sit 3-6 in an NFC North led by the Minnesota Vikings ahead of a meeting with a 6-2 Dallas Cowboys squad fresh off a farewell week, while head coach Matt LaFleur has to ponder whether to make a quarterback substitution.
“No, no,” was the whispered reply to the latter.
“We’ve got eight games to go and we’ve got to hold on, we’ve got the Dallas Cowboys coming in Lambeau,” he said.
“They are riding high now, play-off caliber team, stars everywhere. We need to get back to work, come up with a better plan to put our boys in a better position and compete in Lambeau.”
Rodgers finished the game 23 of 43, passing for 291 yards, a 20-yard touchdown pass to Allen Lazard and three of the most face-scrunching picks of his career.
The first of his three interceptions came at the five-yard line in the first quarter when a dagger intended for Lazard bounced off Derrick Barnes’ helmet and into the waiting hands of safety Kerby Joseph in the end zone. The second arrived fourth and one on Detroit’s one-yard line in the second quarter as he tried to find left tackle David Bakhtiari, only to pick out rookie edge rusher Aidan Hutchinson instead, and the third piled on trouble. of the Packers while trailing 8-0 in the third quarter when Joseph struck again on the Lions’ three-yard line to refuse a pass to Robert Tonyan.
What followed was an animated Rodgers on the sidelines in an image that somewhat typified the frustration of his season so far.
“Yeah, I’ve definitely had a few s***** throws,” Rodgers said. “You know, the child [Joseph] made a nice one [pick] in the middle, but the other two, I probably should have just checked out that game and dropped the ball or changed the route at first. And then, yeah, I was just a little off balance and threw a bad one at Dave (Bakhtiari) in the back.”
LaFleur’s Packers find themselves in uncharted, unimaginable territory behind their all-powerful quarterback, stumbling with a stagnant attack and staring at the increasingly likely prospect of a January without playoff football.
“I’m sure he’s extremely frustrated, just like all of us,” LaFleur said of his dejected signal caller. “I don’t think we’ve been in this situation, I know we haven’t been in this situation since my time, I don’t think he’s been in this situation too often during his career. It’s disappointment and frustrating, but I think we can probably all manage that frustration better.”
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