Aaron Rodgers knows the Green Bay Packers have to play better than this going forward.
Although they defeated the New England Patriots at home on Sunday, it required overtime and Green Bay did not look sharp vs. a rookie, third-string quarterback in Bailey Zappe. The former record-setter at Western Kentucky filled in marvelously for Brian Hoyer who suffered a head injury early in the game. Rodgers understands fully that the offense has to play better to keep winning.
Green Bay may have a great defense, but Rodgers knows this style of play is not sustainable.
“This way of winning, I don’t think, is sustainable because it puts too much pressure on our defense,” said Rodgers to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky. “And obviously, I’ve got to play better and will play better.”
Zappe might be way better than anticipated for a rookie, but this would have been a brutal home loss for the Packers. This is not a Patriots team from yesteryear under Tom Brady. New England is not a playoff-caliber team at this time. While they are getting quality quarterback play, they do not have the weapons offensively to hang tough in a shootout should the game require them to do so.
“You can’t be 2-2 losing to a third-string quarterback and not playing great in all three phases, so we had to have this one,” added Rodgers. “That doesn’t take anything away from the joy of winning, but this was one we had to have.”
The Packers find themselves in second place in the NFC North due to the 3-1 Minnesota Vikings having the early head-to-head tiebreaker from their Week 1 home win over Green Bay. While Minnesota has had its issues in the first quarter of the season, the Vikings too are finding ways to win games. They needed a missed field goal by the New Orleans Saints to win in London Sunday.
Aaron Rodgers is not satisfied with Green Bay Packers offense in Week 4 victory
There are a few things in the Packers’ favor going forward. One, the NFC is not on the AFC’s level this season. Even if the Packers stumble again down the line, which they will do because this is football, they should be one of the three to four best teams in the conference, even in a worst-case scenario. Rodgers also has time to build up his rapport with the receivers. Also, it’s Green Bay.
So playing in the weaker of the two conferences, having time on their side to develop chemistry and getting to play home games on the Frozen Tundra in November, December and January are all huge things working for the Packers. However, when was the last time Rodgers and the Packers had an elite defense? The 2010 Packers were an NFC Wild Card team that won the Super Bowl.
Ultimately, good teams find ways to win games they probably shouldn’t have. This is not about playing up vs. superior competition, but eking out victories vs. a lesser foe while essentially playing your C game. Obviously, anyone and everyone would take a 3-1 start to the season, but the best part for the Packers is they have a strong record, but have plenty of ways they can improve here.
Once Rodgers and his new receivers build up their rapport, this team is going to be hard to beat.