Although the Green Bay Packers are now 3-1, their win against the New England Patriots came against “the backup to a backup”, as some fans put it.
A win is a win, as the saying goes.
But in the NFL, who the win is against does factor into how that win should be evaluated.
The Packers are officially 3-1, but their last two wins have come from defeating significantly hampered offenses. In Week 3, Green Bay barely came away with a victory in a close 14-12 game against the Buccaneers, a game that came down to the wire in a failed last-minute two-point conversion.
Similarly, their Week 4 game was too close for comfort, as the Packers and Patriots headed into overtime with 24-24 on the scoreboard. Both teams got a possession after the Packers won the coin toss, and the Packers were able to win it with a field goal.
That means Green Bay almost lost to a Tom Brady-led squad without starting receivers, then they almost lost to Patriots rookie quarterback Bailey Zappe, the backup to Brian Hoyer, who is Mac Jones’ backup.
All that doesn’t bode well for the strength of the Packers, which is why some fans from around the league remained critical of the Packers, even with their win.
NFL fans question Packers after team nearly loses to Patriots, Buccaneers
As far as Rodgers’ game, he threw an uncharacteristic interception and two passing touchdowns, completing 21 of 35 passing attempts for 251 yards.
By contrast, the Patriots passed for 104 yards between Zappe and Hoyer, which is underwhelming compared to what Rodgers managed in the game.
The fact that two backup quarterbacks went toe-to-toe with a future Hall of Fame quarterback and nearly won speaks volumes about Belichick’s coaching, as well as the Packers straying a little to close to the edge these past few weeks.
For those interested in learning more about how Rodgers typically fares against backup quarterbacks, Packers.com’s Mike Spofford detailed that history in a piece for the team’s website.