Packers: Did Aaron Rodgers hurt offense with lack of snaps?

Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /

There aren’t many things you can nitpick when it comes to Aaron Rodgers and his master of football, but did sitting out the preseason hurt more than it helped?

If you watched this Green Bay Packers offense only put up seven points in Minnesota in Week 1, then you may think that could be the case.

It’s no secret that a lot of veteran players play limited snaps during the preseason to avoid injury, but with the cloud of uncertainty hanging over this Packers defense, Rodgers had plenty of motivation to work with this offense in the post-Davante Adams world.

Packers: Preseason games should matter for Aaron Rodgers

One narrative you’re going to hear all season long is missing Adams’ production on the field. Which is a fair point considering what Adams and Rodgers accomplished during their tenure.

Fox, perhaps a bit on the nose, kept informing the Packers faithful of what Adams was doing in his first game as a Raider compared to what the Packers receivers were doing in Minnesota.

Adams outgained the Packers’ wide receiver corps 141 yards to 120 on Sunday. It’s no secret that a veteran of Adams’ caliber is most likely to dwarf what any Packers receiver does this season.

Which begs the question: should Rodgers have played this preseason?

The preseason is made for players looking to turn heads and backup players looking to earn their keep. While starting Jordan Love in all three preseason games makes sense for future purposes, Rodgers playing with Romeo Doubs, Christian Watson, and Sammy Watkins was a bigger priority heading into the season opener.

There was a similar scenario last year: the Packers drafted Amari Rodgers to take over that young Randall Cobb slot-slot position. Rodgers didn’t play last year’s preseason and the trust factor between the Rodgers connection simply did not exist.

Rodgers will develop timing and trust with his young receiving corps as the season progresses, but with wins and losses looming large, the regular season punishes teams that aren’t on the same page.

This Packers offense needs to figure it out sooner rather than later or another 13-win, deep playoff run season may not be in the cards.

Packers: Rodgers needs to reward offense after Sunday’s blunder

If you’re a believer in football karma, then the start of the first offensive drive had you pulling your hair out. After watching Justin Jefferson have his way with the Packers’ secondary, Rodgers was gifted, well — a gift.

Watson, on a go-route, had beaten Patrick Peterson, who had fallen on the route, for what would’ve been a touchdown to even the game at 7-7.

Instead, Watson dropped the ball and the Packers wouldn’t sniff the end zone until the third quarter. Doubs, who had a noticeable preseason in Watson’s absence, barely caught Rodgers’ eye. Watkins, who was supposed to step into that leadership role, also had a forgettable debut.

Rodgers is going to target Aaron Jones, AJ Dillon, and Robert Tonyan because their hands aren’t going to let him down. But that’s not how an MVP QB should attack this offensive scheme heading into Week 2.

Rodgers has to put behind a game where his receivers did get open, but perhaps the performance of a shaky offensive line, or moving off targets too soon caused a sped-up internal clock in Minnesota.

Not every throw has to be an articulated throw over the tightest of windows. Get the ball into pass catchers’ hands and let the game come to them.

The key to a successful offense is spreading the ball around. When you have one of the most gifted throwers of the football at the helm, putting receivers in spots for chunk plays, yards after the catch, and red zone targets should come with ease.

The makings of the back-to-back MVP awards were largely due to Adams’ production, but he’s not here anymore. It’s time to fall in love with the toys you’ve been given this season.

It’s easy to play armchair quarterback, but when numbers don’t lie, there will have to be change, growing pains, trust, whatever shape it must take for this Packers offense to get going.