Joe Barry, Packers defensive coordinator (⬇️ DOWN)
As the cliché goes, you only have one chance to make a first impression. Needless to say, Barry’s initial outing as Green Bay defensive coordinator did not go well. We’re surprised there’s not a Go Fund me page set up to pay for his moving expenses out of town. In the Packers’ season-opening loss to New Orleans, new Saints starting quarterback Jameis Winston threw five touchdowns with no interceptions. Again, the guy who threw 30 picks in 2019 and has the worst interception percentage of any active quarterback (min. 1,000 attempts), not only wasn’t intercepted but had five TDs even with Michael Thomas out. On a couple of the throws, Saints receivers had no one within five yards. Oh, and New Orleans also ran for 4.4 yards per carry, were 5-for-10 on third-down conversions and 2-for-2 on fourth downs while punting just twice. The Packers rank 29th in Football Outsiders' Defense-adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA) after one game, and dead last in passing DVOA. It’s only one week, but … eesh.
Aaron Rodgers, Packers quarterback (⬇️ DOWN)
Remember when it came out that New Orleans wanted to move the game against Green Bay to Jacksonville because Rodgers had not fared well in Florida previously? Rodgers himself labeled it “useless information.” Who’s laughing now? Rodgers had one of the worst games of his career Sunday as the Packers were humiliated by the Saints 38-3 in the season opener. He posted the fourth-lowest passer rating of his career, 36.8, in completing 15 of 28 passes for 133 yards with two interceptions. His three worst, in case you were wondering: 34.3 at Buffalo in 2014, 34.7 at Detroit in 2010 (he left this game early with an injury) and 35.4 at Tampa Bay in 2020. Of Rodgers’ six worst passer ratings as a starter, four have occurred in Florida (three at Tampa Bay, the other two occurring in 2008 and ’09). The good news: Green Bay won’t play in Florida again during the regular season and the Lions at home (Rodgers’ career passer ratings: Home – 108.5; vs, Lions: 106.2), are on deck.
Corbin Burnes, Brewers starting pitcher (⬆️ UP)
Yeah, we all would have liked to have seen Burnes come out for the ninth inning Saturday to finish off a no-hitter. We’ll have to be satisfied, however, that Burnes, who walked one and struck out 14 in his eight innings of work, had the best start in Brewers history in terms of Game Score. Exactly one month earlier we posted a video of the top-five starts for Milwaukee … and that very day Burnes allowed four hits in eight shutout innings with no walks and 15 whiffs. We appreciate him waiting a bit longer so our video at least had a month’s shelf life.
Eric Lauer, Brewers starting pitcher (⬆️ UP)
The Milwaukee left-hander certainly has been in a groove. Over his last 12 games, which includes 11 starts, dating back to June 27, Lauer has a 1.84 ERA and opponent slash line of .192/.262/.266. His ERA heading into his June 27 start against Colorado was 5.21. It is now 3.10. Lauer took a no-hitter into the sixth inning in his last start – finishing with one run allowed in 5 1/3 innings while striking out eight – and went seven innings in each of his two previous starts before that. Opponents must just shake their heads at Milwaukee’s starting rotation when someone like Lauer is the No. 4 or No. 5 guy.
Brewers pitching staff (⬆️ UP)
Worth mentioning: Milwaukee played in five games last week and allowed just 15 hits and three earned runs in 46 innings. This seems good.
Jalen Berger, Badgers running back (⬆️ UP)
A week ago Wisconsin fans were wondering what happened to the 2020 leading rusher, who didn’t play a snap in the season opener. But last Saturday, Berger was back on the field, getting 15 carries and gaining 62 yards with a touchdown. Looks like he’s back in the rotation with Chez Mellusi.
Isaac Guerendo, Badgers running back (⬆️ UP)
If anyone claims Wisconsin doesn’t have any speed on the team, just show them this over and over again.