This sentence would have made perfect sense in June or heck, even in July: Jordan Love completed his first NFL pass to Amari Rodgers for 19 yards in Sunday’s season opener against the New Orleans Saints.
But at this juncture? Shoot, that must’ve meant the enigmatic Aaron Rodgers and the rest of Green Bay’s dynamic offense scored so many points and piled up so many yards that Matt LaFleur sat the reigning MVP down to preserve his health and the Saints’ integrity.
Nope. Just the opposite.
The Packers passed the torch to Love in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s distasteful start to a season that has weighty expectations because of a 35-point deficit. They opted to trot out Love and preseason star Malik Taylor and other weapons pegged lower on the depth chart to escape further embarrassment.
Love played 26% of Green Bay’s snaps on offense -- that’s 15 of 57 plays to be precise -- and completed 71.4% of his throws for 68 yards in his first regular-season action of his young NFL career.
The positives in the immediate aftermath of Sunday’s meltdown were nonexistent. They still were indiscernible after a night’s sleep. So how about now, another day removed from the mayhem?
Did anything auspicious unfold for the Pack in Week 1?
It’s not much, especially given the absence of success running between the tackles -- for what it’s worth Green Bay never committed to establish the run -- but the Packers offensive line did a fairly good job.
From left to right, Elgton Jenkins, Lucas Patrick, rookies Josh Myers and Royce Newman, and Billy Turner played the duration of the game and kept Rodgers and Love clean save for a sack apiece.
Jenkins submitted the best performance of the bunch. He earned an 89.6 grade from Pro Football Focus and allowed a single pressure in 41 pass-blocking snaps. It was his first career start at left tackle.
Other notes from Sunday’s snap counts:
-- Randall Cobb was on the field for just 15 offensive snaps, tied for the fewest of any Green Bay receiver, in his first game for the Packers since Dec. 30, 2018. He was featured on consecutive plays in the game's final four minutes -- Cobb caught a 32-yard pass from Love and carried around the right end for a pickup of one. You can officially drop him from your fantasy team.
-- Surely it had more to do with game flow than closeness on the depth chart, but nonetheless rookie running back Kylin Hill played just two fewer snaps than second-year bruiser AJ Dillon. Their production was comparable. Dillon carried four times for a team-high 19 rushing yards (did we say team high? Yes, we did 🤢). The rookie from Mississippi State, a seventh-round pick, toted the rock five times for 14 yards.
-- Linebacker De'Vondre Campbell took on an extensive role in his Packers debut, playing nine more snaps than any other front-seven defender. Even with that workload, Campbell ranked second at his position with six stops (Krys Barnes posted eight tackles) and third overall.
-- Opportunities for Rashan Gary gradually increased from year one to year two. Is a breakout in store in year three? Maybe. He played 60% of Green Bay’s defensive snaps Sunday, which is encouraging considering his usage (24%; 44%) in his first two seasons. He didn’t record any tackles but he did make his presence felt, tallying two of the Pack’s three quarterback hits on the afternoon.
-- Eric Stokes of Georgia, of first-round fame … played eight snaps in Sunday’s gross game. We’re wondering why? Does Green Bay think that lowly of its first-round pick? Of the player supposed to help the organization get over the hump and return to the Super Bowl?? By all accounts you’d think Stokes would have played MORE given the condition of Green Bay’s secondary this past weekend. One of the better defensive plays against New Orleans actually came from the speedy Stokes. He closed ground to break up a pass on a pivotal third down in the third quarter. It was the only PBU for the Packers’ defense.