With snow swirling through Lambeau Field, the Packers’ realistic playoff hopes likely disappeared as well.
During Thursday night’s 27-17 loss to the Tennessee Titans, Aaron Rodgers missed a number of throws as disenchanted fans booed the Packers.
“Interesting,” Rodgers said of the boos. “That’s all I can say.”
During the evening, Rodgers passed for 227 yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions and a rating of 94.7. It’s hardly a bad night on the surface, but Rodgers misfired on passes he’s long been on target with, which resulted in Green Bay’s sixth loss in its last seven games. On Thursday, he missed several passes badly as well.
It was apparent Rodgers’ play was sub-par, but he wasn’t sure why, though he wasn’t quick to blame the injured right thumb he’s been nursing since Week 5.
The two-time AP NFL Most Valuable Player couldn’t explain it. “I don’t want to make excuses for my thumb. It’s been the same since New York. I don’t know. I’ll have to look back. I felt like I was in a good spot on the surface. But I didn’t have a consistent grip and the ball didn’t come out the same way. There was wind tonight, so I threw a lot of kinda wobblers. I just missed a few throws that I should have.”
Early in the fourth quarter, trailing 27-17, the Packers came away with no points over their final four possessions with thoughts of a comeback still dancing through their heads.
On third down, Rodgers missed Sammy Watkins by at least three yards on a crossing route after a three-and-out with two incompletions. In the second three-and-out, Rodgers missed a wide-open Sammy Watkins by at least three yards. On fourth-and-3, Rodgers skidded the ball past Allen Lazard. During Green Bay’s final possession, Aaron Jones was stuffed for no gain on fourth-and-1, so the Packers turned it over on downs.
Rodgers is not the Rodgers anyone expected at the start of the season.
Despite winning in overtime against the Dallas Cowboys, the Titans ground out any thoughts of a turnaround.
We showed a lot last week, the possibilities,” Rodgers said. “This week, we didn’t play as complimentary.”
Though it’s still technically autumn, it’s more than likely that the Packers are in the winter of their 2022 campaign. They’re currently 10th in the NFC standings and seem to have been searching all season long for their identity, for a rhythm, for anything to keep their expectations alive.
Rodgers still believes, but much like too many of his passes on Thursday, it seems his playoff hopes have gone astray.
“We need to play to our potential,” Rodgers said. “If we play up to our potential, we can win our next six games. I’m confident of that.”