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Packers' Aaron Rodgers Pulled for Jordan Love amid Blowout by Jameis Winston, Saints

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 13, 2021

AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack

Aaron Rodgers' Week 1 came to an early end.

The Green Bay Packers fell behind 38-3 in the fourth quarter of Sunday's game against the New Orleans Saints and decided not to risk the starting quarterback's health in the waning stages of the blowout.

That meant Jordan Love had the opportunity to throw the first pass of his NFL career as he entered the game for Rodgers.

Whether Rodgers would return to the Packers was one of the biggest storylines of the NFL offseason. After all, the reigning MVP missed much of Green Bay's offseason activities, and ESPN's Adam Schefter reported in April he was "so disgruntled" he wanted out.

He eventually decided to return, although he and the team restructured his contract.

The new deal means he can become a free agent after the 2022 season without the Packers applying the franchise tag. If this is going to be his last year on the only NFL team he has ever known, it certainly didn't get off to an ideal start.

Rodgers was 15-of-28 for 133 yards, zero touchdowns and two interceptions while facing constant pressure from New Orleans' defensive front. He made multiple ill-advised throws, and the Saints secondary that featured Marshon Lattimore, Malcolm Jenkins and others kept star wide receiver Davante Adams in relative check.

The Packers, who went 13-3 in each of the last two seasons, have plenty of time to bounce back with Rodgers leading the way.

But the offense and defense on display Sunday are not going to be enough against some of the league's best teams. Rodgers deserves some of the blame, but the offensive line and defense also struggled throughout the contest against a fellow playoff contender.

That cleared the way for Love to get some experience, but it surely wasn't how the Packers envisioned him getting it.

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