Mistakes, mistakes, mistakes. In the NFL, a single mistake can cost you a game. This Sunday, multiple mistakes in the Packers season opener dug a hole too deep to climb out of against Minnesota.
Early season mistakes are to be expected in the NFL, especially with the number of young players the Packers have. However, when mistakes pile up and cost games the patience for these young players begins to wear thin.
Massive Mistake to Start the Game
A painful mistake came on the first play of offense for Green Bay. Rookie receiver Christian Watson dropped a pass that surely would have resulted in a 75 yard touchdown. The drive lost steam, and the Packers ended up punting away the football. Watson showed that he definitely has the speed and prototypical body type to excel in the NFL, but he will have to figure out how to control his nerves as a new player in the league.
Mistakes by the Defense Were Also Costly
Lots of mistakes were made the Packers offense, but the defense was far from playing sound either. Justin Jefferson scored a touchdown on the first drive of the game and things kept snowballing from there. Jefferson found himself with ample space on a number of plays as a result of blown assignments in the Packers’ secondary, and the Vikings rolled into halftime leading 17-0.
Green Bay played much better in the second half of the outing, seemingly correcting many of the mistakes that plagued the first half of the game. The defense held strong in the second half and allowed the offense to get the wheels turning. Green Bay showed glimmers of hope as they put together a couple of really nice drives, but were only able to come out of those drives with 7 points. The damage had already been done early, and Minnesota held off the late efforts by Green Bay to win 23-7.
Correcting Mistakes and Moving Forward
When asked about the game in the post-game press conference, Packers Head Coach Matt LaFleur said “Obviously wasn’t very good…..We knew going into the game stopping their lead dogs really offensively and defensively were going to be an important part of it, and certainly we didn’t get that done.”
LaFleur also acknowledged the mistakes that were made by the coaching staff. “We have to coach so much better. This is two years in a row where we’ve come out in week one and have not looked prepared. So, all of us will look inward and make the necessary corrections, because there’s no time to feel sorry for yourself in this league and we know were going to battle a Chicago Bears team that’s going to be coming in flying high off a big time upset of the 49ers.”
Losses like this provide an opportunity for learning and growth when handled in the proper way. Hopefully the Packers, players and coaches alike, can bounce back from the mistakes made in the season opener.