The Green Bay Packers blew a 12-point fourth quarter lead on their way to a devastating 25-24 loss to the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday. In the aftermath of the game, fans and analysts pointed the finger of responsibility to a variety of players, from AJ Dillon to David Bakhtiari to Jordan Love. Some also blamed coaches Matt LaFleur and Joe Barry for being out-coached.
The players themselves, though, were not blaming one another. Love told reporters he takes full responsibility for the botched quarterback sneak that resulted in a penalty and could have preserved the lead for Green Bay. He said he did not give the right “live” word in his cadence. Facing the music alone at the podium was a great step in his development as a leader.
Speaking of leaders, Rashan Gary is one of the most important players on the defense. While he was still playing on a pitch count in Week Two, he was also one of the Packers’ most impactful players. Unlike many on this young team, he has gone through bad losses before, and had a stern message for the rookies who experienced one for the first time,
Rashan Gary Has a Stern Message for Green Bay Packers Rookies
When speaking to reporters after the game about how to overcome and bounce back from a tough loss, and how the rookies on the team will handle it, Gary said:
“The message for the young guys is to watch how the vets work and watch how they attack this week. They gonna find out.”
Gary is especially known for his intense work ethic. He has been able to return to the gridiron less than one year since tearing his ACL against the Detroit Lions last year. If there is any player for the rookies on defense to look to for how to get after it following a loss, it is Gary.
Rashan Gary Does Not Think the Green Bay Packers Should Panic
The loss was a brutal one, especially to blow the game in such a fashion. However, Gary does not think the Packers have hit the panic button yet:
“What week is this? Week Two? We got so much football to be played. At the end of the day, we have got to be critical of ourselves in all three phases and come back next week, at home and show out. That’s it. Put together what we know, and play good, that’s it.”
Fortunately for Green Bay, every other team in the NFC North lost on Sunday as well. The Packers and Lions are each 1-1 while the Vikings and Bears are 0-2.
As Gary said, there is plenty of football left to be played, but for the moment the Packers sit atop the division because their win came against a divisional opponent. If the Packers can maintain the level of play they had in the second and third quarters on Sunday, they may be able to stay there.
The Green Bay Packers Look Ahead to the New Orleans Saints
The Packers will play the New Orleans Saints in their home opener at noon on Sunday. New Orleans is coming off of a 20-17 win over the Carolina Panthers on Monday Night Football and sit at 2-0.
Their victory, however, came at a cost. Former Packers running back Jamaal Williams had to leave the game with a hamstring injury. Due to another hamstring injury to Kendre Miller and Alvin Kamara’s suspension, the Saints only have one other running back on their active roster.
For a Green Bay defense that has struggled in run defense, this is a good situation to be in. However, they will need to account for Taysom Hill, who rushed nine times for 75 yards against the Panthers.
Offensively, Jordan Love and the offense may face their toughest task yet. The Saints defense has held their opponents to under 20 points in 10 straight games dating back to last season.
Hopefully Aaron Jones, Christian Watson, and David Bakhtiari will be able to play. Elgton Jenkins will be out for a few weeks with a MCL sprain.