After a very disappointing Week 1 loss to the Saints, let’s take a look at who PFF graded as the best players from that game.
The one bright spot on the offense was the offensive line. Despite what it seemed like to the fans, the offensive line gave Rodgers plenty of time to make throws, but the wide receivers could not get open.
Anchoring the offensive line was Elgton Jenkins, who started at left tackle in place of All-Pro David Bakhtiari. Elgton Jenkins had the highest PFF grade of any Packers player. PFF awarded him an 89.6 grade (Elite). Elgton Jenkins is going to cost a lot of money once his contract is up.
Other members of the offensive line who posted good PFF grades were Lucas Patrick and Josh Meyers. They graded out at 73.9 (Above Average) and 71.9 (Above Average), respectively. In fact, Josh Meyers post the highest PFF grade of any rookie IOL, as well as the highest pass-blocking grade for any offensive linemen.
Although it was in garbage time, Jordan Love put up a valiant effort, receiving the 2nd highest offensive PFF grade for the Packers with a 76.8 (Above Average). The future looks bright for the young QB.
Rounding out the offensive grades, Big Dog, Marcedes Lewis led the skill position players with a PFF grade of 75 (Above Average). In fact, 37-year-old Marcedes Lewis led the Packers in yards-after-catch. Lewis is a great player and phenomenal blocker, but he cannot be the leader in yards-after-catch for the Packers’ offense to succeed.
Despite allowing 38 points, the Packers’ defense played fairly well in the first half. They were on the field for 75% of the first half in the heat. The offense was doing them no favors. To much surprise, Za’darius Smith didn’t play much in Sunday’s contest, but it was another Smith that stole the show.
Preston Smith was given the highest PFF grade by any defensive player on the team with an 86.3 (High quality). Unfortunately, Preston was unable to wrack up any sacks, but he did notch a QB hit.
Along with Smith, Oren Burks was the only other front-7 played to come in the top-5 for the defensive unit. PFF gave Burks a grade of 73.8 (Above Average) for his play against the Saints. Burks only played 7 defensive snaps, but in those 7 snaps, PFF thinks he played very well.
Other than Smith and Burks, PFF did not appreciate much of the defensive front-7 for the Packers. However, the Packers’ secondary graded out fairly well. Rookie CB Eric Stokes led the Green Bay secondary with a PFF grade of 79.3 (Above Average). Stokes only played in 8 defensive snaps, but in those 8 plays, he notched the team’s only pass defense. Hopefully, it’s sooner than later that we see Stokes in the starting lineup, as Kevin King had a 46.8 PFF grade.
Of course, the secondary’s two best players Jaire Alexander and Adrian Amos, make this list. Jaire was given a PFF grade of 75.9 (Above Average), and Amos was given a PFF grade of 75.1 (Above Average). Jaire was Jaire. We know what he is going to give us every game. Amos made a costly mistake that turned into a TD, but he played a very solid game other than that.
Aaron Rodgers was the lowest graded player on the Packers with a PFF grade of 43.3. Yes, worse than Kevin King’s. Newly re-signed Aaron Jones was given a PFF grade of 53.2. Two of the Packers’ top-tier players from last season did not come to play in week 1. For the Packers’ offense to succeed, they need to play better.
The lowest graded player on defense was Kingsley Keke, with a PFF grade of 36.8. He was the lowest-graded player on the entire team. There was a lot of optimism around Keke. Many hoped he would finally give Kenny Clark some help on the defensive line. In this game, at least, that did not happen. Another member of the front-7 disappointed in their 2021 debut. Krys Barnes, who many view as the future at ILB for the Packers, was given a very poor PFF grade of 42.2.
All in all, 7 Packers starters graded in the bottom 10 (4 on offense, 3 on defense)
- Aaron Jones 53.2
- Allen Lazard 50.3
- Kevin King 46.8
- Robert Tonyan 44.2
- Aaron Rodgers 43.3
- Krys Barnes 42.2
- Kingsley Keke 36.8
Hopefully, this game was an outlier, and the Packers get back their mojo on Monday Night Football against the Lions.