2021 Week 3 - That's What Cheese Said

Hear from key players and the head coach following a thrilling win on Sunday Night Football against the 49ers.

It was an electric night under the lights at Levi’s Stadium, with the Packers kicking a last second field goal to beat the San Francisco 49ers 30-28. 

“Many of you probably picked against us this week,” said quarterback Aaron Rodgers. 

Of course, the narrative all week focused on the hostile environment the Packers were heading into. Green Bay’s 2020 victory over the 49ers had been erased by many, given it was a team missing stars like receiver Deebo Samuel, tight end George Kittle, and edge rusher Nick Bosa. Not this past Sunday, though. All three stars took the field, and Head Coach Matt LaFleur got a victory over his long-time friend and former colleague Kyle Shanahan. 

“That’s one I will never forget,” LaFleur said to open his post-game presser Sunday night. “It took everybody in that locker room.”

“Gives some legitimacy to some of the things we’ve been talking about,” Rodgers added of the win. “That [Week 1] was kind of an aberration and we are a talented football team. It felt like, in the locker room today, that we finally had the energy that I’ve been waiting to see.”

The Packers were without Elgton Jenkins on the offensive line, pushing Yosh Nijman into the spotlight to make his first career start at left tackle. After an early facemask penalty against Bosa, Nijman settled down and, per Pro Football Focus, didn’t allow a pressure the entire night. Bosa also finished the game with zero sacks.

Going up against what LaFleur called a “premier defense in the National Football League,” Green Bay’s young offensive line held up well. 

“It was great to see those guys step up and play really good ball,” said LaFleur. The 49ers had only one sack and two quarterback hits on the night. 

“I’m so proud of those guys. They really played well. They battled. Especially Yosh,” added Rodgers. 

Against a dominant 49ers defense, the Packers offense put up a season-high 353 total yards. After being kept out of the end zone the first two weeks, both Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling scored touchdowns. Adams finished his night with 12 receptions for 132 yards, while Valdes-Scantling had three receptions for 59 yards. He called his touchdown catch “the greatest throw I’ve ever caught in my life” on Twitter. 

Even though he did find the end zone in Week 3, Rodgers still claims he owes Valdes-Scantling for the throws he missed earlier in the season, a few of which likely would’ve gone for a long score. “I owe him five,” Rodgers joked. “TD balls, big throws.”

With the young offensive linemen being heralded for their performance on offense, and rightfully so, the defense also relied on some young playmakers to step up in a big way. Rookie cornerback Eric Stokes was called upon to start opposite Jaire Alexander at boundary corner, and he played 100% of defensive snaps. While he did get called for pass interference twice, the head coach didn’t sound too convinced that either call was warranted. 

It was the defense’s best showing of the season. Alexander had an interception and three pass breakups, with Stokes, Darnell Savage, and nickel Chandon Sullivan all tallying one pass defensed. Joe Barry’s defense also brought the pressure in Week 3, with the team registering four sacks, more than double the output from the previous two weeks. 

“That’s the most energy and emotion we’ve seen them play with hands down this year,” LaFleur said of the defense. “That’s gotta be the standard.” 

“We were able to get the job done in a hostile environment,” said linebacker De’Vondre Campbell, who led the team in tackles again on Sunday night with 11. He added the team knew it would be a heavyweight match between two NFC contenders.

“I think our guys came out ready to play today,” said LaFleur. “And I think you could feel it. I thought we were physical. We knew that going into this game, that they’re a physical football team, and you could see it on tape.” 

Now, the team is hoping this serves as a launching point for the rest of the season. 

“In the regular season, that’s what helps build that character, build your identity to show where you’re ultimately headed as a team,” said Adams. “We haven’t had a whole lot of success going against this team coming out here, or just playing in California in general. Being able to come out here and kind of face what we’ve done in the past, felt really good.”

Now that perhaps the longest trip is out of the way, the Packers will have one home game on Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers before staying in the midwest for two away games against the Cincinnati Bengals and Chicago Bears. 

“The energy in the locker room post-game, that felt like a win. That felt like there was such a growth moment for us,” said Rodgers. “Now we’re on our way. Now we can get into this. Now we know how to win and we can get this thing moving in the right direction.” 

 

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Maggie Loney is a writer for Cheesehead TV and podcaster for the Pack-A-Day Podcast and Pack's What She Said. Find her on Twitter at @MaggieJLoney.

11 points

Comments (9)

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mnbadger's picture

September 28, 2021 at 12:23 pm

Da'Vondrae is quickly becoming my favorite Packer. I've been waiting to see and cheer for Yosh Nijman for a while now, I'm glad he showed up on the big stage. Now he has to back this game up with another solid performance, at some point letting the "Big Dog" get out into the flat for some catches. But I couldn't be happier that he/they were able to keep AR upright as much as they did. Also, how about the efficiency when the ball comes out quickly as intended. No Let Downs any more. Thankfully, we got the stinker out of the way week one. GPG.

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dblbogey's picture

September 28, 2021 at 02:55 pm

After week 1, I expected a possible loss against Detroit and a certain loss at SF. It's a good thing I don't bet on football. I also love Campbell, he seems to be all over the place making plays.

8 points
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Leatherhead's picture

September 28, 2021 at 03:03 pm

In my best Darth Vader voice….

“I find your lack of faith disturbing”

4 points
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KnockTheSnotOutOfYou's picture

September 28, 2021 at 10:15 pm

LOL!

1 points
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Fabio's picture

September 28, 2021 at 03:20 pm

Here in Italy it was Sunday 24th and I was genuinely doubtful whether to watch the game or not ..... then I said to myself that I have never lost a game and why I should have missed a Packers game right now ... And so at 02:00 I synthesized live and I was glued to the TV until 06:00 in the morning, after which I went to work, happy gassed and proud to cheer Packers !!! (Dress with original jumpsuit and shirt from AR !!)
Now I express some reflections:
- King out determined the final victory (think of his presence on the pitch in the second half ....)
- The decisions of the referees were amazing !!!, but we must remember that we had similar ones in NFCC too and they cost us much more !!!
- The D has come forward! I've been very critical of Barry up until now, but maybe something is finally moving. Of course, once again in the highlight of the match the D did not save us (not only because of him - see referee decisions), but I finally saw the energy needed (if then the STs did not make the disaster at the end of the first half ...)
- AR. What to say. I agree that he tends to look for too much DA, but I don't think it was a completely wrong choice in this match. Very often (especially in the 3 failed throws in the final) DA was left 1: 1 as if to challenge AR to throw the ball at him. I believe that in these situations it is always right to go and look for him. accuracy of AR - For the record I saw the Tampa vs Rams game and I invite you to go and ask Evans if Brady doesn't do the same thing too ...)
However what happened in the 37 finals (although I agree with what Tim wrote in another article) I believe that it is something that only AR can be able to realize and I do not dare to think about how much I will miss it when it is gone. And I don't think there is any doubt that he is inside the team
- De'Vondre Campbell has truly amazed me so far
- I don't understand why, especially on the occasions of 2nd and 4th / 5th, (not to mention the cases where a Yard is missing !!) we never use Dillon to run after the FB or HB, too many times it is used aligned with the Q.
Anyway, thank you all for itfare Packers .... I think it's a really special thing
Greetings from Italy. I love you all.
Go Pack Go

9 points
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lecko's picture

September 28, 2021 at 06:34 pm

Hi Fabio, I know too how it is to wait all night for the PAckers game to start. They surprised us this time. Greetings from Slovenia

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Fabio's picture

September 29, 2021 at 06:12 am

Greetings to you Lecko

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erikgj's picture

September 28, 2021 at 08:39 pm

Packer love worldwide. Agree on all points Cambell is so much better than our other options at LB. He just does not get out of position. He makes the play almost every time. GB has not had that kind of line backing for years.

3 points
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mjbrogno's picture

September 28, 2021 at 09:27 pm

It’s hard not to get excited about the win on Sunday night. . But, the defense will have to make key stops during the season and I do not see that happening on a regular basis. The offense will not be able to score every time to bail out the defense. Just remember this, know matter how good a teams offense is, defense wins championships, that will never change.

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