The Four Agreements From Week 1

Today, we recap the Green Bay Packers lifeless performance against the Minnesota Vikings in Week One, and search desperately to find four aspects from the game upon which all Packers fans can agree.

Well, that was about as much fun as having a tooth pulled without any Novocain.  Yeesh.  We waited eight months for that?!?  Now, I don't want to come off as critical here, and I am well aware that Matt LaFleur's immaculately plucked left eyebrow has forgotten more football than I will ever know.  That being said, can anybody please explain to me what in the sweet hell were we doing on offense last Sunday?  I re-watched the game last night and I have concluded that trying to discern a single cogent thought from that game plan would be like trying make sense of a bootlegged Russian Blu Ray of Tenet after you just took a handful of bath salts.  I know what Aaron Rodgers did last summer.  You know what Aaron Rodgers did last summer.  Hell, my Aunt Inez knows what Aaron Rodgers did last summer, and she is 91 (hint--it rhymes with bryowausca).  After Sunday, I am starting to wonder if Matty L partook as well.  Listen, I feel your frustration, my fellow cheddar-lidded familia.  That game sucked on ice.  And, there is a LOT to unpack from that purple and yellow drubbing.  Settle in, and let's see if we can find four things we can all agree on after being subjected to that Vietnam fever dream of a football game. 

  • Agreement #1--Can we all agree that Matt LaFleur and Aaron Rodgers don't know how to eat an elephant?

Listen, almost nothing Green Bay tried worked on Sunday.  I said almost.  Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon weren't at the absolute top of their collective games this week, but in the limited touches they got, they were a hell of a lot better than the rest of our options.  Pocket sixes aren't terribly exciting, but they are a lot better than rags.  Jones and Dillon combined for 15 rushes and tallied up 94 yards as a tandem.  Over six yards a rush.  Nothing to sneeze at (Author's Note--Why is that a saying?  It was gross to hear before covid, but now it's just disconcerting.  Bonus agreement--Can we agree to Old Yeller this dusty-ass adage?).  If the Packers can average six yards a rush for the next 16 games, I have a really good feeling about this season.  And, while Dillon and Jones weren't targeted in the pass game as many times as some of us hoped or expected, they still made the most of there limited receptions, grabbing another 73 yards on 8 passes.  But, once Green Bay got down by double digits, LaFleur, as he has often been wont to do, essentially abandoned the running game in lieu of deep passes down the field that just never materialized.   Am I saying the game would have shaken out differently if we had allocated another dozen touches for Dillon and Jones combined?  No.  All I am saying is it is never a bad idea to put the ball in the hands of your two most proven (if not most talented) options.  Not everything has to be a wild haymaker.  Sometimes you have to work the jab.  Given the Packers injury issues at offensive line and um, let's call them "limitations" at wide receiver, it may behoove LaFleur and Company to lean on their workhorses, at least until we find our footing a little.  How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.

  • Agreement #2--Can we all agree to stop beating dead horses?

Yes, Matt LaFleur chose to hold out all of our starters this preseason, just like he did in 2021, 2020, and 2019.  And, yes, we started out sloth slow yet again.  But, guess who else sat their starters all preseason?  The Minnesota Freaking Vikings.  This argument is Dad-after-a-day-at-Disneyland tired. Aaron Rodgers is in year 18.  Sammy Watkins is in year 9.  Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon have seven years experience split between the two of them, which in running back years is like 40.  And, I have it on good authority that Randall Cobb went on a high school field trip to watch the Challenger Shuttle launch.  The other side of the field is even longer in the tooth.  It seems ridiculous to suggest that a team with this much veteran leadership needed a quarter or two of preseason reps to get them ready for the regular season.  It's a bad faith argument.  It's a band aid for people who don't want to admit the truth--Green Bay's coaching staff got outfoxed by a rookie playcaller and the Minnesota Vikings may actually be, ugh, good.  It's week one.  Weird shit always happens in week one.  The Seahawks are 1-0.  The Cleveland Browns are 1-0.  Hell, the freaking Chicago Bears beat the San Francisco 49ers.  The Bears might have the worst roster in the NFL.  They have no business beating a team in the SEC West, let alone the NFC West.  This narrative is lazy.  If you want to advance a narrative with some actual heft to it, maybe point to the fact that the NFL hasn't given Green Bay a Week One home game since 2018.  At least that narrative is true.

  • Agreement #3--Can we agree that this loss wasn't that hard to predict?

The Packers opened last week as a 3.5 point favorite against Minnesota.  On Saturday, when news started to break about Lazard, Bakhtiari, and Jenkins sitting out, the line swung in Minnesota's favor.  By kick off on Sunday, the Vikings were 1.5 point favorites.  I am not much of a religious man, but there is one thing that I do have complete faith in--Las Vegas' ability to predict sports outcomes.  And, honestly, you didn't have to be Nostradamus to see the Packers catching this L.  With Elgton Jenkins and David Bakhtiari sitting this one out, coupled with the free agency defections of Lucas Patrick, Dennis Kelly, and Billy Turner this past spring, Green Bay was essentially fielding a second string offensive line.   Losing Jon Runyan Jr in the second quarter only exacerbated things.  Side note--What is going on with David Bakhtiari?   Who performed his knee surgery?  Dr Nick Riviera from The Simpsons?  Each week that passes, my anxiety grows that we may never see that world-destroying 2020 David Bakhtiari ever again.  Since Bakhtiari's injury, Tom Brady has won a Super Bowl, retired, unretired, and his wife left him.  Life comes at you fast.  Bakhtiari's contract hangs over Green Bay like the Reaper's sickle.  His $13.4 million dollar cap hit in 2022 is larger than the next nine Packers offensive linemen combined.  That's why the depth on the offensive line is so thin, the talent so lacking.   And, I am not blaming David.  I feel terrible for him.  I know he wants to be out there so bad he can taste it.  But, until he and Elgton Jenkins are physically able to return, the Packers line is going to be one of those massive Super Mario Brothers question mark boxes.  And, with this attrition on the offensive line went any extra time Aaron Rodgers would have to find open receivers down field.  An even harder task when those open receivers weren't really that open to begin with.  Sunday was as uncomfortable as I have seen Aaron Rodgers on a football field since Mike McCarthy loaded up all of his 4XL Packers windbreakers and moved to Texas.  Lazard's return will help alleviate some of the stress, but until the line starts to get back to health, we could be in for a few more ugly afternoons in the near future. 

  • Agreement #4--Can we agree to hold on to our Christian Watson stock for at least one more week?

Ok, the drop was bad.  Maybe bad isn't strong enough.  The drop was devastating.  You could make a case that if Watson reels that in, Sunday's game takes a radically different path.  And, Watson becomes the toast of Week One.  Aaron Rodgers said all the right things after the game, but we all know what a big fan QB1 is of wide receiver drops.  But, watch that play a little closer.  Pay special attention to the last 10 yards of Watson's route--that dude has a gear that most players in the NFL just cannot get to.  Watching the All 22 playback on Monday, it became even more apparent.  Watson ran three deep routes on Sunday, and on all three, he was getting open deep.  And, not just kind of open.  He was getting WalMart doors on Black Friday open.   I spent the last two months loading up on Romeo Doubs stock like a hipster gobbling up Bitcoin.  Doubs is going to be awesome.  I saw nothing this past weekend that shook that confidence.  But, I am divesting my investment portfolio this week.  When there is blood on the street, buy property.  And, this week I am gobbling up as much property on Watson Boulevard as my accountant will allow.  The speed he put on video last Sunday was uncommon.  It was video game shit.  When defensive backs are down shifting, Watson is hitting the nitrous boosters.  A human cheat code.   His hands need work (A LOT OF WORK).  And, he certainly needs more reps with the ones (he has only been working with the full roster for about two weeks).  That being said--If Green Bay is going to find a big play wide receiver on this year's roster, Watson might be the guy best suited for the role. 

  • Catching Strays

Taking ayahuasca is way better than taking millions of dollars from poor people.

There are roughly 13,000,000 podcasts in America.  And, I think Aaron Rodgers has been on every single one in the last 30 days.  #Worker

Jake Hanson--Why?

Can somebody explain to Joe Barry who Justin Jefferson is before Week 17?

When is Minnesota going to hang a banner to commemorate this win?

Corey and Nags, can we get some Carry The G Ale out here in Utah?

 

Tim Preece lives in Utah because he makes poor life decisions.

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8 points

Comments (16)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
TarynsEyes's picture

September 14, 2022 at 06:27 pm

Truth on all 4 Agreements, and a mighty fine written article supporting them.

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MainePackFan's picture

September 14, 2022 at 06:57 pm

Tim, that was an entertaining article. I truly enjoyed your perspective and sense of humor. Keep them coming!!

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White92's picture

September 14, 2022 at 08:23 pm

Entertaining article! Thanks for the insights

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Irish_Cheesehead's picture

September 14, 2022 at 08:32 pm

One more thing we can all agree on. You guys that rewatched the game so you can write an article for the CheeseheadTV faithful deserve a drink or several on us! Thanks for a well-written, cathartic read!

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JerseyAl's picture

September 15, 2022 at 02:12 pm

Finally! Someone who recognizes the torture we sometimes put ourselves through strictly for the benefit of the readers! Hahaha. Thanks.

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LeotisHarris's picture

September 14, 2022 at 09:19 pm

Damn, that was entertaining and spot-on; a Drew Magary-like ride from the Utah Kid. Nice!

May we all cast a snort of derision toward hydrophobia as we look forward to more writing from Mr. Preece.

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pacman's picture

September 14, 2022 at 10:22 pm

Can we agree that this loss wasn't that hard to predict?

Apparently it was hard enough that none of the CheeseheadTV predictors predicted it.

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Since'61's picture

September 14, 2022 at 10:48 pm

Excellent article. We can agree on all four aspects of the game. However I would like to point out that except for Bak and EJ our OL starters did play in every preseason game, however their play against the Vikings looked like they hadn't played since last season at least, except for Nijman who was probably the best of the bunch against the Vikings.

It may have been easy to predict this loss but our coaching staff was out prepared and out coached by a rookie HC and his staff. No excuses.

Welcome aboard Tim. I'm looking forward to reading more of your articles in the future. Keep 'em coming. Thanks, Since '61

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LLCHESTY's picture

September 15, 2022 at 01:48 am

"Watson ran three deep routes on Sunday, and on all three, he was getting open deep. And, not just kind of open"

All the Rodgers haters can carry on(Favre is almost in OJ territory so what choice do they have) but I guarantee he will notice the missed opportunities when he watched the film this week. Watson might not catch a deep pass this week but he has already altered the Bears defensive plan.

Doubs is Doubs. I said before training camp started he'd be the 3rd most productive WR this year and with lower WR2 upside My bad for underestimating him. He has top WR2, lower WR1 upside. The noticeable thing in college was his footwork, I made the mistake of giving him a plus for it but not looking into the want to behind it. Like Adams he didn't just naturally become an advanced route runner, he worked at it . As long as a guy can compete athletically it behooves a scouting department to acknowledge their work ethic.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

September 15, 2022 at 05:44 am

Nice article.

Jones gained 10 yards on the first rush of the game. Six of the next 7 rushing attempts in the first half were "unsuccessful" which is one reason why Dillon and Jones got limited attempts. Dillon gained 4 yards on a first and 10, so that was the only other successful run, and it just made the successful run's lowest qualifying rung.

Maybe LaFleur still needs to pound the rock, but some mention of the fact that running the ball put the offense in bad down and distance situations on a repeated basis and put extra stress on a weak OL and an inexperienced wide receiving corps has to get mentioned.

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Johnblood27's picture

September 15, 2022 at 06:16 am

TGR with some sense.

Thanks for that dose of reality with no obscure pop references.

You even used the paragraph thingy to this readers delight. Please have a chat with preece.

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Savage57's picture

September 15, 2022 at 06:18 am

"Matt LaFleur's immaculately plucked left eyebrow has forgotten more football than I will ever know"
"like trying make sense of a bootlegged Russian Blu Ray of Tenet after you just took a handful of bath salts"
"Dad-after-a-day-at-Disneyland tired"
"since Mike McCarthy loaded up all of his 4XL Packers windbreakers and moved to Texas"
"He was getting WalMart doors on Black Friday open"

Colorful chit, right there, I don't care who you are. I look forward to reading more of your stuff.

However, I would argue Bakhtiari's contract hangs over the Packers' head more so like the sword of Damocles than a Reaper's sickle.

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egbertsouse's picture

September 15, 2022 at 08:04 am

For a minute I thought I was reading The Defector, “Why Your Team Sucks,”. Loved it.

What is this mystical power of Utah? I give my kid one Edward Abbey book and the next thing I know he’s out in Canyonlands National Park rappelling down some freaking cliff and I have to cross the Rockies to see him. Sure, the taxes are low but you know how they repair a washed out highway in Utah? They put up a sign saying take another route. In school they use textbooks that Brigham Young brought out on the wagon train. Their maps still refer to the Austrian-Hungarian Empire. Nevertheless, I can’t get him back to Minnesota.

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egbertsouse's picture

September 15, 2022 at 08:20 am

I see that you criticized Brett but to be fair he said he didn’t know the money was meant for needy children when he took the money from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program. How could he have known that? And, besides, the Million-Dollar Man said it was OK…

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LLCHESTY's picture

September 15, 2022 at 11:41 pm

Looks like there's at two people on this site that don't understand sarcasm.

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jhtobias's picture

September 15, 2022 at 02:18 pm

Can we all agree that Jake Hanson is not even close to the player Lucas Patrick was and is the biggest ol liability since Don Barclay.

Can we all agree that Royce Newman is not even a below average NFL Tackle , but at guard he is an average starter.

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