The Packers turned in their worst performance of the season at the worst possible time on Sunday, and that has lots of people asking whether the combination of resting some key players in Week 17 and getting a first-round playoff bye made the Packers rusty at playoff time.
But Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers doesn’t buy it.
“That had nothing to do with us playing,” Rodgers said on 540 ESPN Milwaukee. “To say that we were rusty is disrespectful to the Giants and their defense and the effort they put out. They played a game. They beat us. You know, we beat ourselves enough with the turnovers and the mistakes and the drops and the poor plays, but they beat us. They played better on Sunday than we did. They executed better. I don’t think rust played any part in it.”
Those comments echo what Rodgers said immediately following the game, that the Giants won because the Giants were the better team on Sunday. Rodgers clearly thinks this game was more about what the Giants did well than about what the Packers did poorly.
But while Rodgers might not have felt rusty, he did look rusty on Sunday, and it’s easy to see how he could get rusty when he didn’t play at all between the Packers’ December 25 game against the Bears and their January 15 game against the Giants. That’s a long time off that, in hindsight, Rodgers may have been better off not having.