Since the start of the 1992 season, the Green Bay Packers have started just six quarterbacks. With Aaron Rodgers out for at least eight weeks, the third year player from UCLA, Brett Hundley, will become the seventh quarterback to start a game for the Packers since 1992. Last week, Hundley showed some flashes of what we have seen from number 12, but it wasn’t enough to get a win, obviously. Hundley had some great Rodgers-esque throws, some great footwork in the pocket, and extended plays like we have seen before. Hundley is capable of running this offense for the coming weeks. His first start will come against the New Orleans Saints. Led for years now by future Hall of Famer, Drew Brees, will look to stop march into Lambeau Field and secure a victory against the now Aaron Rodgers-less Packers.
Key Matchups: Packers O-Line vs Saints front seven
I have said this for weeks now. If the offensive line continues to not protect Aaron Rodgers, he will get hurt. Unfortunately, I was right. Even though the sack that broke his collarbone came when Rodgers was scrambling, extending the play, he still took way too many hits this season because the offensive line could not protect him effectively. Obviously the amount of injuries to the line is one of the culprits to the lack of protection this year, with Lane Taylor a doubtful play against the Saints, another week of a banged up o-line is likely, which is unfortunate, because Hundley needs all the extra help he can get, as it is his first start.
Packers Secondary vs Drew Brees and Saints wide receivers
Compared to last season, the Packers secondary has held up quite nicely to start the season. Multiple injuries, surprise surprise, have held this group back from its full potential. They will see a tough matchup against one of the NFL’s best quarterbacks. While the wide receivers aren’t the best compared to year’s past, Michael Thomas, Willie Snead, and Ted Ginn Jr. aren’t slouches by any means. Throw in Coby Fleener who is a great tight end option for Brees, this banged up Packers secondary will be in for a challenge.
Players to Watch: Offense – Brett Hundley, Quarterback
This choice is obvious. What can Brett Hundley do in his first start as a Green Bay Packer? It’s the question every Packer fan has asked all week now. Against a Saints team that notoriously had a weak defense, it has improved slightly this season, but the Saints could not be a better matchup for Hundley. One of the best wide receiver corps in the league will make Hundley’s time much easier, but seeing what he can do is exciting for Packer fans everywhere.
Defense – Damarious Randall, Cornerback
It’s funny how this league works. Just a few weeks ago, Randall was benched versus the Bears when he left Kendall Wright wide open in the end zone, allowing the Bears to score before halftime. After a great rookie season, he became notorious for blown coverage and getting beat easily. He now has two interceptions in as many weeks, one of which went for a touchdown against Dallas. He has proven to the coaching staff he is here to play. With Quinten Rollins likely done for the year, Davon House a questionable play, and Kevin King in concussion protocol, but is expected to play, Randall will get a lot of chances to continue to impress and show the world he is still worth the first round selection Green Bay gave him two years ago.
At times this offense looks just like Aaron Rodgers calling the shots when Brett Hundley is under center. If the defense can do it’s part and shut down a sometimes dangerous Saints offense, the chance of picking up a win does not seem as daunting. However, with the ample amount of injuries, that task is easier said than done. Hundley has had three years learning from the best. He has waited patiently for this moment. Finally taking first team reps in practice will surely benefit him, as he will be able to create chemistry with fellow teammates, but only a week of this doesn’t mean instant success. After New Orleans, the Packers have a much needed bye week to heal up and start the second half of the season healthy. It also allows Hundley a week to study up, practice, and go out and perform even better than he will this week. I hate prediction a loss for the Packers, as I know what they are capable of, but I believe the first week of the Hundley era will end as a loss, stay optimistic though, Hundley will only grow into a better player as time goes on. Saints pick up a road win, 31-21.