By Dylan B. Tomlinson
Aaron Rodgers will always remember his first game experience for the Green Bay Packers, even if his performance was one to forget.
Rodgers completed just two of six passes for 7 yards, but his final stats don’t even begin to show the frustration the rookie quarterback had to deal with during his debut performance for the Green Bay Packers.
Rodgers’ night began with technical difficulties as problems with his helmet kept him from hearing the plays being called from the Green Bay sideline.
In addition to that, Andrae Thurman dropped two passes and Craig Bragg dropped another. The offense didn’t do him any favors as they were called for four penalties (two holding and two false starts) during the third quarter.
“It wasn’t the best start of a career for me,” Rodgers said, laughing. “My helmet conked out on me twice. I tripped, I got stepped on, and I fell down. It was pretty embarrassing.”
Packers coach Mike Sherman said Rodgers was hardly at fault for much of what happened.
“It’d be pretty difficult for an evaluation,” Sherman said. “His helmet was going haywire, the ball was slick and there was a young group of linemen and receivers in there. I don’t even know how Brett (Favre) would have done in that situation.”
Favre didn’t have to deal with the penalties, the helmet problems, or the mistakes from the linemen and receivers. The result was a near-perfect performance where he completed nine of 10 passes for 91 yards and hit Donald Driver for a 23-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter to give the Packers a 7-0 lead.
He played a little more than expected, staying in for three series and played the entire first quarter and half of the second quarter.
“We accomplished one goal. We went down the field and scored. We put some points on the board,” Favre said. “We did some things well. Overall, I was pleased with the performance.”
J.T. O’Sullivan didn’t fare much better when he went into the game. On his first snap, he botched a handoff to Walter Williams and Chargers recovered the fumble. O’Sullivan finished the game completing four of eight passes for 24 yards. Craig Nall played briefly while Rodgers’ helmet was being fixed, but didn’t attempt a pass.
Rodgers said that despite the performance, he said he was happy to see some game action.
“Overall, it was a good experience,” he said. “It felt great to be out there. Making plays when the pocket broke down. I had a couple of good runs. I'm better for the experience.”