The New Orleans Saints probably didn’t intend to put a chip on Aaron Rodgers‘ shoulder ahead of their Week 1 game against the Green Bay Packers. Thanks to a recent report about the team’s decision to play the game in Jacksonville, they may have done just that.
The Saints were forced to move the game from the Superdome, one of the best home field advantages in the NFL, due to Hurricane Ida. They eventually settled on playing in Jacksonville at TIAA Bank Field.
A number of the closer NFL stadiums across the South were already hosting games, limiting some options for the Saints. According to Jeff Jacobs of NOLA.com, the team “considered every detail” in making the pick, including Aaron Rodgers’ relative struggles in Florida during his career.
It comes as no surprise that Rodgers didn’t take well to this one bit. According to Packers beat writer Ryan Wood, he called it “useless information,” and said that he’s happy to not be playing in New Orleans.
Aaron Rodgers says #Packers PR official Tom Fanning showed him report Saints picked Florida as alternate location to play because of belief he struggles in Florida. He quipped it was “useless information.” Rodgers says it’ll be nice to not deal with Superdome noise this week.
— Ryan Wood (@ByRyanWood) September 8, 2021
Because he plays in Green Bay, in the opposite conference of two of the NFL’s three Florida franchises, there is a very small sample size for Rodgers’ experience in the state. In 13 seasons as starter, Rodgers has played in eight total games in the state, including postseason play.
That being said, the numbers aren’t great overall. The Packers are 3-4 in games at the Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers with Rodgers as starter.
From 2008-09, Rodgers’ first two seasons as starter, he went 0-3 in three total Florida games. The next three games came between 2014-16, all three packers wins. Last season, he fell to the eventual Super Bowl champion Buccaneers in Tampa during his first game in the state in four years.
In total, Rodgers has completed just under 60-percent of his throws in Florida, going 142-for-245 for 1,650 yards (6.73 yards per attempt) for 11 touchdowns and 9 interceptions.
We’ll see if it pays off for the Saints. A motivated Aaron Rodgers is not a fun one for an opposing defense to face.
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