Aaron Rodgers: Packers need to 'dig deep' after latest loss

DETROIT -- It didn't take Aaron Rodgers long to sum up his play.

The first thing the Green Bay Packers quarterback said after Sunday's unsightly 15-9 loss to the Detroit Lions at Ford Field came without hesitation.

"I had some s---ty throws, for sure," Rodgers said, describing his season-high three interceptions.

It took him significantly longer to summon up a reason he believes his team can turn around a 3-6 season that's now pockmarked by five straight losses, including Sunday's defeat to a team that had previously won one time and had been allowing a league-high 32.1 points per game.

Thirteen seconds of contemplation preceded his answer.

"I've been counted out many times in my life as have many of my teammates, and I hope we just dig deep and find a way," Rodgers said. "We will truly be underdogs for many games moving forward. Hopefully we can embrace that. We have two games at home. We've got to go win those two games in a week, and then this thing looks a little different."

Rodgers was referring to next Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys and the following Thursday against the Tennessee Titans. Throw in the game at the unbeaten Philadelphia Eagles to follow, and the Packers' next three opponents have a combined record of 19-4.

As poorly as the Packers have performed this season, Rodgers took it to a new low against the Lions. His three interceptions all came within the Lions' 25-yard line and two of those were within the red zone. He had never thrown two red zone interceptions in his career before Sunday.

"Credit to Detroit, they dared us to throw the football," Packers coach Matt LaFleur said of the red zone possessions. "We've got to do something different, obviously, because we're not throwing and catching to the level that is conducive to winning football."

That a team dared Rodgers to beat it with his arm speaks volumes about the Packers' offense.

He threw the first interception off the helmet of Lions linebacker Derrick Barnes. It bounced into the hands of safety Kerby Joseph, who also got Rodgers' third interception of the game when he undercut a throw down the middle to tight end Robert Tonyan. In between, Rodgers botched a tackle-eligible play to left tackle David Bakhtiari when he floated the pass well short of the lineman, and Lions defensive end Aidan Hutchinson picked it off in the end zone.

"I played s---ty, but I never gave up," Rodgers said.

"We moved the ball well in the first half, and I threw a couple picks in the end zone, took points off the board," he added. "That, obviously, came back to hurt us down the stretch."

Rodgers lost two receivers to injury (Romeo Doubs, ankle, and Christian Watson, evaluated for a concussion) and running back Aaron Jones (ankle) during the game and already was without Randall Cobb. He completed only 10 of 23 passes to receivers on Sunday, with the 43.5% clip being his worst since Week 5 of 2019. That's been a theme throughout the five-game losing streak, in which he has completed 51% to wide receivers compared to 74% during the Packers' 3-1 start.

"If you come out and you execute to the best of your ability as a team and you just fall short because the other team made more plays, you can live with that, right?" Packers tight end Marcedes Lewis said. "But if you come out and you leave points on the field and the opportunity is squandered, what else can you say about that? Like I said before, this league is unforgiving. It will humble you quick, and the margin for error is small. Today, we didn't make enough plays, and that's the result."

More than once on Sunday, Rodgers became agitated either during or shortly after a failed offensive series.

"I'm sure he's extremely frustrated, as we all are," LaFleur said. "I don't think we've been in this [situation]. I know in my time here, we haven't been in this situation. And I don't think he's been in this situation too many times in his career, obviously. It's disappointing and frustrating. But, yeah, I think that we all probably need to do a little bit better job of controlling that frustration."

As demonstrative as Rodgers has been, he denied that he's miserable and said he does not wish he had retired last offseason, as he previously admitted he contemplated.

"I think that's an exaggeration," Rodgers said. "Frustration and miserability are two different emotions. So, when I decided to come back, it was all-in, and I don't make decisions and then hindsight 20/20 have regrets about big decisions like that. So, I was all-in, and this is a lot of life lessons, for sure, this year, but luckily it's not over. There's still a lot of games left. We'll be counted out, probably by many, and we'll see how we respond."