Would things have turned out differently between the New Orleans Saints and Green Bay Packers on Sunday if fans were allowed to attend the Mercedes-Benz Superdome? Many teams around the NFL haven’t allowed fans through the first three weeks of the NFL season due to the coronavirus pandemic, and Aaron Rodgers took advantage of that on Sunday.
While Rodgers normally would’ve battled a loud crowd at the Superdome, he was able to direct his offense with ease during Week 3. The 36-year-old, who has impressed through three weeks, led Green Bay to a 37-30 win over New Orleans, tossing three touchdowns and racking up 283 yards.
When he was asked about what it was like to play in an empty Superdome, Rodgers gave an honest answer, revealing that the lack of crowd noise played a role in helping his squad start the season 3-0.
“It’s a lot different environment than in 2008 and 2014,” Rodgers told NBC’s Michele Tafoya after the game, via Jeff Nowak of Nola.com. “This place is rocking all the time. I think we all miss that in the sport, just the fan interaction, the energy of the crowd. But it definitely helps us out in an environment like this.”
Fortunately for the Saints, their home turf will get a little louder during Week 5 against the Los Angeles Chargers as they plan to host a limited number of fans. Head coach Sean Payton could care less about the noise level, though, saying the club hasn’t been disciplined enough so far this season.
New Orleans will travel to face the Detroit Lions in Week 4 before facing the Chargers at home, and Payton hopes his squad will even its record before returning home. With Michael Thomas eyeing a Week 4 return, Drew Brees and the offense should receive a much-needed jolt.