Jordan Love and the Packers are ballin’ out

The Green Bay Packers have had an up-and-down season thus far. It’s understandable why the team started 2-4, being that we are the youngest team in the NFL with an average player age of 25.1 years old. Jordan Love is entering his fourth season and just turned 25 in early November. Most fans expected this would be a rebuilding year due to roster constraints, primarily due to the Aaron Rodgers trade to the New York Jets, producing an excess of dead cap money for the 2023 season. Losing Rodgers and other veterans was presumed to make the ascent for the Packers even steeper, with a need to lean on a younger and less experienced team leader in first-year starting quarterback Jordan Love. How would Love fare? Would he be able to fill the big shoes of Aaron Rodgers?

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So far, yes, Jordan Love is producing at a considerably higher level than many fans likely expected this season. He’s not a novice by any means, but it‘s his first year standing under center and leading the team, much like when Rodgers’ turn came following Brett Favre’s departure from Green Bay to New York. Through 11 games this season and Rodgers’ first 11 games as a first-year starter in 2008, Love and Rodgers each had 2,599 passing yards, 21 total touchdowns, and a 5-6 record to stand on. We’ve seen many young quarterbacks fail in this league; it happens frequently. In week 13, not only did Jordan Love win at home at Lambeau Field to go 6-6 and put the Packers back in playoff contention, but he did it versus the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs have 2x MVP and Super Bowl winner, Patrick Mahomes, and currently one of the best defenses in the league, ranking fourth overall. In past years under Mahomes, the Chiefs had a much more high-octane offense with much more deficient defensive play, but this season, their defense has been carrying them. On Sunday night, Jordan Love dismantled that defense while completing 25 of his 36 passes for 267 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions. His passer rating was nearly 40 points higher than Patrick Mahomes’ on the night, with a 118.6 rating. So far on the season, Love has 22 touchdowns, ten interceptions, 2,866 passing yards, and his passer rating is currently 90.2; since the start of November, he has thrown 11 touchdowns with a mere two interceptions.

Recently, things have been on an uptick for the Pack. Green Bay has won three straight, and two coming against first-place teams in the Detroit Lions and Kansas City Chiefs. The Packers defense is showing glimpses of how tenacious it can be, with Rashan Gary practically rushing the quarterback like a Mack truck. The team faced a setback with the injury of Jaire Alexander’s shoulder. Nonetheless, they have taken an intelligent approach to turn this challenge into an opportunity by focusing on building depth in the secondary. This approach will ensure that Jaire recovers and returns to the field at full strength while strengthening the team’s defense.

Scott Taetsch/AFP

In summary, Aaron Rodgers has won the MVP in two of the last three seasons and is an extremely hard player to compare oneself with. However, Jordan Love seems to be fairing just as well as Rodgers did in his first season while showing that he learned well from being Rodgers’ understudy for three seasons. If Love can push the Packers to the playoffs this season, that will be the most noteworthy contrast between him and Rodgers in their first seasons as the starting quarterback. On Monday night, Green Bay will take on the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium, with five more games left to see how it all pans out. Jordan Love and the Packers seem to be hitting their stride at the right time to make a run and punch their ticket to the postseason.

Brian Ferrara

Brian is an ardent musician who relishes playing drums and writing music. He appreciates the strategy and competition of sports and covers the Green Bay Packers for Inside the Gridiron.

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