Love was dealing in Detroit on Thanksgiving Thursday. So much so that he outplayed his quarterbacking counterpart, Jared Goff, to a stunning degree. Mind you, the Packers had seventeen players on the injury report, and were without arguably their best skill guy in running back Aaron Jones.
None of that factored in at all. I won’t even get into Love’s first throw of the game on the first play from scrimmage, when he hit second-year wideout Christian Watson — who’s finally awake? — for a 53-yard gain. Get a load of this red-zone missile to rookie Jayden Reed for the first of three TD tosses on the day:
Big Balls Dan Campbell tried a fake punt deep in his own territory to spark an offense that was sabotaged by Goff coughing up three lost fumbles. It did not work. A holding penalty backed the Packers up to 2nd and 17. After getting a completion to set up 3rd and manageable, Love delivered this beauty to Watson in the end zone:
Dot. Seed. Pinpoint. Perfectly in stride. COME ON.
I’m so fired up for Jordan Love. Green Bay’s season was more or less on the line today. You could even make an argument that it was a fork in the road as to whether Love would be a starting QB beyond this year. If things went south, and the Lions rolled in front of their home crowd, Love’s future would be in serious doubt. With all the injuries the Packers have and how much it’d behoove them to lose and find the next long-term guy under center in the 2024 draft, it’s impossible to overstate how much was at stake here.
…And Love came through with, all things considered, his best game as a professional. PS, dude can scoot, to boot.
I know Love has been in the NFL for a while, yet all the preparation and learning while sitting behind Aaron Rodgers can only do so much. Nothing can teach you like actual game experience, which is why I was confused by folks dismissing Love so early on. Like yo, this Thanksgiving Day was his twelfth NFL start.
…And did you notice how I qualified all his pass-catchers with their experience in the league? Yeah. It’s not like Davante Adams is walking through that door anymore. Cool to see Davante shout out Watson, though:
Credit Green Bay’s front office for drafting well of late, but also credit Love for helping along an inexperienced group of guys he’s distributing the ball to. I think he deserves at least that much, even if you still think he’s not going to hack it as an above-average NFL starter when all is said and done.
When Love is playing on time and in structure, he’s damn effective. In this breakout performance, he was starting to be more precise with more of his off-platform throws. Love was cool, calm and collected in the face of pocket pressure, whereas Goff wilted on a day where his typically league-best offensive line was getting pushed around by Rashan Gary (three sacks!) and Co.
I don’t think any less of Jared Goff necessarily. I just think way more of Jordan Love. I didn’t think he had much of a chance at going into the Motor City and pulling the upset. What a freaking job by Matt LaFleur and the Packers’ coaching staff for outclassing the NFC North leaders on a short week on their home field. Unbelievable.
Now, Green Bay gets a mini-bye, and Love will stride into the stretch run with a 5-6 record, a world of extra confidence and a legitimate chance to help the Packers sneak their way into the Wild Card berth. They’re one game out of seventh place behind the division rival Vikings as of this writing. What a twist!!