Grading Jordan Love’s first start: Packers offense falls apart without Aaron Rodgers

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With Aaron Rodgers out, it was all Love on Sunday.

Rodgers is currently sidelined while dealing with the coronavirus, the Packers turned to 2020 first-round pick Jordan Love, making his NFL debut in a 13-7 loss to the Chiefs in Week 9.

After being inactive in every game in the 2020 NFL season, Love was named QB2 in 2021 behind Rodgers, potentially getting a front-row seat to the keys of Packers kingdom — should Rodgers and the Packers decide to part ways this offseason.

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Unfortunately, that glimpse into the future was a dissatisfying one: Love turned in a pretty mediocre performance in the loss.

Give the Packers defense credit: Even though the Chiefs offense has struggled this year, the Green Bay D held Patrick Mahomes and Co. to just 13 points and gave the offense every opportunity to win the game.

Still, Love couldn’t capitalize on the opportunities: 

Jordan Love grade: D

Stats: 19/34, 190 yards, one touchdown, one interception

Results-based analysis is never a great way to evaluate quarterback play. Good thing for Jordan Love, there weren’t a lot of results to go off of.

To start the night, Love looked uneasy, rattled and jittery. While he would settle down just a little bit later on, Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo smelled blood in the water and starting blitzing Love heavily later in the game.

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The strategy worked: Love never really got into a groove — not until the fourth quarter. Love would drive the Pack down the field, including helping nail down a short fourth-down throw to keep a drive alive and angle for Green Bay’s first score of the game.

It was for naught, though: Love would throw an interception with the Packers threatening to score after flirting with throwing a pick all evening.

Soon after, Love would throw a touchdown pass to help tighten the score to 13-7, but soon after, the Chiefs would ice the game.

Among other things, though, Love also struggled with ball placement throughout the game, not leading receivers and putting them in positions to really extend plays after the catch. Love also wasn’t seeing the field particularly well, and was getting throws to his receivers late.

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Coincidentally, these are all hallmarks of rookie QB play: Love isn’t a de facto rookie by nature, but not being in regular-season game action until your second season and facing a veteran DC like Spagnuolo will certainly damper the mood a bit.

The good thing for Love: It’s just a taste of NFL action. 

The bad news for Love: Who knows when his next taste of NFL action will come?



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