GREEN BAY, Wis. – This was the moment the Green Bay Packers have been waiting for from Jordan Love.
In his 10th start as the official successor to Aaron Rodgers, Love had his first 300-yard game – and the team’s first in almost two calendar years – and led the game-winning drive in a 23-20 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers at Lambeau Field.
“It just feels like we’re trying to find our groove right now,” Love said. “We’re getting into that groove and finding that rhythm, and starting the game fast, limiting the three-and-outs and things like that that are just kind of drive killers, limiting the turnovers and things like that. So, it just feels like we’re getting into that groove.
“Everyone’s kind of getting settled in, that chemistry’s building day by day. I think we’re in a really good spot right now. We’ve just got to keep building on it.”
The game started just like any other game for the Packers, who had failed to surpass 20 points for seven consecutive games – their longest streak since 1988. It was 10-10 at halftime with Jayden Reed scoring on a 32-yard end-around but a bumbling red-zone possession leading to just a field goal before halftime.
The Packers took a 16-13 lead during the final seconds of the third quarter when Love threw a beautiful touchdown pass to Christian Watson. Love’s pass dropped between two defenders and hit Watson perfectly in the end zone.
“That touchdown was actually on a play that I think Matt (LaFleur) just kind of drew up on the sideline after seeing a look that we had previously,” Love said. “(It was) something that wasn’t even really in the game plan. Kudos to Christian going out there and executing it to perfection.”
Trailing 20-16, Love and Co. started at the 25-yard line with 5:24 to play. Love delivered a game-winning drive against New Orleans in Week 3 but threw interceptions at the Raiders, Broncos and Steelers in do-or-die drives.
Would he deliver in the clutch this time?
Yes, with some help. On second-and-9 from the 26, Love had the ball knocked free by Khalil Mack but Zach Tom saved the day with the recovery. Still, it was third-and-20, but the Packers were bailed out when Asante Samuel was flagged for interference against Dontayvion Wicks. That was a gain of 24, and Wicks delivered again when he turned a catch for 5 yards into a gain of 35 by breaking two tackles. One play later, Love threw deep to Romeo Doubs, who made a leaping, all-hands catch in the end zone for the decisive score.
“We went quick, and the defense, they were kind of scrambling to get set and figure out who was over there,” Love said. “I think they only had one DB in there and they were running somebody over late. I just looked over there and saw they were all messed up, and it was almost like a pick happened between the two DBs who were out there.
“Rome was able to get on top and just put it out there. It was a little underthrown, and he just did a good job of going back to the ball and aggressive hands and snagging it.”
Love was 27-of-40 for 322 yards and the two touchdowns, good for a passer rating of 108.5. Ten players caught at least one pass. Doubs had a team-high five catches. Wicks had a team-high 91 receiving yards. Led by Wicks, Reed (four catches, 46 yards) and tight ends Luke Musgrave (four catches, 28 yards) and Tucker Kraft (two catches, 32 yards), rookies contributed 15 receptions for 213 yards.
From a yards-per-attempt perspective, three of Love’s four best games have come the last three weeks.
“There’s definitely a lot of learning,” Love said. “Obviously, we’re a young offense. We’re building. And we’re just continuing to stack days. But, yeah, there’s so much learning that goes into it behind the scenes. Guys are continuing to work every day, continuing to grow and learn from every rep, mistakes, things like that that happen on the field, and store that information and learn and grow as players. I like the trajectory the offense is going right now for sure.”
In his 10th game as the starting quarterback, Rodgers – you won’t believe it – routed the Bears 37-3. Rodgers was 23-of-30 passing with touchdowns to Greg Jennings and Donald Lee.
Through 10 games in their debut seasons, Rodgers had 20 more passing yards than Love but Love has one more touchdown. The Packers in 2008 were 5-5; the Packers in 2023 are 4-6.
Jordan Love Through Game 10
Week 1, at Chicago (win): 15-of-27 passing, 245 yards, three touchdowns vs. zero interceptions, 123.2 rating.
Week 2, at Atlanta (loss): 14-of-25 passing, 151 yards, three touchdowns vs. zero interceptions, 113.5 rating.
Week 3, New Orleans (win): 22-of-44 passing, 259 yards, one touchdown vs. one interception, 66.4 rating.
Week 4, Detroit (loss): 23-of-36 passing, 246 yards, one touchdown vs. two interceptions, 69.9 rating.
Week 5, Las Vegas (loss): 16-of-30 passing, 182 yards, zero touchdowns vs. three interceptions, 32.2 rating.
Week 6, bye.
Week 7, Denver (loss): 21-of-31 passing, 180 yards, two touchdowns vs. one interception, 90.8 rating.
Week 8, Minnesota (loss): 24-of-41 passing, 229 yards, one touchdown vs. one interception, 72.1 rating.
Week 9, L.A. Rams (win): 20-of-26 passing, 228 yards, one touchdown vs. zero interceptions, 115.5 rating.
Week 10, Pittsburgh (loss): 21-of-40 passing, 289 yards, two touchdowns vs. two interceptions, 71.8 rating.
Week 11, L.A. Chargers (win): 27-of-40 passing, 322 yards, two touchdowns vs. zero interceptions, 108.5 rating.
Total: 203-of-340 passing (59.7 percent), 2,331 yards, 16 touchdowns vs. 10 interceptions, 83.8 rating.
Aaron Rodgers Through Game 10
Week 1, Minnesota (win): 18-of-22 passing, 178 yards, one touchdown vs. zero interceptions, 115.5 rating.
Week 2, at Detroit (win): 24-of-38 passing, 328 yards, three touchdowns vs. zero interceptions, 117.0 rating.
Week 3, Dallas (loss): 22-of-39 passing, 290 yards, zero touchdowns vs. zero interceptions, 80.1 rating.
Week 4, Tampa Bay (loss): 14-of-27 passing, 165 yards, two touchdowns vs. three interceptions, 55.9 rating.
Week 5, Atlanta (loss): 25-of-37 passing, 313 yards, three touchdowns vs. one interception, 109.4 rating.
Week 6, Seattle (win): 21-of-30 passing, 208 yards, two touchdowns vs. zero interceptions, 111.5 rating.
Week 7, Indianapolis (win): 21-of-28 passing, 186 yards, one touchdown vs. zero interceptions, 104.2 rating.
Week 8: Bye
Week 9, Tennessee (loss): 22-of-41 passing, 314 yards, one touchdown vs. one interception, 76.7 rating.
Week 10, Minnesota (loss): 15-of-26 passing for 142 yards, zero touchdowns vs. zero interceptions, 72.9 rating.
Week 11, Chicago (win): 23-of-30 passing, 227 yards, two touchdowns vs. one interception, 105.8 rating.
Total: 205-of-318 passing (64.5 percent), 2,351 yards, 15 touchdowns vs. six interceptions, 94.5 rating.
More Packers-Chargers News
The Green Bay #Packers’ signature victory over the Los Angeles Chargers, 23-20 on Sunday at Lambeau Field, came with one big asterisk.— Bill Huber (@BillHuberNFL) November 19, 2023
And then one even bigger sigh of relief. ⬇️https://t.co/aHBv2Vauj9