In his first start as the Green Bay Packers’ starting quarterback, Jordan Love got out to a poor start, battled against the blitz, and only managed one touchdown. Coach Matt LaFleur, on the other hand, took responsibility for the team’s 13-7 loss against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday. With Aaron Rodgers at home due to a positive COVID-19 test on Wednesday, the Chiefs attempted a slew of blitzes at the Packers’ first-year starter, the majority of which went flawlessly.
Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love had trouble against the blitz in his first start
“This one is squarely on my shoulders,” LaFleur added. “Obviously, we didn’t have a solid enough plan for some of the zero pressures that they brought on us, as we were 2-for-12 on third down.” But I believed our soldiers fought valiantly. Jordan, I thought, was playing quite well, and I was very pleased of him. He persevered, taking hits but also delivering the ball. He performed an excellent job, in my opinion. But I believe that, in the end, I must be better, and this responsibility falls entirely on my shoulders.” Love finally pulled together a scoring drive, hitting Allen Lazard for a 20-yard touchdown with 4 minutes, 54 seconds remaining, and the Packers were in danger of being shut out for the first time in LaFleur’s career.
After that, he never got the ball back. When asked to evaluate his performance, Love remarked, “Obviously, not good enough.” “I believe we got off to a sluggish start; I, for one, got off to a sluggish start. Later on, I believe we settled into a routine. It was obviously too late. It’s simply not good enough.” His final passing statistics were 19-of-34 for 190 yards and a score with an interception. He only got sacked once, but the Chiefs had him running to avoid getting sacked again. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo sent five or more pass-rushers on 51% of Love’s dropbacks, the highest rate faced by a Packers quarterback since Week 15 of the 2017 season — the first game after Rodgers returned from his fractured collarbone.
Against the blitz, Love completed just 6 of 17 throws for 30 yards, 20 of which came on the touchdown pass. On 69 percent of his third- and fourth-down dropbacks, he was blitzed.His final passing statistics were 19-of-34 for 190 yards and a score with an interception. He only got sacked once, but the Chiefs had him running to avoid getting sacked again. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo sent five or more pass-rushers on 51% of Love’s dropbacks, the highest rate faced by a Packers quarterback since Week 15 of the 2017 season — the first game after Rodgers returned from his fractured collarbone. Against the blitz, Love completed just 6 of 17 throws for 30 yards, 20 of which came on the touchdown pass. On 69 percent of his third- and fourth-down dropbacks, he was blitzed.
The Chiefs sent seven defenders after Love on many occasions, a tactic known as a “zero blitz.” “I believe we began having a better answer in the end,” Love said, “but yeah, they were going all-out, they were eating us up, and we just weren’t able to execute on those plays that we had against it.” “I believe all it would have taken was one great play against it, and it would not have been as frequent. Obviously, we were unable to carry it out, which is why they continued to bring it.” Love attempted but failed to establish a rapport with wide receiver Davante Adams, who was targeted 14 times but only had six catches for 42 yards. In the fourth quarter, Love intercepted Adams on a sideline route. “It takes a long time to be able to create that chemistry,” Love explained. “Obviously, it’s something he and Aaron have a lot of experience with because they’ve been together for a long time.
So, the synergy wasn’t quite there yet, but I believe it would improve as the game progressed. We were discussing various issues and trying to get on the same page. I believe it improved as the game continued.” Love demonstrated “that he’s going to continue to fight, that he’s going to keep battling, and that he’s a true leader,” according to Packers running back Aaron Jones. “Even when we were down 13-0, he grabbed control of the huddle and said, ‘Hey, we need a play — come on, guys, let’s lock in,'” Jones continued. “All the things you want to hear from your quarterback, and you can see he never got down on himself in that game and just kept playing.”
Love admitted that he struggled with nerves at initially, missing his first two throws on the first series (resulting in a three-and-out), but that he believes he proved he’s a starter-caliber quarterback. He may not get another start this season, so this could be the Packers’ final opportunity to evaluate him in a game scenario before deciding whether or not he can take over for Rodgers next year. After the Packers traded up to take him in the first round of the 2020 NFL draught, Love did not play at all as a rookie. Before his positive COVID-19 test, he played mop-up duty in the Saints’ season-opening loss and then watched Rodgers put together a seven-game winning streak.
Rodgers will start against the Seahawks next week, according to LaFleur, if he clears the protocols in time. The earliest he can rejoin the Packers is Saturday, the day before the game, which LaFleur believes is sufficient. Before the game, Love said he received a message from Rodgers, who urged: “‘Just go out there and ball out,’ says the narrator. He was looking forwards to seeing me. He advised me to trust my feet, which I thought was excellent counsel.”
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