Jordan Love and the Green Bay Packers lost, 19-17, to the Denver Broncos on Sunday, sending a wave of absolute panic through Packer fans everywhere.
No doubt, it was a terrible loss. The Packers have hit a new low in three straight games. Green Bay only lost by 2 points, but they were coming off a bye week and got to play what was worst defense in NFL history through six weeks.
Prior to Sunday’s game, the Broncos needed to mount a massive second-half comeback in Chicago to defeat the Bears for what had been their lone win of the season. Denver was unquestionably a bottom-three team in the NFL coming into Sunday.
This is similar to what was said about the Raiders before the Packers scored 13 points in a loss. Now, after a week of preparation and rest for a team that desperately needed it, what did they have to show for it against another one of the NFL’s worst?
Green Bay were shut out in the first half. They scored 17 total points thanks to two of the luckiest, most bizarre touchdowns you’ll see this season. Aaron Jones got 8 carries. The defense allowed 5.8 yards per carry, registered 1 sack and 0 turnovers.
The Packers had 10 different players catch a pass and none of those receivers had over 35 yards in the game.
In short, the Packers are, at least for the last month, one of the worst teams in football. They can lose to anyone. There is no such thing as a “gimme” game for the Packers at this point. If they continue to play the way they have for most of the season going forward, it’s generous to pencil them in for even six wins.
It’s hard to make sense of what happened Sunday. Per usual, but especially in the case of the Packers’ offense, stats don’t tell the whole story in this game.
Statistically, and probably also in terms of the eye test, this was Jordan Love’s best game since the comeback against New Orleans. That still isn’t saying a whole lot. Again, his 2 touchdown throws were some of the strangest you’ll see. The offense still completely lacks rhythm, timing and precision. Love and the receivers just never seem to be on the same page.
There are an absurd number of plays every game where Jordan Love launches a totally inaccurate headscratcher 50 yards downfield into double or even triple coverage. Both the decisions and the throws themselves are bad. It’s been the game-sealing play for the Packers in both their recent losses. What got us excited about Love were his poised, on-time throws over the middle. We’ve seen Love thrive in the intermediate range, and for whatever reason, the Packers have gone away from that.
Jordan Love is to blame. Matt LaFleur is to blame. The offensive line was hit even harder than I expected by the loss of David Bakhtiari. The Packers’ offense is dreadfully sloppy.
I thought, despite ups and downs, Love would be a really fun watch this year because he isn’t afraid to take chances down the field and into tight coverage. Those traits have been cranked up to 11, and I’m not having fun anymore.
Is it time to panic and give up on Love? No. Firstly, for better or worse, Love will be the Packers’ starting QB next season. They will not give up on him this early, so discussions about trading for or drafting his replacement are pointless.
Maybe we didn’t think it would be this bad – but it was expected that the Packers would be volatile. A winning record and a playoff appearance would be a pleasant surprise, not the standard. Jordan Love deserves more criticism than a rookie QB would in this situation, having been in the system for three years, but it’s still his first year starting on the youngest roster in the league.
Is it time to panic about the Packers as a whole? It depends. They’re really bad and not making the playoffs. I guess that warrants panic for the 2023 season. Such a young team and QB underperforming doesn’t necessarily call for drastic changes, as the plan all along was for this team to grow together over the course of multiple years.
Nearly every major team stat from this game were very similar between the Packers and Broncos. This isn’t so upsetting because the Packers were blown out by a bad team, but rather that they played on the exact level of a bad team. A close game is not necessarily a good game, and man, this was a terrible game for any viewer to watch. What we saw were undoubtedly two of the worst teams going at it for 60 minutes.
I came into the year having low yet optimistic expectations for the 2023 Green Bay Packers. I officially have no expectations for the rest of the season, and honestly, I think that mindset is in the best interest of everyone.——————