The 2023 Green Bay Packers are the first Packers team without a Hall of Fame QB on the roster in over 30 years… except maybe not. Leading a playoff team as a first year starter certainly has Packers fans believing in the future of this team.
In all seriousness, no one knows what Jordan Love’s ceiling is, but this Green Bay Packers team has accomplished a few exceptional feats that need to be unpacked.
Not only did Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers fail to lead their teams to the playoffs in their respective first years as starters, no Green Bay Packers QB has ever done it. Until now, that is.
A QB making playoffs in his first year as a full time starter isn’t all that historically uncommon, Patrick Mahomes did it in 2018 (while also tossing 50 TD passes), and rookie C.J. Stroud just clinched playoffs last week. What is uncommon is for a Packers team in a transitional period to already look as good as this team has, even with all of hinderances that exist for the team. In the coming years, the Packers may be an incredibly scary team in the NFC.
Speaking of the odds that Love has faced as a first year starter, let’s talk about the present before we jump into the future. The Green Bay Packers have a wildcard weekend matchup in Dallas against the #2 seed Cowboys this Sunday afternoon. The 9-8 Packers face off against a 12-5 Dallas team that has averaged 29.9 points per game, which is good enough for… first place in the NFL in that category.
This Packers team has likely accomplished all it is going to for the 2023 season, and they will almost assuredly lose in Dallas this weekend in a matchup where Jordan Love won’t be able to keep up with a high powered offense that gets to play against a Joe Barry-led unit.
This is nothing to be upset about though, this Packers team has overcome incredible odds in what was meant to be a “rebuild” year, or at least as close to a “rebuild” as Green Bay will ever be able to admit having.
Back in August Packers General Manager Brian Gutekunst was asked about acquiring veteran players to help the team to be more competitive. He essentially said that the young players needed to play, and that while the goal is to win games, winning “some” games wasn’t more important than taking the time to get better for the future and compete for championships. Well here they are in year one of the “getting better” period, and they’re… technically already one of 14 teams competing for a championship right now.
The Future Looks Promising
The Jordan Love iteration of the Green Bay Packers is not even close to being in its most impressive form yet. There is still cap space from previous contracts to clear off of the books. There is still player development that will continue to happen with the myriad of first and second year players on the roster. There are even still some extra draft picks leftover from previous trades that haven’t been used yet, such as the 41st overall pick from the New York Jets. Some icing on the cake for the future is the fact that David Bakhtiari will probably even be fully healthy for the first time since tearing his ACL back in December of 2020.
Jordan Love looks like he will be an incredibly solid starting QB for the Packers for years to come. Of course only time will tell, but his situation looks like it will continue to get easier as the Packers gain more flexibility. There is the hurdle that the Packers will of course have to pay Jordan Love a life changing amount of money, but they can figure that out in a team friendly way, I’m sure.
With Joe Barry on the hot seat this Packers team may even hire a defensive coordinator who can get the most out of a talented unit.
Right now the Packers have their sights set on the Dallas Cowboys, but Packers fans are allowed to look back and enjoy what we’ve seen so far. What’s better is that we can even look ahead past this week and ponder just what can become of this team with Jordan Love under center, and my word, the possibilities have been fun to ponder.——————
Zack is a college student and cheesehead from California. When he’s not in class or writing, you can find him talking about the Packers on Twitter at @Zack_Upchurch.