The Green Bay Packers made a decision to go young on offense, and now they are facing the consequences of that decision. The Packers fell to 2-4 after an embarrassing 19-17 loss to the Denver Broncos, who had widely been regarded as the worst team in the NFL.
Make no mistake: this was a total team loss. Matt LaFleur, Jordan Love, and the offense failed to find the end zone in the first half for the fourth consecutive game. Anders Carlson missed a field goal for the first time in his career. The defense, while allowing just 19 points, could not figure out how to get off the field when they needed to.
While a complete team loss, it is highly concerning that the Packers, for the fourth consecutive game, failed to find the end zone in the first half. While Love and individual players have made mistakes over the course of those four games, the fact that they have not been able to score a single touchdown in the first half during that span speaks to a larger problem: the front office, and Matt LaFleur to an extent, have failed Love.
The Green Bay Packers Have Not Put Jordan Love in a Position to Be Successful
After the game, Coach LaFleur, once again, stated “I need to do a better job of putting our players in a better position to succeed.” He’s right, of course. He has failed to do that for four consecutive weeks. One just has to wonder why he has not done anything about it yet.
Aside from LaFleur, the Packers’ front office has also put Love in perhaps the most difficult position to succeed imaginable.
Before going further, let’s be clear: Love has made mistakes and is 100% responsible for his poor decision making. On their final offensive play, he had AJ Dillon wide open with nothing but green in front of him on a checkdown route, but instead threw a contested ball to Romeo Doubs that was intercepted.
That being said, in the past, when Green Bay has handed the reigns of the offense over to a new starting quarterback, they have made sure that he has a plethora of weapons available to help him be successful. This is not the case for Love.
Brett Favre Had Sterling Sharpe and a Stout Offensive Line in 1992
All season long, fans have been comparing Love to his predecessors, Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers, and other fans have said it is not a fair comparison.
And they’re right. It’s not fair. The Packers have not given Love a good offensive line, nor have they given him any established wide receivers or tight ends.
When Favre took over as the starter in 1992, he had the great Sterling Sharpe to throw to. Sharpe made up for a lot of mistakes that the young Favre made, and hauled in 108 receptions for 1,461 yards and 13 touchdowns. Each of those stats led the NFL, as did Sharpe’s 91.3 receiving yards per game.
The offensive line was led by interior lineman Frank Winters, who Gilbert Brown has called the meanest and hardest player he has ever played against (they went up against each other in practice every day). Winters set the tone on the offensive line; the Packers (and Love) don’t have a single player that can do that now.
Oh, and that 1992 team started 2-5 before going 7-2 to finish the season.
Aaron Rodgers Had Pro Bowl Players Helping Him in 2008
As many may remember, the Packers went 6-10 in Aaron Rodgers’ first year as a starter. However, that was largely due to the fact that the defense underperformed while Rodgers and the offense looked like they had a good foundation set for future success.
At wide receiver, Rodgers had veterans Greg Jennings and Donald Driver, two Pro Bowl wide receivers, to help guide himself and young wide receiver Jordy Nelson and James Jones. On the offensive line, he had Pro Bowlers Chad Clifton and Scott Wells anchoring the line.
Rodgers would go onto win Super Bowl XLV with all five of his starting linemen from 2008. They were established and effective. The same cannot be said about the Packers’ offensive line now.
The Green Bay Packers Front Office Did Not Give Jordan Love the Same Chance to Succeed
As high as the Packers may be on Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs, and Jayden Reed, none of them are Sterling Sharpe. The closest thing Green Bay has had to a Sterling Sharpe in the last 25 years was Davante Adams, whom the Packers low-balled out of town.
Yes, the Packers traded Adams after he refused to play on the franchise tag. That was after the team offered him a contract extension worth less money per year than he would have made on the tag. It was insulting. So insulting he didn’t want to negotiate with them anymore, even when they brought him a massive offer of over $30 million a year.
The Packers’ bad-faith negotiating tactics cost them a generational wide receiver. While Adams may not have saved the Packers’ season in 2022 or this year, Love would get a fairer evaluation if he had him as opposed to a bunch of rookies and second-year players to throw to.
As far as the offensive line goes, Love has been dealt a terrible hand. Pro Bowl left guard Elgton Jenkins is there, but also has missed time due to injury. David Bakhtiari is out of the year, and the rest of the offensive line has failed to consistently protect him.
In short, the Packers went young so that their young players could all grow together. The problem is that they also want to evaluate if Love is really their quarterback of the future. How can they do that if he doesn’t have veterans to make up for the mistakes the young players make? Favre and Rodgers had veterans like that.
Why couldn’t Love have been given an equal opportunity to succeed?