The Green Bay Packers narrowly escaped their Christmas Eve matchup against the Carolina Panthers with a victory. Despite taking a 33-30 lead with 19 second left on the clock, the defense (once again) allowed a subpar offense with below-average talent to march down the field into field goal territory. Had there been just one more second left on the clock, Panthers quarterback Bryce Young might have gotten his spike down in time to allow for a game-tying field goal.
Fortunately, the Panthers were out of timeouts and they did not have time to spike the ball. The Packers may have won the game, but no one was feeling great about the defense afterwards. As has been the case for the last few weeks, fans have been calling for defensive coordinator Joe Barry to be fired. With Green Bay’s NFL Playoff hopes alive, there is little hope that he can prepare his defense well enough to get them there.
While many fans have chosen to focus on Barry and the negatives from the win, it is worth reminding them that Jordan Love played another great game. He completed 17 of 28 passes (60.7%) for 217 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions. Love also had two carries for 12 yards and a touchdown.
The last few weeks have not been easy on the team as the defense has made winning games more difficult than they should be, which is why Pro Football Hall of Famer LeRoy Butler took the time to shout out Love on social media.
Green Bay Packers Legend LeRoy Butler Praises Jordan Love for His Leadership
The Packers have been through their fair share of ups and downs this season. With a first-year starting quarterback and a plethora of rookies on offense, mistakes have been made, sometimes with more frequency than anyone would like.
Through these struggles, though, Love has remained calm, cool, and collected. After games, one would not be able to tell from his expression, body language, or voice whether the Packers won or lost. He is as cool as they come, never letting himself get too high or too low.
It is this steadiness, this poise, that Butler praised when he posted:
— leroy butler (blue check) (@leap36) December 25, 2023
The offense has certainly showed that they can win games as of late, even if they are not at full strength. The defense, on the other hand, has not.
The best course of action for the Packers going forward is to make sure the ball is in Love’s hands as much as possible. In his last five games, Love has a 68.8% completion percentage, 1,359 passing yards, 11 touchdowns, and just one interception.
With 3,587 passing yards and 30 total touchdowns (27 passing and three rushing), he is already on pace to have a better season than any quarterback in Chicago Bears’ history, and is on pace to surpass Aaron Rodgers’ numbers in his first year as the starter in 2008.
The future is certainly bright at the quarterback position. On defense? Well, that remains to be seen.